Homeless Student Services

Contact

Dr. Chris Daniels, director of special services - (816) 359-4032

Policy JHB - Program for Homeless Students

The Park Hill Board of Education recognizes that homelessness alone should not be sufficient reason to separate students from the mainstream school environment. Therefore, the Park Hill School District, in accordance with state and federal law and the Missouri state plan entitled Meeting the Needs of Missouri’s Homeless Children and Youth, will give special attention to ensure that homeless children in the district have access to free, appropriate public education.

Homeless students are those defined in the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act.

Enrollment and Placement
If a child identified as homeless requests admission to the district, the district will consider the best interest of the child with parental involvement in determining whether the child should be enrolled in the district or, if applicable, transported back to the school of origin. 

Enrollment requirements which may constitute a barrier to the education of a homeless child or youth may be waived at the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee if allowed by law. If the district is unable to determine the grade level of the student because of missing or incomplete records, the district shall administer tests or utilize other reasonable means to determine the appropriate grade level for the child.

Services
Each homeless child or youth shall be provided services comparable to services offered to other students in the district including, but not limited to, transportation services, educational services for which the child meets the eligibility criteria, such as educational programs for disadvantaged, disabled, and gifted and talented students, vocational programs, and school meals programs; before-and-after-school care programs; and programs for students with limited English proficiency.

In the event that it is in the best interest of the homeless child or youth to attend the district of origin, it shall be the responsibility of this district to provide for the transportation of the student. This may be achieved through the transportation services of this district, the district of origin, or another outside agency.

Records
Any records ordinarily kept by the school, including immunization records, academic records, birth certificates, guardianship records, and evaluation for special services or programs of each homeless child or youth shall be maintained so that appropriate services may be given the student, so that necessary referrals can be made, and so that records may be transferred in a timely fashion when homeless children or youth enters a new school district. Copies of records shall be made available upon request to students or parents in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Coordinator

The Board will designate an individual to act as the district’s homeless coordinator to ensure compliance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. According to the Act, the homeless coordinator will “ensure that homeless children and youth enroll and succeed in the schools of that agency; and homeless families, children and youth receive educational services for which they are eligible, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services.” The homeless coordinator will also ensure that disputes regarding the placement or education of homeless children or youth are resolved in a timely fashion.

The district shall inform school personnel, service providers and advocates working with homeless families of the duties of the district homeless coordinator.

Resolving Grievances
Level I - A complaint regarding the placement or education of a homeless child or youth shall first be presented orally and informally to the district’s homeless coordinator. If the complaint is not promptly resolved, the complainant may present a formal written complaint (grievance) to the homeless coordinator. The written charge must include the following information: date of filing, description of alleged grievances, the name of the person or persons involved and a recap of the action taken during the informal charge state. Within five (5) working days after receiving the complaint, the coordinator shall state a decision in writing to the complainant, with supporting evidence and reasons. In addition, the coordinator will inform the Superintendent or his/her designee of the formal complaint and the disposition.

Level II - Within five (5) working days after receiving the decision at Level I, the complainant may appeal the decision to the Superintendent or his/her designee by filing a written appeal package. This package shall consist of the complainants’ grievance and the decisions rendered at Level I. The Superintendent or his/her designee will arrange for a personal conference with the complainant at their earliest mutual convenience. Within five (5) working days after receiving the complaint, the Superintendent or his/her designee shall state a decision in writing to the complainant, with supporting evidence and reasons.

Level III - If resolution is not reached in Level II, a similar written appeals package shall be directed through the Superintendent or his/her designee to the Board requesting a hearing before the Board at the next regularly scheduled or specially called meeting. The hearing before the Board may be conducted in closed session upon the request of either the Board or the complainant. Within thirty (30) working days after receiving the appeals package, the Board shall state its decision and reply in writing to the parties involved. For district purposes, the decision of the Board is final.

Level IV - If the complainant is dissatisfied with the action taken by the school district, a written notice stating the reasons for the dissatisfaction may be filed with the state director of special federal instructional programs. The state director will initiate an investigation, determine the facts relating to the complaint, and issue notice of his or her findings within thirty (30) days to the school district and the complainant. If the findings support the action taken by the school district, such action will be confirmed. If the findings support the allegations of the complainant, the school district will be directed to take corrective action. An appeal of this decision can be made within ten (10) days to the Deputy Commissioner of Education. Within thirty (30) days after receiving an appeal, the Deputy Commissioner of Education will render a final administrative decision and notify the complainant and all other interested parties in writing.