LIAISON FOR HOMELESS STUDENTS
As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), TSBVI shall designate an appropriate staff person, able to carry out the required duties, as the School liaison for homeless children. TSBVI will adopt policies and practices to ensure participation by the liaison in professional development and other technical assistance activities provided and approved by the statewide coordinator for education of homeless children and youths. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)
The Superintendent designates Helen Hollis, LMSW, (Social Worker) as the liaison for homeless children. TSBVI shall inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates working with homeless families, parents and guardians of homeless children, and homeless children of the duties of the liaison. [See Policy FB, FD (for definition of “homeless children”) and Parent Student Handbook]
The liaison shall ensure that:
- Homeless children are identified by school personnel and through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
- Eligible homeless children with visual impairments are enrolled in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in at TSBVI;
- Homeless families and homeless children receive referrals to health care, dental, mental health and substance abuse, housing, and other appropriate services;
- The parents or guardians of homeless children are informed of the available educational and related opportunities and are provided meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
- TSBVI coordinates with local school districts to provide public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and this notice is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such children, and unaccompanied youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form understandable to the parents and guardians of homeless children, and unaccompanied youths;
- Enrollment disputes are mediated;
- The parent or guardian of a homeless child, and any unaccompanied youth, are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, and are assisted in accessing transportation to the school of enrollment;
- School personnel providing services under the McKinney-Vento Act receive professional development and other support; and
- Unaccompanied youths:
- Are enrolled in school;
- Have opportunities to meet the same challenging state academic standards as the state establishes for other children; and
- Are informed of their status as independent students under section 480 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and that the youths may obtain assistance from the liaison to receive verification of such status for purposes of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(6)(A), (B)
Determination of Homeless Status
A liaison who receives training under 42 U.S.C. 11432(F)(6) may affirm, without further action by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that a child who is eligible for and participating in a local school district program, or the immediate family of such a child, who meets the eligibility requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act for an authorized program of service under Title IV of the Act, is eligible for such program or service. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(6)(D)
LIAISON FOR CHILDREN IN STATE CONSERVATORSHIP
TSBVI shall appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison officer to facilitate the enrollment in or transfer to the School of a child who is in the conservatorship of the State and submit the liaison’s name and contact information to TEA in a format and under the schedule determined by the commissioner of education. Helen Hollis (LMSW) is the appointed liaison.
TEA shall provide information to the liaisons on practices for facilitating the enrollment in or transfer of such children who are in the conservatorship of the State.
Education Code 33.904
TRANSITION TO HIGHER EDUCATION
The School, in coordination with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), shall facilitate the transition of each child enrolled in TSBVI who is eligible for a tuition and fee waiver under Education Code 54.366, and who is likely to be in the conservatorship of DFPS on the day preceding the child’s 18th birthday to an institution of higher education by:
- Assisting the child with the completion of any applications for admission or financial aid;
- Arranging and accompanying the child on campus visits;
- Assisting the child in researching and applying for private or institution-sponsored scholarships;
- Assisting the child in registering and preparing for college entrance examinations, including, subject to the availability of funds, arranging for the payment of any examination fees by DFPS; and
- Coordinating contact between the child and a liaison designated by the Higher Education Coordinating Board for students who were formerly in the conservatorship of DFPS.
Family Code 264.1212 [See Policy FFEA]
Transition Assistance for Highly Mobile Students
“Enrollment conference” means a student-centered meeting for a newly enrolled student to identify academic and extracurricular interests; introduce school processes and opportunities for engagement; develop course and instructional strategies; review credits and assessment information; determine social-emotional support; and communicate confidential information that may impact a student’s success, if needed.
“Records” means documents in printed or electronic form that include, but are not limited to, student transcripts; individual course grades; academic achievement records; course credits, whether full or partial; individualized education program referrals; intervention data; immunizations; state assessment scores; student attendance data; disciplinary reports; graduation endorsements; special education/Section 504 committee records; performance acknowledgements; and personal graduation plans.
19 TAC 89.1601(7)–(8)
Transfer of Student Records
The local school district must ensure that copies of student records are made available to TSBVI when students who are homeless or in substitute care transfer.
Each district is required to transfer student records within ten working days of receipt of a request from which a student who is homeless or in substitute care enrolls, as required by Education Code 25.002(a-1) [see Policy FD]. The discretionary authority under Education Code 31.104(d) [see Policy CMD] to withhold records of a student if the student has not returned or paid for instructional materials or technological equipment does not exempt a local district from the mandatory provision to send records to another public school in which the student enrolls.
Proof of enrollment in a different district permits retroactive withdrawal to the date a student enrolled in the new school. The date of enrollment in the new district is considered the date of withdrawal from the previous district.
Student records must be requested, sent, and received using the Texas Records Exchange (TREx) system.
If TSBVI fails to receive the required information within ten working days, the School may report the noncompliant district to the division responsible for TREx Support at TEA.
19 TAC 89.1603
Systems and Procedures
TSBVI shall develop systems to ease transition of a student who is homeless or in substitute care during the first two weeks of enrollment at a new school. These systems shall include the following:
- Welcome packets containing applicable information regarding enrollment in extracurricular activities, club activities, information on fee waivers, tutoring opportunities, the student code of conduct, and contact information for pertinent school staff such as counselors, nurses, social workers, the foster care liaison, the homeless liaison, the principal and any assistant principals, and related contacts;
- Introductions for new students that maintain student privacy and confidentiality to the school environment and school processes by TSBVI faculty and campus-based student leaders; and
- Mechanisms to ensure that a process is in place for all students who qualify to receive nutrition benefits upon enrollment, as all students who are homeless or in substitute care are eligible for United States Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Programs. The process must expedite communication with the School’s nutrition coordinator to ensure that eligible students do not experience delays in receiving these benefits.
19 TAC 89.1605(a)
Pertinent staff members (such as principals, registrars, counselors, designated liaisons, nutrition coordinators, transportation specialists, etc.) should be knowledgeable concerning communication, processes, and procedures for facilitating successful school transitions for students who are homeless or in substitute care.
The TREx, the Personal Identification Database (PID), or the Person Enrollment Tracking (PET) application must be used to expedite coordination and communication between the sending and receiving schools.
19 TAC 89.1605(c)–(d)
TSBVI shall convene an enrollment conference with the student within the first two weeks of enrollment or within the first two weeks after the student is identified as homeless or in substitute care. The convening of the enrollment conference shall not delay or impede the enrollment of the student.
The enrollment conference shall address the student’s credit recovery, credit completion, attendance plans and trauma-informed interventions, interests and strengths, discipline or behavior concerns, previous successes, college readiness, and social and emotional supports as well as district policies relating to transfers and withdrawals and communication preferences with parents or guardians.
The enrollment conference may be comprised of:
- School administrators;
- Homeless or foster care liaison;
- A social worker;
- The relative caregiver, foster placement caregiver, or case manager;
- The DFPS designated educational decision-maker;
- The DFPS caseworker, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer, or other volunteer, as applicable; and
- A parent and/or guardian, unless the caseworker indicates the parent’s and/or guardian’s rights to participate have been restricted by the court.
19 TAC 89.1605(b)
When a student who is homeless or in substitute care enrolls before or during the school year, TSBVI shall initially place the student in educational programs and courses based on the student’s prior enrollment in and current educational assessments from the sending school.
Educational programs include, but are not limited to, bilingual or special language services for English learners, career and technical education, and early college high school.
Course placement includes, but is not limited to, honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical, and career pathway courses.
TSBVI must ensure that a student who is homeless or in substitute care has the ability to earn the same endorsement categories, if applicable. If only one endorsement is offered, it must be multidisciplinary studies.
To the extent possible, TSBVI shall ensure the continuation of a student’s educational and course programs from the previous district and promote placement in academically challenging and career preparation courses.
19 TAC 89.1609
[For award of credit for students who are homeless or in substitute care, see Policy EI. For special education services for students who are homeless or in substitute care, see Policy EHBAA.]
Appropriate TSBVI staff must facilitate the process to complete and submit a University Interscholastic League (UIL) waiver of residence application form for a student who is homeless or in substitute care and plans to participate in varsity athletics or other UIL-sponsored activities.
TSBVI must comply with Education Code 25.001(f) [see Policy FD] and a durational residence requirement may not prohibit a student in substitute care from fully participating in any activity sponsored by the TSBVI.
Students in foster care remaining in their school of origin but residing outside of the district of attendance shall be afforded a waiver, as allowed under UIL Constitution and Contest Rules Section 442: Residence in School District and Attendance Zone.
19 TAC 89.1611
Promotion of Postsecondary Information
TSBVI counselors or other designated staff shall work with the homeless and foster care liaison to ensure that all students who are identified as homeless or in substitute care graduate with endorsements, if applicable, and have postsecondary plans identified in their personal graduation plans, to the extent required [see Policy EIF].
TSBVI counselors or other designated staff must inform unaccompanied homeless youths of their rights and status as independent students for the purpose of applying for financial aid for higher education and provide verification of such status for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), pursuant to 42 United States Code 11432(g)(6)(A)(x).
TSBVI shall ensure that a student in substitute care who is enrolled in grade 11 or 12 is provided information regarding tuition and fee exemptions under Education Code 54.366, for dual-credit or other courses provided by a public institution of higher education for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit.
19 TAC 89.1613
Notice of Events
TSBVI must provide notice in writing to the educational decision-maker and caseworker of a student who is homeless or in substitute care regarding events that may significantly impact the education of the student.
Events that may significantly impact the education of a child include:
- Requests or referrals for an evaluation under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794), or special education under Education Code 29.003 [see Policy EHBAA];
- Admission, review, and dismissal committee meetings [see Policy EHBAB];
- Manifestation determination reviews required by Education Code 37.004(b) [see Policy FOF];
- Any disciplinary actions under Education Code Chapter 37 for which parental notice is required [see Policy FO series];
- Citations issued for Class C misdemeanor offenses on school property or at school-sponsored activities;
- Reports of restraint and seclusion required by Education Code 37.0021 [see Policy FO and FOF];
- Appointment of a surrogate parent for the child under Education Code 29.0151 [see Policy EHBAE];
19 TAC 89.1617; Education Code 25.007(b)(10)
CHILD WELFARE CONTACT
Schools receiving Title 1, Part A funds must collaborate with the state or local child welfare agency to designate a point of contact if the child welfare agency notifies TSBVI, in writing, that the agency has designated Helen Hollis to serve as a point of contact for the School. 20 U.S.C. 6312(c)(5)(A)