Homeless Information for McNairy County Schools
DISTRICT CONTACT: LYNDA WALTERS
PHONE: 731-645-4191 EMAIL: [email protected]
STATE CONTACT NUMBER: 615-253-3101
THE MCNAIRY COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT IS COMMITTED TO HELPING EVERY FAMILY BE SUCCESSFUL REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY LIVE AT THE MOMENT.
A family may qualify for our program if they lack a fixed, regular or adequate night-time residence.
If you live in a shelter, or transitional housing program, couch surf with friends or family because you do not have a house of your own, live in a motel or campground because you cannot find or afford housing or live in a car, abandoned building or a place not normally fit designed for sleeping, we are here to help.
Because homeless children face many obstacles to an appropriate education, such as lack of transportation and resources, frequent school changes, loss of school records, and emotional stress, special programs are necessary.
The school district offers several services to our families in transitional housing, such as:
- Assistance with school enrollment process and paperwork
- Help with school issues, questions or concerns
- Housing and community resource information
- Obtaining birth certificates, immunization records and school records
- Referrals for dental, medical and mental health services
- School supplies and standard school clothing
- Special distribution events when available (food boxes, hygiene products, holiday toys, etc.)
- Transportation to school and school events/activities on a case by case basis as funds permit
- Tutoring services through after school programs
- Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program
The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, authorized under the Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Act, was reauthorized in Dec. 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
All school districts are required to provide needed services to homeless children. The department receives funding for the program through the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Grant Program and distributes grants competitively to LEAs that have developed programs that document effective collaboration among school districts and service providers to ensure that homeless children in that district receive needed services.
The McKinney-Vento Act is designed to address the challenges that homeless children and youths have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school with a strong emphasis on the importance of school stability for homeless children and youths. Changing schools multiple times significantly impedes a student’s academic and social growth. Therefore, the McKinney-Vento Act calls for school districts to maintain students in their school of origin to promote school stability and greater educational outcomes overall, unless it is not in the student’s best interest.
Under Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, § 725, homeless children and youths means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes:
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;
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;
children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
migratory children (as defined in § 1309 of the ESSA) who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described in this definition.
In addition, the ESSA removed "awaiting foster care placement" from the definition of “homeless children and youths” December 10, 2016.
The Right to Dispute Process:
If the student or parents are interested in the student attending the school of origin and not transferring to the McNairy County district, discussions are held to determine best interest and feasibility. Transportation issues are worked out to best meet the needs of the student/family with regards to length of travel, buses or funding, etc. An agreement is reached with the original school district, parents, and our district with signatures if the student will return to the school of origin.
The parent or unaccompanied youth shall be informed of their right to appeal the decision made by the school district and the school district will provide, at a minimum, the following information:
- written contact information for the district homeless liaison and state coordinator with a brief description of roles:
- written notice of the right to enroll immediately in the school of choice pending resolution of the dispute; a simple, written form that parents, guardians, or unaccompanied youth can complete and turn in to the school or district homeless liaison to initiate the dispute process;
- a copy of the completed form for the parent, guardian, or youth for their records at the time it is submitted; written step-by-step instructions on how to object to, or appeal (at all four levels described above) the district’s decision regarding eligibility, enrollment, or educational placement.
In a case in which a dispute occurs regarding eligibility, enrollment, or school selection of a homeless child or youth, the parent or unaccompanied youth has the right to appeal using the following process:
- Level 1 Appeal to the school or the district homeless liaison: If a parent or unaccompanied youth wishes to appeal a school district’s decision related to eligibility, enrollment, or school selection, the appeal is submitted to the district homeless liaison or the school where the dispute is taking place.
- Level 2 Appeal to the district superintendent: If the dispute is unresolved, the parent or unaccompanied youth may appeal the Level 1 decision to the school district superintendent or designee.
- Level 3 Appeal to the state coordinator: If the dispute continues to be unresolved, the parent or unaccompanied youth may appeal the Level 2 decision to the McKinney-Vento state coordinator.
- Level 4 Appeal to the state executive director of CPM: If the parent, unaccompanied youth, or district wishes to appeal the Level 3 decision rendered by the McKinney-Vento state coordinator, an appeal may be submitted for review by the executive director of the office of consolidated planning and monitoring (CPM).