Authorized under Federal law through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, the Students In Transition Program (S.I.T.) provides services to ensure identified homeless children and youth have access to a free and appropriate public education by removing barriers due to homelessness.
The S.I.T. program is administered through Student Services. The S.I.T. Team includes a designated Homeless Liaison, Social Worker, and Data Entry Operator. In addition, each school has a designated Homeless Advocate who assists their school in implementing federal law and district policy requirements relating to the education of homeless children and youth.
The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that defines the education rights of homeless children and youth and the responsibilities of Local Education Agencies (LEAs). If you qualify as homeless, you have the following rights under the McKinney-Vento Act:
Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, a child or youth is considered homeless if he or she lacks a fixed, adequate, or regular nighttime residence.
Living situations may be complicated, therefore families and unaccompanied youth reporting homelessness should complete a domicile form/residency questionnaire at any school site and contact S.I.T. who will determine eligibility. Children and youth living in the following circumstances will likely be eligible for rights under homeless status and services through S.I.T.:
Living situations that are not considered homeless under the Act include:
Homeless students and families are often reluctant to admit to homelessness. Therefore, LEA’s are required to seek out and identify homeless children and youth. To this end, the S.I.T. Team works with community agencies to identify and enroll homeless children and youth. The S.I.T. Team ensures that school-based staff follows district procedures to identify enrolled students who become homeless. Homeless children and youth are also identified when they enroll in school.
The youth, parent, or guardian completes a Domicile/Student Residency Questionnaire form (English / Spanish). You may get the form by clicking on your preferred language, in an enrollment packet at any school site, or by requesting this form from school-based staff. Submit the form to the front office at any school site that will fax the form to the S.I.T. Office. Once received, the S.I.T. Team will determine eligibility and if eligible will designate statue in the district database and send a memo to district Food and Nutrition services authorizing student's participation in the free meal program.
Yes. A child or youth has the right to immediately enroll in school, even if missing required documentation. The school and the S.I.T. office will assist you in obtaining the required documentation.
Homeless students may want to attend the school of origin rather than attend the current zoned school. In this case, school staff will refer the youth or family’s request to the S.I.T. Office. The S.I.T. Team will consult with the parent, unaccompanied youth and school-based staff to determine the school placement choice that is in the best interest of the child/youth. The following factors will be considered:
If the S.I.T. Team approves continued placement at the student’s school of origin, the youth or family has the right to request transportation to the school of origin. The S.I.T. team will submit a request to the Transportation Department. Once approved, the S.I.T. Team will notify relevant school staff, the parent or unaccompanied youth of route information. In the event of denial, the S.I.T. team will notify the parent or unaccompanied youth of the determination and appeal process.
The S.I.T. Team works to ensure that homeless students receive the services to which they are entitled such as immediate school enrollment, assistance with transportation to the school of origin and free meals.
Yes. Families of homeless students receive a comprehensive resource packet that includes information detailing how to contact agencies within the community for assistance with basic needs. S.I.T. has a stock of hygiene items and emergency clothing available to homeless students so that they may attend school. In addition, S.I.T. staff is available to assist with school placement decisions and school enrollment disputes.
If you or your family does not agree with a S.I.T. Team decision, you may appeal by following the Dispute Resolution Procedure.
Click on any of the following to learn more:
You can read the school board policies regarding homeless students on our NEOLA School Board Policies Site. Specific information regarding homeless students can be found in Section 5111.01, which can be found at http://www.neola.com/pasco-fl/search/policies/po5111.01.htm.