Section J - Students
Policy Title: Admission of Students in Foster Care
Policy Code: JFABDA
Print Version (in PDF)
Educational Rights of Children in Foster Care
This policy is intended to direct compliance with Arizona State Laws, Arizona Administrative Code, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Foster Care provisions.
The implementation of this policy shall assure that:
- children in foster care are not stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as foster children;
- children in foster care are immediately enrolled in their school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in such child’s best interest to attend the school of origin, which decision shall be based on all factors relating to the child’s best interest, including consideration of the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement;
- when a determination is made that it is not in such child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child is immediately enrolled in a new school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment;
- the enrolling school shall immediately contact the school last attended by any such child to obtain relevant academic and other records
- transportation is provided to and from the school of origin or school of placement for the foster child as applicable:
- Children in Foster Care attending school of origin: The Superintendent shall develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation to maintain children in foster care in their school of origin (when in their best interest) will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the time in foster care. See Regulation JFABDA-R2, “Arrangement and Funding of Transportation for Children in Foster Care to School of Origin”;
- Children in Foster Care attending school of placement: Policy EEA Student Transportation in School buses; and
- Tucson Unified School District will work with the Department of Child Safety (DCS)or tribal agency to ensure that the provisions of ESSA relating to foster children are implemented.
The term "children in foster care" means children who are under twenty-four (24) hour substitute care while placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the Child Welfare Agency (DCS or tribal agency) has placement and care responsibility.
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.
Point of Contact (POC) for Children in Foster care - (Liaison for Students in Foster Care)
The Superintendent will designate an appropriate staff person of authority as Point of Contact , or Liaison for Students in Foster care, who will carry out duties as assigned, and will assure that the State Foster Care Coordinator is provided the Liaison for Students iin Foster Care’s contact information.
Among the duties of the Liaison for Students in Foster Care will be the responsibility to coordinate activities and programs in the best interest of foster children that will include, but not be limited to, establishment of procedures to:
- Continue the student's education in the school of origin or placement;
- Collaborate with the Child Welfare Agency to maintain school stability;
- Ensure the best interest is determined regarding school selection;
- Ensure necessary transportation is provided, funded, and arranged;
- Ensure immediate enrollment and transfer of records;
- Ensure that foster children are being identified as their own subgroup with student achievement and graduation rate data;
- Oversee data sharing between child welfare agencies and educational agencies in a way that respects student privacy; and
- Ensure school staff are trained on the provisions and educational needs and rights of children in foster care.
Other Relevant Policies and Procedures
Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Foster Care provisions 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 in foster care as provided under law and policy.
ADOPTED: 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 (Foster Care Provisions)
JFABDA-E1, Foster Care Liaison Position.