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Federal Programs

Homeless (McKinney Vento Homeless Education Act)
McKinney Vento



The Lowndes County Board of Education provides homeless education services to students who meet the criteria for homeless services.  Homeless students are not denied participation into any program or services provided to other students.  No distinction is made between homeless and non homeless students.  Students are selected to participate in programs based on specific criteria of the program for which they are seeking to participate.

Homeless children and youth will be provided the opportunity to receive a free and appropriate public education regardless of their residency status.  The program will ensure that these students are afforded equal access to academic and other services that will allow them to meet the same challenging state achievement standards as non-homeless students.

The program provides procedural guidelines to ensure that homeless students are not denied enrollment due to lack of registration documentation at the time of enrollment.  Homeless children and youth, including preschool age children, will be enrolled immediately pending obtainment of the necessary documents.  The school counselor will assist parents, guardians, or unaccompanied youth in obtaining the proper documentation. 

The program provides for the homeless liaison who will ensure program implementations and coordinate efforts to ensure that homeless children and youth, including preschool age children, are provided the opportunity for academic success. 



The Lowndes County Public Schools adheres to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Subtitle-B- Education for the Homeless Children and Youth), reauthorized in January 2002.  Lowndes County Public Schools ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness.  Homeless students will not be prohibited from enrolling in school due to barriers such as:

  • Residency Requirements
  • Lack of Social Security Card
  • Lack of Birth Certificate
  • Lack of Immunizations or Record of Immunizations
  • Legal Custody Requirements
  • Transportation
  • Language Barriers
  • Disabilities


For the purpose of identifying homeless children and youth, the Lowndes County Public School System shall use the McKinney- Vento Act’s definition of homeless children and youth.  The Act defines homeless children and youth (twenty-one years of age and younger) as:

  • Child or youth without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes students who are:
  • Living with a friend, relative, or someone else because they have lost their home or their family is having temporary financial difficulties;
  • Staying in a motel, hotel, campground because they have nowhere else to go;
  • Living in a shelter;
  • Living in places not ordinarily used for sleeping, including cars, parks, public places , abandoned buildings, bus, or train stations;
  • Students on their own due to:
  • Asked to leave home by a parent;
  • Left home with consent of parent;
  • Have no formal custody papers while parent is in jail, or some other facility;
  • Students who have lost their homes due to disasters, fire, storms, earthquake, etc.
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

The term unaccompanied youth includes a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.  This includes youth living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars on the streets, or in the other inadequate housing, and children and youth denied housing by their families (sometimes referred to as “throwaway” children and youth), and school-age unwed mothers, living in homes for unwed mothers, who have no other housing available.

The school of origin is the school that the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.  

Homeless Enrollment


                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.


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 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.