Other Information

Definition

Children and youth in transition are defined as “children and youth who are otherwise legally entitled to or eligible for a free public education, including preschool.” The term youth refers to an unaccompanied youth that is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian including youth who have aged out of the foster care system or have recently been released from a juvenile or penal institution. By definition, these children and youth lack a fixed (residence that is stationary and not subject to change), regular (residence used on a regular i.e. nightly basis), and adequate (residence that is sufficient to meet the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments) nighttime residence” as identified based upon the following situations:

  • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as "doubled up").
  • Children and youth who are living in motels, hotels, campgrounds, or trailer parks due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
  • Children and youth who are living in emergency or transitional shelters.
  • Children or youth who are abandoned in hospitals.
  • Children or youth who are waiting for foster care placement.
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  • Children and youth who are living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or a similar setting.
  • Migratory children and youth who are living in a situation described above.
A child or youth will be considered to be in transition for as long as he or she lives in a situation described above.

How We Identify Students in Transition

In collaboration with school personnel and community organizations, the Selma City Schools District will identify children and youth in transition who attend schools within the district. The local liaison will train school personnel on possible indicators of homelessness, sensitivity in identifying families and youth as in transition, and procedures for forwarding information indicating homelessness to the district’s homeless coordinator. School registrars and secretaries will assist in the identification of our students and youth in transition by inquiring about possible homelessness upon the enrollment of every student. McKinney Vento Questionnaires are available at each school in the guidance office. All information indicating homelessness will be forwarded to the homeless coordinator for assessment to determine eligibility.

The Selma City School District currently partners with the SABRA Sanctuary, the Department of Human Resources, local churches and other social and civic agencies and organizations to assist in the identification and provision of services for our identified students and youth in transition. The Selma City Schools homeless coordinator will keep data on the number of children and youth in transition within the district; where they are living; their academic achievement (including performance on state-and district-wide assessments); and the reasons for any enrollment delays, interruptions in their education, or school transfers. This information will be provided to the local schools and other district personnel that will be responsible for ensuring that the rights of these students are protected and that appropriate services are afforded these students.

Enrollment Procedures for Students in Transition

As mandated by the McKinney Vento Assistance Law, the Selma City School District will not delay or deny students or youth in transition the opportunity to enroll in school in a timely manner. Students and youth in transition, which includes unaccompanied youth, will be enrolled immediately and will not be denied or delayed enrollment due to the following reasons:

  • Inability to produce the required proofs of residency
  • Inability to produce transcripts/school records
  • Inability to produce proof of immunizations
  • Inability to produce proof of guardianship
  • Inability to produce birth certificates/social security cards
  • Inability to produce any other document requirements
  • Unpaid school fees
  • Lack of uniforms or clothing that conforms to dress codes
  • Any factor related to the student's living situation

Students without Social Security numbers will be assigned a temporary identification number based upon the procedure established by the district's attendance office. Unaccompanied students will be permitted to enrol1 themselves or they may be enrolled by a parent, non-parent caregiver, older sibling, or a representative from a local agency or organization. If a student in transition does not have the appropriate documentation for enrollment, the local school will assist in obtaining these records by contacting the student's previous school to obtain school records or by contacting other local agencies or organizations. Until the student's records are obtained, the student will be placed based on the student's age and information gathered from the student, parent, and previous schools or teachers. The local school must also provide assistance in helping the students in transition obtain immunizations/ immunization records, and other medical records from previous schools, state registries, and local agencies such as the health department, Social Security office, or the Department of Human Resources. McKinney Vento Funds awarded to the district will be allocated to pay fees associated with the acquisition of these documents as needed.

When enrolling students in transition, the local schools will make inquiries to see if there are preschool-aged children in the family. This effort helps indentify preschoolers in transition. Since IDEA mandates that preschoolers in transition who have disabilities are identified and evaluated, the homeless coordinator will work with the Special Education department to assist in providing services to these preschoolers.

Services We provide Students in Transition

The Selma City Schools District will provide children and youth in transition who are enrolled in our local schools with services that are comparable to services offered to their non-homeless counterparts, including:

  • Transportation 
  • Title I Services
  • Educational services for which the students meet eligibility criteria, including Special Education and related services and programs for English Language Learners
  • Vocational and Career Technical Education programs
  • Gifted and Talented programs
  • Before-and After-school programs
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Tutorial
  • Prekindergarten Programs
The Selma City Schools District will adjust attendance policies and procedures to excuse tardies and/or absences that are related to a student's homelessness. The district will follow state procedures to ensure that youth in transition and youth who are out of school are identified and accorded equal access to appropriate secondary education and support services. When medical services or other referrals are necessary for a student in transition, local school personnel facilitate and coordinate the referral process with appropriate agencies in a timely manner. The district's homeless coordinator will assist the school in making appropriate referrals, as needed.

Provision of Services for Transition Students with Disabilities

Research has proven that children and youth in transition may suffer from disabilities. Because the lack of a stable home environment causes these students to be transient, many times children and students in transition are not properly identified, evaluated or provided appropriate special education and related services. The Selma City Schools District will provide timely and immediate services for students in transition who are suspected of having a disability. The student will be referred to the Problem Solving Team and the tiered instruction process established in the Response to Instructional plan will be implemented. Additionally, the local school will contact the student’s prior and subsequent schools as necessary to ensure that the student’s needs are met in a timely manner. Students that are in transition and have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be serviced through planning, IEP meetings, and evaluating. 

Transportation of Students in Transition

Currently, the Selma City Schools District only provides transportation for Special Education students. However, to ensure that our students in transition are able to attend school on time and on a daily basis, the district’s homeless coordinator will work collaboratively with the transportation services department to provide transportation for students in transition to and from their school of choice. If a student in transition moves outside of the Selma City Schools District into an area zoned for a neighboring district and the student chooses to remain at a school zoned for our district, the district will coordinate with the neighboring district to provide transportation services so that the student can remain at his/her school or origin. The district will also work collaboratively with a neighboring district to provide transportation to students in transition who live within Selma City Schools District but desire to attend school in a neighboring district.

Nutrition for Students in Transition

As established by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, all students in transition are eligible to receive free meals through the Child Nutrition Program. The Selma City Schools Homeless Coordinator will coordinate services with the Selma City Schools Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Coordinator in order to provide immediate services to identified students in transition. Upon identification of students in transition that are attending schools within the Selma City Schools District, local school homeless rosters will be provided to the CNP Coordinator.

Dispute Resolution

A parent/guardian of a homeless student has the right to enroll his/her child(ren) in either the “school of origin,” which may be the last school attended when permanently housed (to the extent reasonably feasible, and if in the best interest of the homeless student) or the school which serves the location where the student currently resides. The school must provide the parent/guardian, or unaccompanied student, written information regarding school selection or enrollment options available to homeless students under the McKinney-Vento Act.

If a school selection or enrollment dispute develops over the selection or enrollment options available pursuant to the McKinney-Vento Act, the school must immediately enroll the homeless student to the school in which enrollment is sought by the parent/guardian, pending resolution of the dispute. In the case of an unaccompanied student, the district homeless coordinator will ensure that the student is immediately enrolled in the school pending resolution of the dispute.

In order to initiate the dispute resolution process, the Selma City Schools McKinney Vento Student Dispute Resolution Form must be completed and filed with the principal of the school wherein the student is currently enrolled.

After receipt of the Selma City Schools McKinney Vento Student Dispute Resolution Form, the school principal shall meet with the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student in an effort to resolve the school selection or enrollment dispute. If a school selection or enrollment resolution is not reached at the school level, the school principal must notify the district's homeless coordinator of the dispute, and refer the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student to the district homeless coordinator.

The district's homeless coordinator shall meet with the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student in an effort to resolve the school selection or enrollment dispute. Within ten (10) business days of the meeting, the district's homeless coordinator shall provide the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student a written decision regarding the school selection or enrollment decision. The decision shall also include a statement regarding the right to file a complaint with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE).

Complaints to the ALSDE shall be in writing and signed by the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student and mailed or delivered to:

State Homeless Coordinator

Alabama State Department of Education

5348 Gordon Persons Building

50 North Ripley Street  Montgomery, AL  36104-2101    

The State Homeless Coordinator will inform the involved school district(s) of the complaint. The Coordinator will gather needed information and statements of the parties involved and may conduct an independent investigation through an on-site if necessary.

The State Homeless Coordinator, in consultation with other state officials, will render a written decision and inform the interested parties.

If the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student disagrees with the decision rendered by the ALSDE, the parent/guardian or unaccompanied student has the right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

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