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NYS-TEACHS
at Advocates for Children

151 West 30th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10001

TEL 800.388.2014
FAX 212.807.6872

info@nysteachs.org

NYS-TEACHS provides technical assistance to school districts, social service providers, shelters, families, and youth about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [PDF]. Our services include:


Important changes related to McKinney-Vento were included in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The changes went into effect October 1, 2016. For more information about ESSA changes to the McKinney-Vento Act, please see the State Education Department's Field Memo regarding Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act.

As a result of the changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act, amendments were also made to New York State Education Law Section 3209 which went into effect on April 20, 2017. A marked-up verson of Education Law Section 3209 highlighting the changes is available here. For more information about changes to 3209, please see the State Education Department's Field Memo regarding Implementation of Changes to Education Law § 3209 and Commissioner’s Regulation §100.2(x), Education of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.

Please continue to check here for updated information about how new laws will impact policies and procedures in New York State, and as always, feel free to contact NYS-TEACHS at 800-388-2014 with any questions you may have.

New and Noteworthy

NEW! NYSED Field Memo: College Counseling and Access for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

This field memo from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) outlines the responsibilities of Local Education Agencies (LEAs, including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES) to support students in temporary housing in pursuing college or other post-secondary opportunities. The memo identifies best practices and provides helpful resources LEAs can use to satisfy these responsibilites.

NEW! NYSED Field Memo: Applications for Hurricane and Disaster Relief Funding

This May 2018 Field Memo provides information about applying for additional funding from two disaster relief programs: Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students and Assistance for Homeless Children and Youth. These programs were announced in early May by the United States Department of Education to support schools that have enrolled students displaced by recent natural disasters. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES, will be required to complete a survey on the SEDMonitoring platform by June 15, 2018, even if no displaced students have been enrolled.

NEW! 2018 Summer School Memo

This Field Memo from NYSED provides updated information on the responsibility of school districts to provide access to summer school for students in temporary housing, including updated information on transportation.

Housing Questionnaire and Tip Sheet for Head Start Programs

All Head Start Programs must prioritize children who are homelessness for enrollment. They also must collect data on the number of children enrolled who are homeless. This Tip Sheet has information about how Head Start programs can identify children experiencing homelessness and connect them with Head Start Programs. The Housing Questionnaire for Head Start Programs should be used by Head Start staff as a part of the enrollment process to identify any child who is homeless.

Top 10 Resources for Liaisons

Whether you're new to the McKinney-Vento Liaison role or looking for a refresher course, these resources will get you started.

NEW! May 2018 School Success Resource of the Month [Website and Tip Sheets]

Deeper Dives for Schools: Practical Strategies to Serve Young Children Experiencing Homelessness (SchoolHouse Connection)

SchoolHouse connection has partnered with David Douglas School District in Oregon, to create a series of one-page tip sheets designed to provide schools and district staff with practical strategies to serve young children experiencing homelessness. The tip sheets have easy examples of how to take a trauma-sensitive approach. For example, instead of having school sign say "No entry until 8," try instead, “This room will open at 8:00 am. You are welcome to go to _________ if you arrive before then." This creates a safe and supportive environment for all students.

NEW! Annotated Form Notice of Petition for an Appeal Involving a Homeless Child and Youth [PDF]

When a dispute arises, McKinney-Vento liaisons must help the parent or youth appeal to the Commissioner of Education using this form. The version above contains helpful notes explaining how to fill out each blank on the form. Liaisons, parents, and youth may use this document as a guide when filling out the Form Notice of Petition during McKinney-Vento disputes. A Microsoft Word version of the Petition may be used if the parent or liaison would like to fill out the form electronically.

NEW! Sample Local Educational Agency McKinney-Vento Policy [Word Doc] and the accompanying Field Memo [PDF]

On March 16, 2018, the New York State Education Department released an updated version of its Sample Local Educational Agency McKinney-Vento Policy. This new version reflects changes made by the reauthorization of McKinney-Vento Act under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and New York Education Law § 3209 on the Education of Homeless Children. LEAs, including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES are encouraged to use this as a guide when developing their own local board policies for serving students in temporary housing.

NEW! Transportation Guide for Students in Temporary Housing [PDF]

This chart provides information on the transportation rights of students in temporary housing attending school in New York State. It includes information on available services, the responsible agency, and funding sources when serving students in many different housing situations, including for students attending charter schools.

NEW! Supporting College Access Checklist [PDF]

This checklist includes strategies McKinney-Vento liaisons and school districts can use to ensure that youth experiencing homelessness have access to college access services and other supports to help ensure that they are ready for post-secondary opportunities.

NEW! Template End-of-Year Letter

Districts are encouraged to check in with parents whose children are McKinney-Vento eligible (or youth themselves in the case of unaccompanied homeless youth) at the end of each school year to determine whether their housing situation has changed and make appropriate arrangements for the next school year if there has been a change. This template letter can be used to reach out to families for this purpose.

Puerto Rico Immunization Registry

Managed by the Puerto Rico Department of Health, this database allows parents to access copies of their family members' immunization records. This may be helpful for parents and students who have recently been displaced by Hurricane Maria.

NYSED Field Memo: Students Displaced by Recent Hurricanes

This October 2017 Field Memo provides information and resources for local educational agencies (LEAs), including school districts, charter schools, and BOCES, regarding the rights of and services available to students displaced by recent Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

NYSED Field Memo: Mandatory McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Training

This September 2017 Field Memo provides information regarding required training for McKinney-Vento liaisons to participate in professional development so that they can better identify and meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness under the federal McKinney-Vento Act. Federal law also requires that McKinney-Vento liaisons ensure that local educational agency (LEA) personnel providing McKinney-Vento services (e.g., superintendents, registrars, transportation directors, CSE chairs, school counselors, school social workers, principals, Title I directors, teachers) receive professional development. Liaisons can do this by either providing the training to staff themselves or by ensuring that LEA staff participate in one of the trainings offered by NYS-TEACHS.

NYSED Field Memo: Implementation of Changes to Education Law §3209 and Commissioner’s Regulation §100.2(x)

This September 2017 Field Memo provides important information about changes to Education Law §3209 and Commissioner’s regulation §100.2(x) impacting how New York State school districts and charter schools provide services to students experiencing homelessness.

Self-Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness

Ounce of Prevention Fund and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released the "Self-Assessment Tool for Early Childhood Programs Serving Families Experiencing Homelessness," a tool designed for child care, Head Start and Early Head Start, and public pre-k programs as a guide for welcoming and supporting families and children experiencing homelessness into these programs. This tool contains recommendations for making early childhood programs more responsive to the unique needs of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families who experience homelessness in five areas: Identification and Support; Removal of Barriers; Responding to Family Needs; Engagement in Strategic Collaboration; and Improving Collection, Reporting and Utilization of Data. The tool includes additional resources to support programs.

Updates to Section 100.2(x) of the Commissioner's Regulations

This memo details the amendments to the Commissioner's Regulation governing homeless education (Section 100.2(x)), which are effective July 1, 2017. They were updated to reflect to the changes in the McKinney-Vento Act as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act and the recent changes to N.Y. Education Law § 3209.

Child Care Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Differential Payment Rates

On April 28, 2017, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services issued this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM), 17 OCFS LCM-05: "Child Care Services for Families Experiencing Homelessness and Differential Payment Rates." The memo has information for social services districts about changes to State regulations. It discusses child care services funded under the New York State Child Care Block Grant (NYSCCBG) and Title XX of the federal Social Security Act. The changes include:

  1. families experiencing homelessness are now a priority population;
  2. certain families experiencing homelessness are now eligible for services when districts have funds available;
  3. families experiencing homelessness are exempt from requirements to contribute to the cost of care;
  4. there is a grace period for children to attend child care programs;
  5. there is a differential payment rate for child care services for children experiencing homelessness; and
  6. amendments to the provisions for differential payment rates to child care providers who are accredited by a nationally recognized child care organization and/or provide care during nontraditional hours.

Amended New York Education Law Section 3209, Education of Homeless Children

On April 20, 2017, important changes to Education Law Section 3209 for the Educationo of Homeless Children went into effect. The changes to Education Law Section 3209 reflect the changes to the federal McKinney-Vento Act that were made as a result of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A clean version of Education Law 3209 is available here. A marked-up version of Education Law 3209 highlighting the changes is available here.

A.G. Schneiderman and State Education Commissioner Elia Advise Schools On Protecting Immigrant Students

After federal immigration-related actions created fear and confusion in New York and across the country, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia reminded school districts on February 27, 2017 of their legal duty to make sure immigrant children can attend New York's public schools without fear of reprisal.

U.S DOE Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Education for Homeless Children and Youths

On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education issued new Non-Regulatory Guidance for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. This Guidance replaces the July 2016 Guidance, and it includes new Q&A about the amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act made by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Guidance also describes promising practices for implementing homeless education requirements at the State and local levels.

NYSED Field Memo: Educational Stability and Transportation Provisions for Students in Foster Care in Title I, Part A as Amended in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

This Field Memo was jointly issued by NYSED and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to provide important new information about students in foster care. There are changes to Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of December 2015. The memo highlights changes that were required by December 10, 2016, including the requirements that: (1) Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) collaborate with Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) to ensure school stability and transportation for children in foster care, and (2) LEAs must designate a Foster Care Point of Contact to work collaboratively with LDSSs in their communities.

Housing Questionnaire [Word doc]

This new Housing Questionnaire published by NYSED should be used by all local educational agencies (LEAs). This includes school districts, charter schools, and BOCES. The questionnaire should be the first page of the enrollment packet for all newly enrolling students, and it should also be completed by all students/families who report a change of address. The Housing Questionnaire was updated on November 11, 2016, and it replaces the former Enrollment Form/Residency Questionnaire. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) requires all LEAs that receive Title I funds to use the new Housing Questionnaire. NYSED also encourages and all other LEAs to use the Housing Questionnaire, which asks about students' living arrangements, in order to identify students in temporary housing.

Data on Students Experiencing Homelessness in New York

The number of students identified as homeless across New York State rose 18% from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The 2015-16 school year data on student homelessness is now available here. The spreadsheet includes total counts of students identified as homeless at school districts and charter schools across the state, as well as county-level data by grade level and primary nighttime resident. The data were collected by the New York State Education Department in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS).

NYSED Field Memo: Implementation of Changes to McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as a Result of Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act

This Field Memo provides important information for New York State school districts about how to implement the changes to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) as a result of the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015. In general, while States are not required to submit State plans until 2017, ESSA required that State educational agencies and local educational agencies begin implementing the new McKinney-Vento requirements by October 1, 2016.


Upcoming Workshops and Trainings

Stay tuned for our Fall 2018 workshop and training schedule.

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05/17/18 Transportation (NYS)

06/06/18 Data (NYS & NYC)

06/07/18 Dispute Resolution (NYS & NYC)

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