1517 Jackson Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Phone: (434) 455-0288
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
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.