Rights and Services for Homeless and Unhoused Students

To the extent practical and as required by law, the school will work with homeless students and their families to provide them with equal access to the same free, appropriate education (including public preschool education) provided to other students. Special attention will be given to ensuring the identification, enrollment, and attendance of homeless students not currently attending school, as well as mitigating educational barriers to their academic success. Additionally, the school will take reasonable steps to ensure that homeless students are not stigmatized or segregated in a separate school or in a separate program within a school on the basis of their homeless status.

Homeless students will be provided services for which they are eligible, including Head Start and comparable pre-school programs, Title I, similar state programs, special education, bilingual education, vocational and technical education programs, gifted and talented programs and school nutrition programs.

Homeless students are defined as lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including those students who are:

  1. Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  2. Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  3. Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
  4. Abandoned in hospitals;
  5. Living in public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation;
  6. Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations or similar settings; or
  7. Migratory children living in conditions described in the previous examples.

The superintendent will designate an appropriate staff person to be the school’s McKinney-Vento liaison for homeless students and their families. The liaison may simultaneously serve as a coordinator for other federal programs, provided that they are able to carry out the duties listed in the procedure that accompanies this policy.

If the school has identified more than ten unaccompanied youth, meaning youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and including youth living on their own in any of the homeless situations described in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, the principal of each middle and high school building will establish a point of contact for such youth. The point of contact is responsible for identifying homeless and unaccompanied youth and connecting them with the school’s homeless student liaison. The school’s homeless student liaison is responsible for training the building points of contact.

Best Interest Determination

Best Interest Determination

In making a determination as to which school is in the homeless student’s best interest to attend, the school will presume that it is in the student’s best interest to remain enrolled in their school of origin unless such enrollment is against the wishes of a parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth.

Attendance options will be made available to homeless families on the same terms as families resident in the school, including attendance rights acquired by living in attendance areas, and other student assignment policies.

If there is an enrollment dispute, the student will be immediately enrolled in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute. The parent or guardian will be informed of the school’s decision and the reasons therefor, (or informed if the student does not qualify for McKinney-Vento, if applicable) and their appeal rights in writing and in a language they can understand. The school’s liaison will carry out dispute resolution as provided by state policy. Unaccompanied youth will also be enrolled pending resolution of the dispute.

Once the enrollment decision is made, the school will immediately enroll the student, pursuant to school policies. However, enrollment may not be denied or delayed due to the lack of any document normally required for enrollment, including academic records, medical records, proof of residency, mailing address or other documentation, or denied or delayed due to missed application deadlines or fees, fines or absences at a previous school.

If the student does not have immediate access to immunization records, the student will be admitted under a personal exception. Students and families should be encouraged to obtain current immunization records or immunizations as soon as possible, and the school liaison is directed to assist. Records from the student’s previous school will be requested from the previous school pursuant to school policies. Emergency contact information is required at the time of enrollment consistent with school policies, and in compliance with the state’s Address Confidentiality Program when necessary. However, the school cannot demand emergency contact information in a form or manner that creates a barrier to enrollment and/or attendance at school.

Homeless students are entitled to transportation to their school of origin or the school where they are to be enrolled.

The school’s liaison for homeless students and their families will coordinate with local social service agencies that provide services to homeless children and youths and their families; other school districts on issues of transportation and records transfers; and state and local housing agencies responsible for comprehensive housing affordability strategies. This coordination includes providing public notice of the educational rights of homeless students where such children and youth receive services under the McKinney-Vento Act, such as schools, family shelters and soup kitchens. The notice must be disseminated in a manner and form that parents, guardians and unaccompanied youth receiving such services can understand, including, if necessary and to the extent feasible, in their native language. The school’s liaison will also review and recommend amendments to policies that may act as barriers to the enrollment of homeless students and will participate in professional development and other technical assistance activities, as determined by the state-level coordinator for homeless children and youth programs.

The superintendent will use a variety of communications each year to notify students and families about services and support available to them if they experience homelessness (e.g., distributing and collecting a universal annual housing intake survey, providing parent brochures directly to students and families, announcing the information at school-wide assemblies, posting information on the school’s website).

Facilitating On-Time Grade Level Progression

Facilitating On-Time Grade Level Progression

The school will: 1) waive specific courses required for graduation for students experiencing homelessness if similar coursework has been satisfactorily completed in another school; or 2) provide reasonable justification for denial of the waiver. In the event the school denies a waiver and the student would have qualified to graduate from their sending school district, the school will provide an alternative process of obtaining required coursework so that the student may graduate on time.

The school will consolidate partial credit, unresolved, or incomplete coursework and will provide students experiencing homelessness with opportunities to accrue credit in a manner that eliminates academic and nonacademic barriers for the student.

For students who have been unable to complete an academic course and receive full credit due to withdrawal or transfer, the school will grant partial credit for coursework completed before the date of the withdrawal or transfer. When the school receives a transfer student in these circumstances, it will accept the student’s partial credits, apply them to the student’s academic progress or graduation or both, and allow the student to earn credits regardless of the student’s date of enrollment in the school .

In the event a student is transferring at the beginning of or during their junior or senior year of high school and is ineligible to graduate after all alternatives have been considered, the school will work with the sending district to ensure the awarding of a diploma from the sending district if the student meets the graduation requirements of the sending district.

In the event a student enrolled in three or more school districts as a high school student, has met state requirements, has transferred to the school , but is ineligible to graduate from the school after all alternatives have been considered, the school will waive its local requirements and ensure that the student receives a diploma.

Legal References

  • 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA]
  • 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq. McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
Summit Public Schools Homeless and Unhoused Student Liaison

Summit Public Schools Homeless and Unhoused Student Liaison

Summit Public Schools designates the following personnel to serve as student liaisons for on matters relating to homelessness and housing:

Site Contact Information for Liaisons
Summit Public School: Denali (Grades 9-12) Kevin Bock
Executive Director
824 San Aleso Ave.
Sunnyvale, California 94085
Phone: (669) 721-2646
Email: kbock@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Denali (Grades 6-8) William Kim
Executive Director
539 E Weddell Drive
Sunnyvale, California 94089
Phone: (669) 721-2646
Email: wkim@summitps.org
Everest Public High School Jimmy Zuniga
Executive Director
455 5th Avenue
Redwood City, California 94063
Phone: (650) 366-1050
Email: jzuniga@summitps.org
Summit Public School: K2 Megan Lee
Executive Director (Interim)
1800 Elm Street
El Cerrito, California 94530
Phone: (510) 374-4093
Email: melee@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Tamalpais (Grades 9-12) Jareem Gunter
Executive Director
3020 Hilltop Mall Road
Richmond, California 94806
Phone: (510) 374-4185
Email: jgunter@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Tamalpais (Grades 6-8) Joi Jackson
Executive Director
3020 Hilltop Mall Road
Richmond, California 94806
Phone: (510) 374-4185
Email: jjackson@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Shasta Wren Maletsky
Executive Director
905 Campus Dr.
Daly City, California 94015
Phone: (415) 799-4719
Email: wmaletsky@summitps.org
Summit Preparatory Charter School Cady Ching
Executive Director
890 Broadway St.
Redwood City, California 94063
Phone: (650) 556-1110
Email: cching@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Tahoma Jonathan Stewart
Executive Director
285 Blossom Hill Road
San Jose, California 95123
Phone: (408) 729 -1981
Email: jstewart@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Atlas (Grades 7-12) Yesenia Barajas
Dean of Operations
9601 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
Phone: 253-987-1535
Email: ybarajas@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Olympus Kim Combs
Dean of Operations
409 Puyallup
Tacoma, WA 98421
Phone: 253-444-9781
Email: kcombs@summitps.org
Summit Public School: Sierra Nathalia Senhaj
Dean of Operations
1025 S. King Street
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-453-2520
Email: nsenhaj@summitps.org