HOMELESS STUDENT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Winfield School District 34 understands that families undergo difficult financial circumstances that may lead to homeless circumstances. The district is committed to supporting families through these trying times by providing a free and appropriate education to all students regardless of their circumstances.
Educational Rights of Students Who are Homeless
If a Winfield student becomes homeless, District #34 will address the educational needs of the student as outlined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. A homeless child may attend the District school that the child attended when permanently housed or in which the child was last enrolled (Board Policy, 6:140). The District’s “Homeless Liaison”, a designated district staff member, can help with problems related to enrollment, request transportation on behalf of the children, help obtain immunization records and birth certificates, help connect the family with needed resources, and help mediate disputes with the school district. They are also there to help youth without parents or guardians. Shona Dave’, District #34 School Social Worker, is the liaison and can be reached at 630-909-4917. If you think your family may qualify for homeless services, or your family is having financial difficulties, please contact your school principal or the homeless liaison. All information shared will be kept confidential.
McKinney-Vento: Federal Homeless Education Legislation
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act ensures the educational rights and protections of homeless children and youth so that they may enroll in school, attend regularly, and be successful. The legislation requires a local homeless education liaison in every school district to assist children and unaccompanied youth in their efforts to attend school. This act guarantees homeless children and youth the following:
- The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment.
- The right to attend school in his/her school of origin (if this is requested by the parent and is feasible) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing
- The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin, if this is requested by the parent.
- The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services.
- The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness. Segregation based on a student's status as homeless is strictly prohibited
- The posting of homeless students’ rights in all schools and other places around the community.
- Student enrollment will not be delayed due to scheduling issues.
- Student enrollment will not be delayed due to residency documents issues.
- Student enrollment will not be delayed due to guardianship record document issues.
- Students identified as homeless are entitled to fee waivers as identified in Board policy 4:140.
While having the opportunity to enroll and succeed in school may seem like a given to many of us, the McKinney-Vento Act was enacted due to the numerous barriers homeless children faced in obtaining a free, appropriate, public education. It is the goal of the DuPage Regional Office of Education to create public awareness of the rights of homeless children and youth and to ensure compliance with the law at the state and local levels.
Who is homeless?
The term "homeless children and youth" as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act;
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 similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or a 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/train stations, or similar settings,
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described above
Shona Dave’, School Social Worker and Homeless Liaison, Winfield School District #34
Heather Britton, Homeless Student Advocate, DuPage Regional Office of Education
See Board Policy
- 7:60: Student Residency and Enrollment
- 6:140: Education of Homeless Children
- 7:100: Immunization