School of Origin Information
School Selection* Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), otherwise known as school districts, must, to the extent feasible, keep students in homeless situations in their school of origin (defined as the school the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled), unless it is against the parent’s or guardian’s wishes. (See Transportation, this page, for information on The McKinney-Vento Act At a Glance (continued) transportation to the school of origin.)
Students can continue attending their school of origin the entire time they are homeless and until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing. Students may also choose to enroll in any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend. (See Enrollment, this page.) If a student is sent to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian, the LEA must provide the parent or guardian with a written explanation of its decision and the right to appeal. (See Dispute Resolution, this page.) Local homeless education liaisons must help unaccompanied youth (youth who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian) choose and enroll in a school, after considering the youth’s wishes, and must provide the youth with notice of his/her right to appeal an enrollment choice that goes against his/her wishes. (See Local Liaisons, next page, for the appointment and duties of the local liaison.) Enrollment* LEAs must enroll students in homeless situations immediately, even if they do not have documents normally required for enrollment, such as previous school records, medical or immunization records, proof of residency, birth certificate, proof of guardianship, or other documents. The term “enroll” is defined by the McKinneyVento Act as “attending classes and participating fully in school activities”. Enrolling schools must obtain school records from the previous school, and students must be enrolled in school while records are obtained. If a student does not have immunizations or immunization or medical records, the liaison must immediately assist in obtaining them, and the student must be enrolled in school in the interim. Schools must maintain records for students experiencing homelessness so that they can be transferred promptly to future schools, as needed. States must address barriers resulting from enrollment delays caused by immunization and medical records requirements, residency requirements, lack of birth certificates, school records or other documentation, guardianship issues, or uniform or dress code requirements. States and LEAs must develop, review, and revise their policies to remove barriers to the school enrollment and retention of children and youth in homeless situations.
Dispute Resolution* Every state must establish procedures to resolve disputes regarding the educational placement of homeless students promptly. Whenever a dispute arises, the student must be admitted immediately to the requested school while the dispute is being resolved. If a student is sent to a school other than the school of origin or the school requested by the parent or guardian, the LEA must provide the parent or guardian with a written explanation of its decision and the right to appeal. (See Dispute Resolution, this page.) The school must refer the student, parent, or guardian to the local liaison to carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible. (See Local Liaisons, next page, for the duties of local liaisons.) Local liaisons must ensure that the same access to the dispute resolution process is provided to unaccompanied youth. Transportation* At a parent or guardian’s request, homeless students must be provided with transportation to and from their school of origin. For unaccompanied youth, transportation to and from the school of origin must be provided at the local liaison’s request. If the student’s temporary residence and the school of origin are in the same LEA, that LEA must provide transportation. If the student is living outside the school of origin’s LEA, the LEA where