Homeless Children and Youth
The McKinney Vento Act: Parent/Student Rights for Those Living in Temporary Housing and Homeless Situations.
Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) shall provide an educational environment that treats all students with dignity and respect. Every student experiencing homelessness or living in temporary housing situations as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act shall have access to the same free and appropriate educational opportunities as students who are not homeless or experiencing temporary housing situations.
This commitment to the educational rights of homeless children, youth, and unaccompanied youth, is applied to all services, programs, and activities provided or made available in ICCSD schools. A student may be considered eligible for services under McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act if he or she is presently lacking a fixed, regular or adequate night time residence, such as:
- In temporary shared housing, a shelter, or transitional living program
- In a hotel/motel, campground, or similar situation due to lack of alternatives
- At a bus station, park, car, or abandoned building
- In temporary or transitional foster care placement
According to the McKinney-Vento Act, eligible students have rights to:
- Immediate enrollment: permanent address, academic and immunization records cannot serve as a barrier to the enrollment in school. Attend classes and participate fully while the school arranges for transfer of documents and immunization records necessary for enrollment.
- Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay enrollment.
- School Selection: Eligible students have a right to select from the following schools:The school he/she attended when permanently housed (School of Origin)
- The school in which he/she last enrolled (School of Origin)
- The school in the attendance area in which the student currently resides (School of Residency or Home School)
- Remain enrolled in his/her selected school for the duration of homelessness, or until the end of the academic year when they are permanently housed.
- Participate in programs for which they are eligible, including Title 1 tutoring programs, free lunch in schools with the National School Lunch Program, Head Start & Even Start Preschool Programs.
- Transportation Services: A McKinney-Vento eligible student attending his/her School of Origin has a right to transportation to and from the School of Origin when feasible, under the same guidelines other students in the district receive transportation services
Dispute Resolution: If you disagree with school officials about enrollment, transportation, or fair treatment of a homeless child or youth, you may file a complaint with the school district. The school district must respond and attempt to resolve it quickly. During the dispute, the student must be immediately enrolled in the school and provided transportation until the matter is resolved. The McKinney Vento liaison will assist you in making decisions, providing notice of any appeal process, and filling out dispute forms.