501.16 Homeless Children and Youth

The Central Decatur Community School Districtbelieves all students should have access to a free, appropriate public education. The district will ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as other children and youth.

The term “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes:

  • Children and youth who are:
    • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as “doubled up”);
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • Living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
    • Abandoned in hospitals.
  • Children and youth 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 youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

To help ensure that homeless children and youth have a full opportunity to enroll, attend, and succeed at school, the board shall:

  • Designate the School Counselor as the local homeless children and youth liaison;
  • Provide training opportunities for staff so staff may help identify and meet the needs of homeless children and youth;
  • Remove barriers, including those associated with fees, fines, and absences, to the identification, enrollment, retention, attendance and/or success in school for homeless children and youth;
  • Ensure collaboration and coordination with other service providers;
  • Ensure transportation is provided in accordance with legal requirements;
  • Provide school stability in school assignment according to the child’s best interests;
  • Ensure the privacy of student records, as provided by applicable law, including information about a homeless child or youth’s living situation;
  • Engage in the dispute resolution process for decisions relating to the educational placement of homeless children and youth as provided by applicable law; and
  • Prohibit the segregation of a homeless child or youth from other students enrolled in the district.

The superintendent may develop an administrative process or procedures to implement this policy.

Legal Reference:       20 U.S.C. § 6301.

                                    42 U.S.C. § 11302.

                                    42 U.S.C. §§ 11431 et seq.     

                                    281 I.A.C. 33.

Cross Reference:      501      Student Attendance

                                    503.3   Fines – Fees – Charges

                                    506      Student Records

                                    507.1   Student Health and Immunization Certificates

                                    603.3   Special Education

                                    711.1   Student School Transportation Eligibility

Approved 10/20/2021                         Reviewed                                             Revised