McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act
The federal definition of homelessness used by all public schools in the United States includes children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition specifically includes children and youth living in shelters, transitional housing, cars, campgrounds, motels, and sharing the housing of others temporarily due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons. This is the same definition of homelessness used by Head Start, special education, child nutrition, and other federal family and youth programs.
The Rights of Homeless Students
Students who meet the definition of "Homeless" and are identified or identify themselves as such have the right to:
At Catoosa Public Schools, students are primarily identified at enrollment or through the school Counselor or Administration Office. Families or students’ who believe that they are homeless, should identify themselves as such to the school Counselor.
Parents/Guardians/Students who feel that their request to enroll has been incorrectly denied or wish to contest their child's placement should be encouraged to contact the Director of Federal Programs for consultation.
Should the final result of the district dispute process be unsatisfactory to the parent/guardian/student, they may appeal the district’s final decision by contacting the State Homeless Liaison at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Catoosa Public Schools is required to identify a person to act as a Homeless Liaison. This person's duties involve training school staff in identification procedures, serving as an advocate for homeless students, arranging for services and arbitrating disputes that may arise.
Catoosa Public Schools – Homeless Liaison: Paula Haueter, Director of Federal Programs
918-266-8617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Foster Care Plan
The Catoosa Public School District is committed to provide all students with sound educational experiences, We recognize that foster children are at an increased risk of grade retention, gaps in academic achievement, low high school graduation rates and postsecondary enrollment. The provisions promote greater stability for children in foster care so that they can continue their education without disruption, maintain important relationships with peers and adults, and have the opportunity to achieve college and career readiness.
The educational stability includes assurance that:
Enrollment of Foster Care Students
Foster care parents, social workers or other legal guardians will be allowed to immediately enroll children in Catoosa Public Schools. We understand that all necessary paperwork (birth certificates, shot records, academic records, special education records, etc.) may not be immediately available and want to provide a smooth transition for the student into our district. Catoosa Public Schools will contact the home school district for the records and make adaptations as needed. After enrollment the following guardianship or legal custody documents shall be provided for verification by the foster family or Child Welfare Agency (CWA).
Power of attorney, affidavit, court orders, etc.
The IDEA, Part B directs shool districts must make a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) available to all eligible children with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). FAPE under IDEA includes the provision of special education and related services at no cost to the parents in accordance with a properly developed Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each child’s placement decision must be made by a group of knowledgeable persons.
The Catoosa Public School District will operate in accordance with all state and federal laws regarding special education students. Special education services will be provided to foster care students as they are to all students following the guidelines below:
Catoosa Public School District will ensure that EL students in foster care will participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs by doing the following:
The Catoosa Public School District will collaborate with the Child Welfare Agency (CWA) to develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation is provided to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin. Catoosa Public School District will also work with Child Welfare Agency to reach an agreement in regards to covering the transportation costs. The agreement will cover how the transportation will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the child’s time in foster care. Each agreement can/will vary greatly because the needs of each child should be considered in making the decision on transportation.
Catoosa Public Schools will share educational records with CWA that are allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This allows educational agencies to disclose without parental consent educational records, include IDEA, of students in foster care to State and Tribal agencies.
Foster Care Liaison - Paula Haueter
Catoosa Public Schools