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Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Students Experiencing Educational Instability Resources

The Pottsgrove School District believes that youth experiencing homelessness should have access to free and appropriate public education and wishes to limit the barriers that homeless children may face. Our goal is to have the educational process continue as uninterrupted as possible while children are in homeless situations.

What is McKinney-Vento?

The McKinney–Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act guarantees a free and appropriate public education for all children and youth experiencing homelessness. Click on this link, which outlines procedures for deciding school placement, enrolling students, and determining responsibility. The federal and state laws about McKinney-Vento make our responsibility clear.

What is the definition of a “homeless youth” under McKinney-Vento?

“Homeless” is defined as “anyone lacking a fixed, adequate, regular nighttime residence.”

What situations fit this definition?

  • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons.
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
  • Living in an emergency, transitional, or domestic violence shelter.
  • Abandoned in hospitals.
  • Using public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings, as a primary nighttime residence.
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations, or similar settings.
  • Living as migratory children in conditions described in previous examples.
  • Living as run-away children, abandoned, or forced out of homes by parents/guardians or caretakers, or separated from parents/guardians for any other reason.
  • Living as school-age parents/guardians in houses for school-age parents/guardians if they have no other living accommodations.

How does McKinney-Vento help these students?

The law ensures that students experiencing homelessness receive a free and suitable public education by removing barriers to school enrollment including full, daily participation in school activities. This includes:

  • Immediate enrollment

  • Free and reduced school lunch

  • Help from the school/district with any necessary enrollment documents

  • Help from school/district in setting up transportation service (if the student qualifies)

  • Help from the school/district with basic school supplies

  • Help from the school/district with any basic clothing needs

  • Help from school/district with basic high school graduation needs and expenses

Where can I find more information for Pennsylvania?

For more information check out the resource links below:

For additional questions, please contact one of the following people listed below.

The Pottsgrove School District Social Workers-  

Mrs. Tiffany Wagner (K-5)

Ms. Kristin Heaney (6-12)