Homeless Education

Judith Brown Brooks, Homeless Education Liaison
1517 Jackson Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Phone: (434) 455-0288
Email: brooksjb@lcsedu.net

 

What Families Need to Know

Your child can enroll in school even if you have:

  • Uncertain Housing
  • A Temporary Address
  • No Permanent Physical Address
EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH LACKING FIXED, REGULAR, AND ADEQUATE HOUSING

Families should know:

  • You do not need a permanent address to enroll your child in school.
  • Your child cannot be denied school enrollment when school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.
  • Your child may be able to remain in the same school (school of origin) even if you move.
  • Your child has the right to transportation services to and from the school of origin.
  • Schools must provide you with a written explanation if a placement dispute occurs, and you may appeal the school’s decision.
  • Your child automatically qualifies to participate in free breakfast and lunch programs.
  • Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which he/she is eligible.
  • Unaccompanied youth lacking fixed, regular, and adequate housing have these same rights.
AT SCHOOL, ASK ABOUT THESE SPECIAL SERVICES
  • Tutoring programs
  • Programs to help children learn English
  • Gifted or talented programs
  • Summer school programs
  • Preschool programs
  • Before and after school programs
  • Homeless assistance programs
  • Mentoring programs
  • Special education programs for students with disabilities, especially if the student has previously received special education services
SCHOOL PROFESSIONALS ALSO MAY PROVIDE
  • Quiet time or a personal space to allow your child to complete homework at school
  • Basic school supplies
  • Contact information for community agencies and helpful resources
TIPS FOR FAMILIES WHO MOVE OFTEN
  • Keep a copy of birth certificates and school records accessible.
  • Safeguard all health and immunization records.
  • Have a reliable person keep a second copy of the child’s birth certificate, school records, and health information.
  • Enroll children in school as soon as possible.
WHAT YOU CAN DO BEFORE MOVING
  • Tell your child’s teacher and principal that your child is moving and give them the new address.
  • Let school officials know if you want your child to stay in his/her school of origin while you are getting the family stabilized.
  • Ask for a copy of your child’s school records, including immunizations.

Agency Information List

The following contacts may be useful resources to families and children experiencing homelessness:

  • Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline (VA Department of Social Services) 800-552-7096
  • Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline 800-838-8238
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention 800-342-2437
  • Hill Burton Free Hospital Care (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services). 800-638-0742
  • Project Immunize Virginia 757-668-6435
  • Medicaid Provider Helpline 800-552-8627
  • Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plane (FAMIS) 866-873-2647
  • Pupil Transportation 804-225-2037
  • National Mental Health Association Resource Center 800-969-6642
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children 800-424-2460
  • Adult Education and Literacy 804-225-2075
  • Statewide Human Services Information and Referral 800-230-6977
  • Food Stamps 804-726-7378
  • Lawyer Referral Service 800-552-7977
  • Social Security Administration Hotline
    Assists individuals applying for benefits. 800-772-1213 or 800-325-0778 (TDD)
  • National Alliance to End Homelessness 202-638-1526
  • Virginia Housing Development Authority 877-843-22123
  • National Runaway Switchboard 800-786-2929
  • Child Help USA Hotline Counselors available to talk with pre-teens about their problems. 800-422-4453
  • Virginia Interagency Action Council for the Homeless (VIACH) 804-371-7175
    www.endhomelessnessva.org

The federal McKinney-Vento Act guarantees school enrollment for anyone who, due to a lack of permanent housing, lives in inadequate or temporary settings, such as:

  • In emergency or transitional shelters
  • In motels, hotels, or campgrounds
  • In cars, parks, public places, bus or train stations, or abandoned buildings
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends
  • In these conditions and is a migratory child or youth

Children and youth living in these settings meet criteria for the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness and have special educational rights.