The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Homeless Awareness Program is in place to address and support the educational needs of students who find themselves in temporary or transitional housing during the school year. The program reduces the barriers of homelessness, so students and their families feel supported and encouraged while they secure permanent housing.
The McKinney-Vento Act
This act is funded by the federal government and comes to the school district as part of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Title Funds allocation. Each year the school district is required to set aside funds to support students covered by McKinney-Vento Act provisions.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence".
The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:
- Sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
- Living in motels or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Sleeping locations not usually used as a sleeping accommodation
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
Under federal law, homeless children and youth are entitled to immediate enrollment in school and educational stability.
The act ensures homeless children transportation to and from school free of charge, allowing children to attend their school of origin (last school enrolled or the school they attended when they first became homeless) regardless of what district the family resides in.
It requires schools to register homeless children if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence.
SCHOOL DISTRICT'S RESPONSIBILITIES
The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District must appoint a liaison to ensure school staff are aware of the McKinney-Vento Act, to provide public notice to homeless families, and to facilitate access to school and transportation services.
The position serves as liaison between the school, parents, students, and community agencies to meet the educational needs of the students.
If you have a student/child who may qualify for our program's assistance and services, or would like more information, please contact our Homeless Education Liaison, Dr. Leah Reider, Director of Pupil Services, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 610-347-0970 extension 3326.
- Laws and Guidance on Homeless Education • U.S. Department of Education
- Basic Education Circular on Education for Homeless Youth • PA Department of Education
- ECYEH Brochure • PA Education for Children And Youth Experiencing Homelessness
- Living Arrangement Status: Fixed, Regular or Adequate
The following organizations offer additional resources for children and youth experiencing homelessness:
- SchoolHouse Connection
- National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)
- National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
- Horizons for Homeless Children
- National Network for Youth