Department of Student Support Services
Homeless Students

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All children have the right to a free, appropriate, public education.  The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Improvement Act of 2001 provides the continuity in a homeless student’s education (Public Law 107-110).  “Homeless children and youth are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”  Homeless students have the right to enroll in school immediately.  Each school has a pupil personnel worker and a school based homeless liaison to assist with initial or continued enrollment.  Contact the student’s present school or school in the area where you are temporarily residing for enrollment information.

Students are considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  This my include:

  • Sharing housing with another person due to loss of housing or economic hardship.
  • Eviction, foreclosure, natural disaster, or domestic violence.
  • Living in motels, hotels, camp grounds, streets, cars, abandoned buildings or other public spaces.
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters.
  • Foster youth in emergency shelters and/or awaiting foster care placement.
  • Unaccompanied youth that have runaway or been pushed out of their homes.
  • Children of migratory workers living in any of the circumstances described above.

FAQ

Where will my child go to school?

As a homeless parent you have the right to decide whether your child should:

  • Stay in same school your child attended before becoming homeless (school of origin).
  • Transfer to the zoned school for your current location.

The student is allowed to remain in the chosen school for:

  • The duration of the homelessness.
  • The end of the school year, if the student becomes permenantly housed.

The decision should take into consideration factors such as:

  • Special needs.
  • Continuity of instruction.
  • Likely length of stay in your new place of residence.
  • Location.
  • Time and distance to transport your child to and from school.

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How will my child get to school?

Baltimore County Public Schools will provide age appropriate transportation for homeless children and youth who choose to attend their school of origin.  Transportation to the zoned school will be provided unless the residence is within walking distance. 

To obtain transportation the school’s pupil personnel worker or school’s homeless liaison should be contacted.  If your temporary location changes, the school and pupil personnel worker must be notified.  If housing becomes permanent during the school year, transportation will be continued until the end of the current school year.

What do I need to enroll my child in school?

Homeless children and youth have the right to be enrolled in school without delay.  If records such as birth certificate, immunization, or school records are unavailable, your child will still be enrolled.

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What resources are available?

The school pupil personnel worker, homeless liaison at the school, or the Homeless Education Liaison within the Office of Pupil Personnel Services can help.  We can assist you in the following areas:

  • Providing school meal programs
  • Providing school supplies
  • Providing waivers of school fees
  • Providing preschool programs where available
  • Accessing additional services such as special education and gifted and talented programs
  • Providing referrals to other agencies that can help with food, clothing, and medical assistance

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Appeal Process

A parent may appeal decisions regarding their child’s education. You may appeal decisions regarding school enrollment, transportation or waiver of fees. Appeals must be made in writing to the Homeless Education Liaison using the Appeal Form.

 http://www.bcps.org/offices/sss/psManual/HSE-3-Appeal-Form.pdf

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Additional Homeless Resources – Brochures & Sites

Homeless Children and Youth in Baltimore County Public Schools
http://www.bcps.org/offices/sss/pdf/Trifold-Homeless-Children-in-Balto.pdf English
http://www.bcps.org/offices/sss/brochures/Homeless-Children-in-Balto-Spanish.pdf Spanish

Le Tendre Scholarship Fund (Through the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth)
http://www.naehcy.org/letendre_ab.html

Maryland Hope – 60 Minutes Segment Hard Times Generation
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7389750n&tag=contentBody;storyMediaBox
http://mdhope.dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless Street Card
http://www.bcpl.info/community/street-card 

To locate the pupil personnel worker for a specific school, click on the links below:

Southeast Student Support Services Office at Battle Grove

Northeast Student Support Services Office at Pulaski Park

Central Student Support Services Office at Cockeysville

Northwest Student Support Services Office at Chatsworth

Southwest Student Support Services Office at Commerce

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