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School District 25 Policy

HOMELESS CHILDREN

Policy 4143
Promulgated: July 17, 2002


It is the policy of Fremont County School District No. 25 that every child that is a resident of the District will have equal access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The District shall provide educational opportunities to nonresident children under its policy: Admission Of Non-Resident Students #8025. It is the District's intent to provide children that meet the definitions of homeless contained in this policy the same free and appropriate public education as it does with its resident children.

DEFINITIONS

Homeless is defined as an individual who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and who has a primary nighttime residence that is:

  • A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters and transitional housing for the mentally ill);
  • An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
  • A public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  • The terms "homeless" or "homeless individual" does not include any individual imprisoned or otherwise detained.

    In determining whether a child or youth is homeless, the relative permanence of the living arrangements should be considered. Determinations will be made on a case-bycase basis. In general, children or youth living in welfare hotels, transitional housing shelters, the streets, cars, abandoned buildings and other inadequate accommodations will be considered homeless.

    Children and Youth in Transitional or Emergency Shelters

    If children or youth are placed in a transitional or emergency shelter because there is nowhere else to send them, and they are awaiting placement in a foster home or a home for neglected children, they will be considered homeless while in the emergency or transitional shelter. Once placed in a foster home or a home for neglected children or youth, they will no longer be considered homeless.

    Children and Youth Living in Trailer Parks and Camping Grounds

    Children and youth staying temporarily in trailer parks or campgrounds because they lack adequate living accommodations will be considered homeless. Those living in trailer parks or camp areas on a long-term basis in adequate accommodations will not be considered homeless.

    Doubled-Up Children and Youth

    Children and youth who are living in "doubled-up" accommodations, that is, are sharing housing with other families or individuals, will be considered homeless if they are doubled-up because of a loss of housing or other similar situation. Families living in doubled-up accommodations voluntarily to save money generally will not be considered homeless.

    Foster Children and Youth

    In general, children and youth in foster homes will not be considered homeless. Many foster children are in the care of a public agency, awaiting placement in more permanent situations. The foster home, although temporary, serves as a fixed regular and adequate nighttime residence. Children placed in foster homes for lack of shelter space, however, will be considered homeless.

    Incarcerated Children and Youth

    Children and youth that are incarcerated for violation or alleged violation of a law will not be considered homeless even if prior to their incarceration they would have been considered homeless because they were living in inadequate accommodations. Children and youths who are under the care of the state and are being held in an institution because they have no other place to live will be considered homeless. Once these children are placed in more permanent facilities, they will no longer be considered homeless.

    Migratory Children and Youth

    Migratory children and youth will not be considered homeless simply because they are children of migratory families. To the extent that migratory children are staying in accommodations not fit for habitation, they will be considered homeless.

    Runaways

    Children or youth who have run away from home and live in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, the street or other inadequate accommodations will be considered homeless, even if their parents have provided and are willing to provide a home for them.

    School-Aged, Unwed Mothers

    In general, if school-aged, unwed mothers or expectant mothers are living in homes for unwed mothers, and they have no other available living accommodations, they will be considered homeless. However, if they are staying in such a home only temporarily to receive specific health care or other services and intend to move to other adequate accommodations, they will not be considered homeless.

    Sick or Abandoned Children and Youth

    There are instances where children or youth remain in a hospital beyond the time they would normally stay for health reasons because their families have abandoned them. These children or youth will be considered homeless because they have no other place to live. Children or youth that were homeless prior to hospitalization will be considered to be homeless while they are in the hospital, unless regular and adequate living accommodations will be made available to them upon release from the hospital.

    If a school has students who meet any of the above definitions of homeless, the student should be referred to the building principal. The principal will convene the necessary staff and community agencies needed to develop an action plan to provide the student with a free appropriate public education.