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Homeless Education Program: MKV Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of homeless children and youth?
The term “homeless child and youth” means:

  • Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; and includes children and youth 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 lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelter (including DC transitional housing); or are abandoned in hospitals;
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public 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.

Can a homeless child enroll in school?
Yes, the child may continue enrollment in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness. The school is the one the child attended prior to becoming homeless or the school in which the child was last enrolled. The child may also enroll in the school for the attendance area where he or she is living temporarily. If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment, the school must immediately enroll the homeless student in the school, pending resolution of the dispute. If the local school cannot resolve the dispute, the school must follow the Dispute Resolution Process, not to exceed 15 days. The local school must provide the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth with a written statement of the school placement decision and the appeal rights.

Whom should be contacted if a dispute arises regarding enrolling a homeless child or youth in school or if other assistance is needed?
The Homeless Education Program has been designed to assist children and youth who are experiencing homelessness and their families regarding educational issues. If a homeless child or youth is experiencing difficulty in enrolling in school, please contact the Homeless Education Program at (202) 654-6123, to obtain referral information for the LEA or school-based homeless liaison for the relevant school or school district where the child/youth attends.

What services are provided by the Homeless Education Program?
The Homeless Education Program provides the following services:

  • Dispute resolution
  • Enrollment assistance
  • Special projects
  • Staff development
  • Interagency collaboration
  • Guidance regarding transportation assistance

Additional Information
For additional information about the homeless education program, return to the Homeless Education Program’s main webpage.

Contact Us
For questions or additional information, please email [email protected] or call (202) 654-6123.

The Homeless Education Program is administered by OSSE’s Office of Special Populations and Programs within the Division of Systems and Supports, K-12.

[Date Posted: May 10, 2023]

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