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Dorchester County Public Schools

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McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Enrollment

If you are experiencing homelessness, contact the Office of Student Services at 410-228-4747, extension 1055 for help in enrolling your child in a new school or arranging for your child to continue in his/her former school.

Enrollment of Homeless Students:

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in December 2015 by Title IX, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ensures that all homeless children and youth, including preschoolers, have equal access to the same free, appropriate educational programs as provided to all other children and youth.

The McKinney-Vento Act is in place to eliminate educational barriers facing homeless children and youth and to protect them from discrimination on the basis of their homelessness. Homeless children and youth experience barriers associated with transportation, proof of residency, immunization, providing birth certificates and obtaining school records, lack of privacy or study space, continuity in school curriculum and instruction, clothing, and school supply needs.

In order to comply with the intent of the McKinney-Vento Act, the Student Services Office will assist in facilitating the enrollment of any children presented as homeless. The Student Services Office will investigate each case for validation of the homeless status and work with the school and family as soon as possible to assist with the registration process and other needs as determined to exist that may require school system support.

Definition of Homeless:

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

Students who experience homelessness have rights under the McKinney -Vento Homeless Education Act. If your family lives in any of the following situations:

  • In a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground
  • On the street
  • In an abandoned building, trailer, or other inadequate accommodations, or
  • Doubled up with friends or relatives because you cannot find or afford housing
  • Living with a parent who is a migratory agricultural worker.

Homeless Appeal Process:

School must provide a written explanation if a dispute arises over enrollment or school placement.  You may appeal the school’s decision.  To do so, please refer to Dorchester County Public School’s appeal process. Dorchester County Public School's Appeal Process

Resources for Families and Students