It is the Board's intent to remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless students in school in accordance with state and federal law. The district shall take reasonable steps to ensure that homeless students are not segregated or stigmatized and that decisions are made in the best interests of the student.
Each homeless student shall be provided services for which the student is eligible, comparable to services provided to other students in the school, regardless of residency, including transportation services, education services, career and technical education programs, gifted education programs, and school nutrition programs.
Homeless students shall be provided access to education and other services that they need to ensure that they have an opportunity to meet the same student performance standards to which all students are held. All educational decisions shall be made in the best interests of the student.
The district shall coordinate with other districts and with local social services agencies and other agencies or programs providing services to homeless students as needed.
The superintendent shall designate at least one staff member in the district to serve as the homeless student liaison and fulfill the duties set forth in state and federal law.
Decisions on enrollment and transportation for homeless students shall be made in accordance with this policy's accompanying regulation, JFABD-R.
NOTE 1: The term "homeless children" is defined in federal law to include the following:
Individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including:
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; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
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 who are living in circumstances described above.
NOTE 2: While the definition of homeless children in Colorado law closely tracks the definition in federal law, the federal law contains the following language which is NOT found in the Colorado law:
"sharing the housing of other persons due to lack of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason"
Colorado school districts that receive federal funds are required to follow the more inclusive federal definition.
LEGAL REFS.: 42 U.S.C. §11431,et seq. (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act - Education for Homeless Children and Youth)
C.R.S. 22-1-102.5 (definition of homeless child)
C.R.S. 22-32-109 (1)(dd) (duty to adopt/revise policies to remove barriers to access and success in schools for homeless children)
C.R.S. 22-33-103.5 (attendance of homeless children)
C.R.S. 26-5.7-101 et seq. (Homeless Youth Act)
Revised: 6/23/09; 3/24/15