Section J - Students
Policy Title: Admission of Homeless Students
Policy Code: JFABD
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This policy is intended to direct compliance with Arizona State Laws and Arizona Administrative Code and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001 and should be read as consistent with those documents.
Tucson Unified School District will comply with the above laws by:
- Immediately enrolling homeless students regardless of missing documentation.
- Ensuring homeless children are not stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless.
- Providing transportation to and from the “school of origin” as provided under law and policy.
The term "homeless students" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes:
- students 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;
- students 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;
- students who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- Migratory students who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.
The term "school of origin" means the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled, including preschool.
The term "unaccompanied youth" includes a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Liaison for Homeless Students
The Superintendent will designate an appropriate staff person of authority as liaison for homeless students who will carry out duties as assigned. Among those duties will be the responsibility to coordinate activities and programs in the best interest of homeless students that will include, but not be limited to, establishment of procedures to:
- continue the student's education in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness:
- in any case in which a family becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year; or
- For the remainder of the academic year, if the student becomes permanently housed during an academic year.
- Enroll the student in any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the student is actually living are eligible to attend.
Best Interest of the Homeless Student
In determining the best interest of the homeless student, the school shall:
- To the extent feasible, keep a homeless student in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the student's parent or guardian;
- Provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal, to the homeless student's parent or guardian, if the homeless student is sent to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian; and
In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the liaison for homeless students shall assist in placement or enrollment decisions, considering the views of such unaccompanied youth, and providing notice to such student of the right to appeal.
Other Relevant Policies and Procedures
Implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act requires the coordination with a number of policies and procedures. These policies and procedures are listed below as cross referenced and are incorporated in this policy and these procedures by such reference.
Enrollment preference will be given to children who are homeless as provided under law and policy.
Adopted: March 8, 2005
Revised: December 5, 2012 [cross reference correction only]
Reviewed: March 6, 2013
Revised: March 27, 2020
15-816 Admission Requirements – Definitions
15-816.01 Enrollment policies
15-816.07 District and school immunity
15-821 Admission of children; required age
15-823 Admission residents of other school districts;
15-824 Admission of pupils of other school districts; homeless children; tuition charges;
15-825 Certificate of educational convenience; issuance
42 U.S.C. 11301, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015