SPECIAL RULES FOR ENROLLING HOMELESS STUDENTS
The Lowndes County Public Schools will immediately enroll homeless students, allowing them to attend classes and participate fully in school activities. These students will be enrolled even if they do not have records or other items that are usually required for non homeless students. These records may include:
- Immunizations or immunization records
- Physical Examinations
- Academic Records
- Proof of Residency
- A parent or legal guardian
- Birth Certificate
The school may try to obtain these required records, but there will be times when the school will never be able to obtain these records. The Liaison will help the homeless students to get the immunizations they need. If the family or youth can not obtain the records, it will not become a barrier to the student’s enrollment or school attendance. The McKinney-Vento Act must be followed even if there are state and local laws or policies that conflict with the Act. If the laws or policies conflict with the McKinney-Vento Act the laws or policies must change.
The Lowndes County Public Schools ensures that homeless students have equal access to school programs and services offered to non homeless students. Homeless students will not be denied tutoring, before and after school programs, vocational education, gifted education, free or reduced fee lunch and breakfast. Parents of the homeless do not have to fill out proof of income for the student to receive the free or reduced fee lunch or breakfast. The Liaison will provide the nutrition official a list of homeless students who need meals.
The Lowndes County Public Schools will ensure that homeless preschool children have access to preschool programs such as Head Start. However, all preschool students may not be able to attend preschool programs because of limited space for enrollment. The Liaison will work with preschool providers to find a solution which may include reserving space for homeless preschoolers.
The Lowndes County Public Schools ensures that Homeless students needing special services will receive those services. When a parent, guardian, or youth enrolls a student and indicates that the student was receiving special education services, the Liaison will immediately try to obtain those special education records. If the records are not forth coming within 30 days, a referral will be made immediately for an evaluation. If the student meets criteria for services, those services will be provided.
TITLE 1 SERVICE
All Lowndes County Schools are Title 1 schools; therefore, all students enrolled in the system get Title 1 services.
Lowndes County Public Schools adheres to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Unless the school has parent permission, no information about the student can be given out to people who are not involved in the student’s education.
The Lowndes County Public Schools ensures that no school official will contact companies, landlords, or others to find out about student records or information about a student’s homeless state without permission given by the parent.
DISAGREEMENTS AND DISPUTES
Disagreements between the school and a parent, guardian, or youth must be handled through the Liaison. The parent must submit in writing their complaint to the Liaison. The School must provide the parent a written document explaining its decision and the family’s right to file an appeal. The student must be allowed to enroll in school and receive necessary services until the dispute is resolved. The dispute must be resolved as quickly as possible.
In the case where the dispute is not resolved to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent has the right to contact the state coordinator for the Homeless to present their case.
For more information contact: Dr. Renata Hollins, Coordinator or Kizzy Rudolph, Liason at (334) 548-2131.