ABOUT MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS EDUCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Elmore City-Pernell School District is committed to providing all students with quality educational experiences. We recognize the challenges that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. These provisions promote greater stability for homeless children and youth and ensure that each has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youths. In addition, homeless students will not be separated from the mainstream school environment. Elmore City-Pernell Public School is committed to removing barriers of homeless students’ access to academic and extracurricular activities as well as removing the stigma of homelessness.
The Rights of Homeless Students:
Students who meet the definition of "Homeless" and are identified or identify themselves as such have the right to:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education;
- Enroll in school immediately, even if they lack documents normally required for enrollment (i.e. birth certificates, transcripts, vaccinations, etc.);
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school works with the family/student to gather the needed documents;
- Enroll in the local school; or continue attending the school they last attended, if that is their preference and is possible. If the district believes that the school chosen is not in the student's best interest, a written explanation will be provided and the student has the right to appeal this decision;
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested; and,
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student's needs.
At ECP, students are primarily identified at enrollment or through the school Counselor. Families or students who believe that they are homeless, should identify themselves as such to the school Counselor.
If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment, the established district dispute process shall be followed. Children have the right of enrollment until such time as there is a final resolution to the dispute.
Parents/guardians/students who feel that their request to enroll has been incorrectly denied or wish to contest their child's placement should be encouraged to contact the Director of Federal Programs for consultation. If the dispute is not resolved at this stage, they will be asked to submit their case in writing followed by the remainder of the steps outlined in policy.
Should the final result of the district dispute process be unsatisfactory to the parent/guardian/student, they may appeal the district's final decision by contacting the state homeless liaison at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
ECP is required to identify a person to act as a Homeless Liaison. This person's duties involve training school staff in identification procedures, serving as an advocate for homeless students, arranging for services and arbitrating disputes that may arise.
ECP's Homeless Liaison is Sheila Riddle, Director of Federal Programs and may be reached at 580-788-2869.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act guarantees a child who qualifies as homeless the right to attend one of two schools: the school of origin or the local attendance area school. For further information on the McKinney-Vento Act, visit the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) website at http://nche.ed.gov or contact the toll-free HelpLine at 800-308-2145. The Oklahoma State Department of Education provides additional information and answers to frequently asked questions about McKinney-Vento Homeless Education on their website at http://www.sde.ok.gov. Please contact the District’s Homeless Liaison for additional assistance.