The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that provides educational supports and services for students experiencing homelessness. Attending school and accessing supplies and/or school-sponsored activities may be difficult during a time of transition or while living in temporary housing. The purpose of the McKinney-Vento Act is to support school access, school stability and academic success for students residing in transitional living situations.
Chesterfield County Public Schools will ensure that all students who are experiencing homelessness shall have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youth and are given meaningful opportunities to succeed in school. Homeless children and youth shall not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless.
Students may be eligible for McKinney-Vento supports and services if they are living in the following situations:
- Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
- Living in a hotel, campground or trailer due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Living in an emergency or transitional shelter
- Having a primary nighttime residence that is a place not designed for sleeping
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, there are specific rights that a student has:
- Enroll in school immediately, even if you do not have all of the required documents
- Attend classes while the school gathers needed documents
- Enroll in the local school or continue attending the school of origin (the school attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled)
- If the school district believes that the school selected is not in the best interest of the student then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision
- Transportation to and from the school of origin if requested
- Educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to the student’s needs
- Free school breakfast and lunch and school fee waivers
To assist families during this time of transition, McKinney-Vento packets of information are available at all Chesterfield County schools. For further assistance, contact the McKinney-Vento support specialist at 639-8713.