Registrar

Students Living with Caregivers: Tips for Local Liaisons and School Personnel

Each year, thousands of students stay with someone who serves as a caregiver, instead of living with a parent or legal guardian. The caregiver may be a relative, friend, school employee, or other individual. Some caregivers provide little to no support for youth staying with them, while others, especially with younger children, often assume more responsibility – even obtaining legal guardianship in some cases.

TSDS PEIMS Unaccompanied Youth Status Indicator Instructions

These instructions, developed by the Texas Homeless Education Office (THEO), are intended to assist districts in collecting and reporting information necessary for both PEIMS reporting and compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act regarding homeless, unaccompanied youth. This document itself is not a form or instrument that can be used to collect this information. However, it does… Read more »

Student Residency Questionnaire/SRQ (Spanish) for the PEIMS Homeless Status Indicator

This sample template is meant only to be an example of how a district might combine various components into a form that could collect the required information. This is not a mandated form—it is an example prepared for a hypothetical school district to serve as a starting point for districts. Likewise, there is no requirement… Read more »

Student Residency Questionnaire/SRQ (English) for the PEIMS Homeless Status Indicator

This sample template is meant only to be an example of how a district might combine various components into a form that could collect the required information. This is not a mandated form—it is an example prepared for a hypothetical school district to serve as a starting point for districts. Likewise, there is no requirement… Read more »

When Legal Guardians Are Not Present: Enrolling Students on Their Own

In a number of instances, however, children and youth who are enrolling in a school may not be living with their parents or legal guardians. Frequently, children in families experiencing homelessness are sent to live temporarily with friends or relatives. This type of living arrangement has been especially prevalent in families displaced by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes. In other situations, youth have been forced to leave home due to abusive environments or are on their own for other reasons. These children and youth, in most cases, fit the definition of homeless, unaccompanied youth in the McKinney-Vento Act: a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian [42 U.S.C. §11434A(6)] and eligible for immediate school enrollment.  The McKinney-Vento Act requires school districts to enroll homeless children and youth in school immediately, even if they lack required enrollment documents [42 U.S.C. §§11432(g)(3)(C), (g)(1)(H)(iv), (g)(1) (F)(ii)]. (“Enroll” and “enrollment” are defined as “attending classes and participating fully in school activities” [42 U.S.C. §11434A(1)].) The Act further requires states to review and revise any policy that may act as a barrier to the enrollment of homeless children and youth and requires states to give particular attention to guardianship issues [42 U.S.C.
§§11432(g)(7)].

Therefore, schools may not condition school enrollment upon the receipt of proof of legal guardianship by caregivers of homeless,unaccompanied youth; nor may they require caregivers to become legal guardians within a certain period of time after the child enrolls in school. The decision to seek legal guardianship is a serious decision that affects significantly the legal rights of the parent and caregiver well beyond the education arena. Although that step may be appropriate in some cases, it will not be in others.  In addition, it is important to note that the absence of an available caregiver must not impede enrollment. Unaccompanied, homeless youth who are on their own completely must be enrolled in school immediately.

Prompt and Proper Placement: Enrolling Students without Records

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act, requires schools to enroll homeless students immediately, even if they do not have the documents normally required for enrollment such as school records, medical records, proof of residency, or others.  Unfortunately for many homeless students on the move, incomplete records often result in classroom/curriculum placements that promote frustration and result in failure. This document offers teachers, school counselors, and other school personnel valuable tools and information to assist in making sound educational decisions for immediate placement of homeless children and youth in appropriate classroom settings