A student shall be considered homeless under State statute (I.C. 20-50) or Federal law (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) if s/he is an individual who:
A. lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and is living:
1. in "doubled-up" accommodations, such as sharing housing with other families or individuals due to a loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
2. in hotels, motels, trailer parks or camping areas because of a lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
3. temporarily in a foster home because of lack of shelter space;
4. in run-away shelters or abandoned buildings, on the streets, or with friends;
5. as an unwed mother or expectant mother in a home for unwed mothers and with no other available living accommodations;
B. lives in an emergency or transitional shelter, is abandoned in a hospital or other place not intended for general habitation, or is awaiting foster care placement;
C. has a primary nighttime residence that is:
1. a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, or transitional housing for the mentally ill;
2. an institution that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
3. a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
Such students are eligible for free textbooks and school meals which should be noted on the enrollment form at the time of enrollment.
Transportation of Homeless Students
Homeless students must be provided transportation in accordance with I.C. 20â€‘27â€‘12.
Liaison for Homeless Children
The Superintendent will appoint a Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth whose general duty will be to safeguard the rights of homeless children attending school in this Corporation.
The name and contact information for the Liaison for Homeless Children shall be
posted on the Corporation's internet website and shall be reported to the Indiana
Department of Education by August 1st of each year.
The Liaison must be notified immediately upon the enrollment or assignment of a homeless child. The Liaison will coordinate Corporation operations and services so that:
A. homeless children are identified, with special attention given to the locating and enrolling of homeless children who are not currently attending school;
B. homeless children are immediately enrolled regardless of disputed residency;
C. homeless children have a full and fair opportunity to succeed in school;
D. homeless children and unaccompanied youth receive all educational services for which they are eligible, including any Corporation preschool programs, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services;
E. parents of homeless children and unaccompanied youth are informed of the educational and related opportunities available, including the opportunity to attend the child’s school or origin, and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
F. public notice of the educational rights of homeless children is disseminated at locations where homeless families and children receive services, such as schools, family shelters, soup kitchens, public aid offices, city hall, food pantries, public libraries, court houses, and police stations;
G. enrollment/assignment disputes are mediated/handled in accordance with procedures in part B of this Corporation administrative guideline and applicable laws;
H. the parents of any homeless child and any unaccompanied youth are fully informed of all transportation including transportation to the school of origin and are assisted in accessing transportation to the school that is appropriately selected.
Upon enrollment of a homeless child, the Liaison will coordinate with appropriate administrative staff to assure that the school last attended by a homeless child is immediately contacted to provide academic or other relevant records. If upon enrollment, the student does not have any immunization required for enrollment by State law or any medical records, the Liaison will assist the family or student in obtaining the immunizations or necessary, medical records. The Liaison will also contact the administrator in charge of transportation to assure transportation of the homeless student is provided.
As part of his/her assigned duties, the Liaison will coordinate and collaborate with the community and school personnel responsible for providing education to homeless children, including but not limited to:
1. local social service agencies and other agencies or programs providing services to homeless children and their families;
2. other school corporations regarding inter-district issues, such as transportation or the transfer of school records.
Such coordination should be designed to:
1. facilitate homeless children having access and reasonable proximity to available education and related support services;
2. raise the awareness of school personnel and service providers of the effects of short-term stays in a shelter and other challenges associated with homelessness.
As part of his/her assigned duties, the Liaison for Homeless Children will inform school personnel, services providers and advocates working with homeless families about his/her duties.
Should there be a dispute regarding the enrollment or assignment of a homeless student, the student will be enrolled immediately and the dispute will be referred to the Liaison for expeditious resolution. The Liaison should attempt to resolve disputes within five (5) school days. Any dispute which cannot be resolved by the Liaison should be reported to the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children at the Indiana Department of Education. According to State guidelines, the State Coordinator has an additional five (5) school days from the time of notification to bring about resolution. Individuals not satisfied with the State Coordinator’s proposed resolution can appeal such decision to the Superintendent of Public Instruction within five (5) school days for final resolution of the dispute.