One of the main goals of the Montoursville Area School District is to help each homeless student have a school life that is as regular as possible during the period of homelessness.
On July 22, 1987, the Stewart B. McKenney Homeless Assistance Act became public law. This was the first comprehensive federal law dealing with the problems of homelessness in America. It is now called the McKenney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements act of 2001. As a first step in 1988, the Pennsylvania Department of Education established the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program. This program has been responsible for assessing Pennsylvania’s homeless children and population, developing the appropriate responses and establishing McKinney-Vento Homeless sites.
Some of the objectives of the Montoursville Area School District are to increase awareness about the needs of homeless children, reveal and overcome possible educational barriers, explain current legislation and policies, and provide assistance and support to families.
Under the McKenney-Vento Act homeless students have certain rights including the following:
- Attend their school of origin or school of current residence
- Remain in their chosen school for the curation of homelessness or the remainder of the academic year if they become permanently housed during tan academic year
- Immediate enrollment
- Transportation to the school of choice
- Immediate access to educational services for which the student is eligible (e.G. Title I, special education, before and after school programs, vocational and technical education or gifted and talented programs).
- Free meals provided by the district through federal, state or local food programs.
- Appeal educational placement decisions made by the district and remain the school of choice pending resolution.
Anyone who is experiencing the following is considered homeless:
- Lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence
- Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Abandoned in hospitals
- Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live
- Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, etc.
- Youth on their own who lack a fixed, adequate and regular primary nighttime residence (unaccompanied youth)
- Migratory Children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.
For further assistance, contact Christina Bason, Homeless Liaison, 570-368-2491 or email at email@example.com