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Pamlico County Schools

Student Services » Homeless Education

Homeless Education

McKinney-Vento legislation requires that students and families facing instability in housing are supported in their educational needs.  The North Carolina Homeless Education website provides a link to information and resources for students, unaccompanied youth, parents/legal guardians, school staff, and community partners. Pamlico County Schools' program for students identified as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act includes:
  • Equal access to educational and other services
  • Collaborative services for instructional support
  • Information for parents regarding educational rights of homeless students
  • Information regarding educational rights of homeless unaccompanied youth
  • Immediate enrollment, child nutrition and transportation services
  • Identification and removal of barriers to enrollment, learning, and involvement
  • Parental involvement opportunities
  • Student advocacy
  • Educational and special needs assessments with appropriate placement
  • School social work, counseling, and nursing services
  • Title I program support
  • Community partnerships
School Year Unique Number of Homeless Students Reported in Pamlico County Schools
2013-2014 16
2014-2015 13
2015-2016 6
2016-2017 4
2017-2018 16
2018-2019 135

 

The term "homeless children and youths"—
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and
(B) includes—
(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic
hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the
lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are
abandoned in hospitals;
(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not
designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard
housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
(iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this part because the children are
living in circumstances described above.
What protections does the McKinney-Vento Act require for homeless children and youths?
The McKinney-Vento Act requires that:
1) homeless students who move have the right to remain in their schools of origin (i.e., the school the
student attended when permanently housed or in which the student was last enrolled, which includes
preschools) if that is in the student’s best interest;
2) if it is in the student’s best interest to change schools, homeless students must be immediately
enrolled in a new school, even if they do not have the records normally required for enrollment;
3) transportation must be provided to or from a student’s school of origin, at the request of a parent,
guardian, or, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the local liaison;
4) homeless students must have access to all programs and services for which they are eligible, including
special education services, preschool, school nutrition programs, language assistance for English
learners, career and technical education, gifted and talented programs, magnet schools, charter schools,
summer learning, online learning, and before and after-school care;
5) unaccompanied youths must be accorded specific protections, including immediate enrollment in
school without proof of guardianship; and o parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youths have the
right to dispute an eligibility, school selection, or enrollment decision.

Schools must immediately enroll homeless children and youth, even when:

  • School or health records are unavailable at the time of enrollment.
  • Birth certificates are not available.
  • Proof of residency is not available.
  • Students may stay in their school of origin, if feasible.
  • Unaccompanied youth must be provided educational access through the support of the local education liaison.
  • Schools must provide written explanations of placement decisions and the enrollment dispute process.

Must schools enroll students experiencing homelessness who do not have previous schools records?

Yes. Students experiencing homelessness must be enrolled in school while waiting for the previous school records to be received. Parents can request copies of critical documents such as Individualized Educational Program (IEPs), gifted testing records, and report cards from the student's previous school. 

Can a school require proof of residency (rent / lease agreement, utility receipt) that prevents or delays enrollment?

No. Students experiencing homelessness, by definition, lack a fixed residence and cannot be required to provide traditional proof of residency.

Must a school enroll children or youth without proof of immunizations or physicals?

Yes. The school must enroll students who do not have health records if they fall under the definition of homeless. The school should refer the family or youth to the school's social worker or Kathy Newcomb, LEA Liaison for McKinney-Vento, for assistance in obtaining the necessary documentation.  

Attendance and Success

Students with appropriate support are more likely to attend school on a regular basis. Attendance is critical in realizing success in school.

  • Homeless students must receive services comparable to those of housed students.
  • Transportation to the school of origin must be provided, when appropriate.
  • Homeless families and unaccompanied youth must be fully informed of available enrollment options and educational opportunities.
  • Separate schools or programs for homeless children and youth are prohibited, with the exceptions of several programs specifically named in the McKinney-Vento Act.
For questions regarding the Homeless Education progam in Pamlico County Schools contact: 
Nancy Ross, Homeless Liaison
252-745-4171 x 641
nancyross@pamlicoschools.org
 

Lisa Phillips, State Homeless Liaison lphillip@serve.org

North Carolina Homeless Education website:  https://hepnc.uncg.edu/about/