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Student in Temporary Housing (STH) Overview.

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Student in Temporary Housing (STH)Overview

  • McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act and Chancellor’s Regulation A-780 ensure that students in temporary housing have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education as permanently housed students, and prohibit segregating homeless students.


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Who is Considered Homeless Under the McKinney Vento Act?

One who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are:

  • Living in emergency or transitional housing;

  • Sharing housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship;

  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate housing;

  • Awaiting foster care placement;

  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or bus or train stations;

  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations; or

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in the circumstances described above.

    (M-V Section 725(2); N.Y. Educ. Law § 3209(a)(2))


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Fixed, Adequate and Regular

  • Fixed

    • A fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change

  • Regular

    • A regular residence is one which is used on a nightly basis

  • Adequate

    • An adequate residence is one that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments


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Unaccompanied Youth

The McKinney-Vento Act and state laws that deal with the educational rights of children and youth who are homeless, define an unaccompanied youth as one:

  • Who is “not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian” (M-V Sec. 725(6)) and

  • Who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. (M-V Section 725(2); N.Y. Educ. Law § 3209(1)(a)(1))


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School Responsibilities under McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation

  • Schools must be aware of students’ rights, which include full transportation regardless of distance and free meals

  • Schools must immediately enroll STH students even if they do not have all of their records. STH Content Experts and/or Family Assistants are available to assist STH families obtain all the necessary documentation. Schools must also allow unaccompanied youth to enroll him/herself. In such cases, it is strongly suggested that schools contact Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and STH Content Expert for assistance

  • To identify students in temporary living situations and to determine the educational services and supports they may be eligible to receive, schools need to distribute the Residency Questionnaire to newly enrolled students and to students changing their addresses

  • In the case of enrollment dispute, the school of student’s choice must immediately enroll the student, provide a written explanation of its decision, and contact STH Content Expert to assist the student with the dispute process

  • Schools must inform STH families of their education rights by putting up STH posters and providing STH families with the McKinney-Vento guides. Both the guides and posters are available at the ISC upon request

  • Schools may use Title 1 funding to provide additional support for students in temporary housing


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What are the Rights of Students in Temporary Housing under the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • To a free public education

  • To remain in their school of origin (the school they last attended before becoming homeless or the school they were last enrolled) or the local school of their current placement

  • To transportation services to and from school regardless of distance requirement

  • To not be denied school enrollment just because of their situation or because they lack enrollment documentation (including immunization record).

  • To not be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless


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Children and Youth Coming from Out of State the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • Under federal law, an unaccompanied youth who is coming from out of state may still attend the school of origin provided that it is feasible and in the best interests of the youth

    M-V Section 722(g)(3)(B)

  • “Feasible” is not defined under federal or state law

  • Where the youth would have to travel over 50 miles, it is probably not in the best interests of the youth

    N.Y. Educ. Law § 3209(4)(c)


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Enrollment and Transfer of Records for Homeless Students the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • Students who are homeless are entitled to immediate enrollment, even if they do not have:

    • school records,

    • medical records including immunization records,

    • proof of residency,

    • guardianship papers,

    • birth certificate, or other documents normally needed.

      M-V Section 722(g)(3)(C)(i); N.Y. Educ. Law § 3209(2)(e); 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 100.2(x)(4)(ii).

  • “Enroll" means attending classes and participating fully in school activities. This applies for students with IEPs.

    M-V Section 725(1)

  • Unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness do not need their parents to enroll in school.


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Enrollment and Transfer of Records for Homeless Students the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • Enrolling schools should obtain the school records from the previous school

    M-V Section 722(g)(3)(C)(ii); N.Y. Educ. Law § 3209(2)(e)(3); 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 100.2(x)(4)(iv)

  • Within 5 days of receiving the request for records, the previous school should forward a complete copy of the youth’s records including proof of age, academic records, evaluations, immunization records, and guardianship papers to the enrolling school.

    N.Y. Educ. Law § 3209(2)(f); 8 N.Y.C.R.R. § 100.2(x)(5)


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Transportation for Students in NYC the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • For students not receiving busing, a full-fare MetroCard should be provided by the school. All normal distance and age requirements are waived

    Chancellor’s Regulation A-780

  • Students waiting to receive a full-fare MetroCard from school should receive Student MetroCards from the STH Content Experts or STH Family Assistant

    M-V Section 722(g)(1)(J)(iii)

  • A parent, of a student in grade 6 and under who receives a full fare Metro Card, can also receive a Metrocard from the STH Family Assistant or STH Content Expert to transport their child to and from school

  • In certain circumstances, transportation may be provided through the academic year in which the child or youth moves into permanent housing.

    M-V Section 722(g)(1)(J)(iii)& 722(g)(3)(A)(I)


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Access to Comparable Services the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

Youth living in temporary housing are to be provided services comparable to those received by other students in the school selected, including transportation services and education programs for which students meet eligibility criteria such as:

  • services provided under Title I or similar state or local programs

  • programs for students with disabilities

  • programs for students with limited English proficiency

  • vocational or technical programs

  • gifted and talented programs

  • and schoolnutritionprograms.

    M-V Section 722(g)(4)


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Special Education: the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?Students who Temporarily Relocate within NYC

  • For students in temporary housing who transfer to a local school:

    • Placement and transportation in the new district must be arranged

    • The local school must immediately request the student’s IEP and other pertinent records from the school where the child last attended

      For students who remain in the school of origin:

    • Family or family assistant must notify the school of the change of address so changes in transportation can be arranged


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Special Education: the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?Students in Temporary Housing from outside of NYC

  • When a child with a current IEP changes school districts during the school year, the new school district must immediately provide services comparable to those described in the previous IEP

  • Where a student has transferred to a new school district, the new school district can either adopt the old IEP or implement a new IEP

  • It is the enrolling school’s responsibility to request the child’s special education records from the previous school and that school must respond to the records request within 5 days


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Special Education – the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?Unaccompanied Youth

  • School districts must appoint a surrogate parent within 30 days

  • Staff members of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs, and street outreach programs can be temporary surrogate parents


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Residency Questionnaire the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • To properly identify students in temporary housing, schools must distribute the Residency Questionnaire along with the McKinney Vento Act Guide to Parents to newly enrolled students and to students who are changing their addresses

    • Housing status should be inputted into ATS as part of student’s biographical information

    • Paper copy of the Residency Questionnaire should be filed in the student’s cumulative record

    • Pupil Accounting Secretary may pull a roster of STH students in their school using UPCO and RBIR functions in ATS

  • Copies of the Residency Questionnaire and the McKinney Vento guide can be found in NYC Department of Education website (http://schools.nyc.gov/default.aspx)


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Resources the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • Family Assistants/ Educational Liaisons-

    • In Department of Homeless Service (DHS) shelters and in some schools, Family Assistants or Education Liaisons are available to assist homeless parents and their children with their educational needs

  • Students In Temporary Housing Content Expert-

    • Each borough Integrated Service Center (ISC) has at least one Students in Temporary Housing (STH) Content Expert who serves as the STH liaison and manages programs and services designed to help children who are homeless pursue their education. They supervises the Family Assistants who are shelter based

  • Students in Temporary Housing Liaison-

    • Each Children First Network (CFN) has a designated STH liaison available to assist children who are homeless with their educational needs.

    • Additionally, District 75 and District 79 each have a designated STH liaison available to assist children who are homeless with their educational needs


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Contact Information the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?


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Additional Resource the McKinney Vento Act and Chancellor’s Regulation?

  • McKinney Vento and technical assistance link: http://www.nysteachs.org/

  • Office of School and Youth Development Best Practices Standards link: http://portal.nycboe.net/sites/FinanceAdmin/OSYD/SchoolPortal/Safety/Safety%20Documents/BEST%20PRACTICES%20STANDARDS%202008.pdf


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