Dear McKinney-Vento liaisons,
September is here and a new school year has started! We want to take this moment to thank you for your work on behalf of students experiencing homelessness. We hope you have a great start to the year, and we welcome you to use our resources.
In this newsletter, you will find important updates and reminders about providing services and supports for students experiencing homelessness.
- Back-to-School Reminders
- What’s New
- McKinney-Vento Statewide Workshops
- NYS-TEACHS Services
Update District Contact Information: If you are no longer the McKinney-Vento liaison, please let us know the new liaison’s contact information by calling our Infoline at (800) 388-2014 or filling out this form.
Housing Questionnaires: Districts and charter schools are required to give Housing Questionnaires to all newly enrolling students and also to all families who report a change of address. As a best practice, we recommend also distributing the form to all students at the start of each year. You can download a copy of the model Housing Questionnaire.
Title I, Part A: Students who are identified as homeless are categorically eligible for Title I services. We encourage you to collaborate with your district’s Title I Coordinator to make sure that the set-aside funding is effectively used to support students in temporary housing. Please note: all Local Educational Agencies that receive Title I funds must do a Title I set-aside for students in temporary housing. For more information about how the set-aside funding can be used, see our page on Title I.
Free Meals: Students identified as homeless are categorically entitled to free school meals, regardless of family income. This means that students in temporary housing can participate in the free meal program even without an application. Please check to make sure that your district’s food services coordinator has the names of all students in temporary housing on their free meals list.
Data Entry: Check in with your data coordinator to ensure that information about students experiencing homelessness is entered properly in your student management system. Please be aware that data entry procedures have changed! See below.
Recent Memos from NYSED
- Mandatory McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Training (August 2018)
- Field Advisory: Diploma Options for Puerto Rican students displaced by Hurricanes Irma or Maria (June 2018)
- College Counseling and Access for Youth Experiencing Homelessness (April 25, 2018)
SchoolHouse Connection Updates – Scholarship Program and Upcoming Webinars
SchoolHouse Connection is a national organization promoting success for children and youth experiencing homelessness, from birth through higher education.
- Applications for their 2019-20 scholarship program for young people who have experienced homelessness are due November 9, 2018.
- SchoolHouse Connection webinars offer best practices for supporting students in temporary housing for educators across the nation.
Updates to Data Collection on Students Experiencing Homelessness
Please refer to the 2018-19 SIRS Manual for detailed information about data collection changes.
- Homeless Indicator has been replaced by Program Service Code 8262 – Homeless Student Status.
- Students who experience homelessness will now receive Program Service Code 0892 – Title I-Part A: Homeless Student Serviced with Set-Aside Funds, if applicable.
- In addition, students must receive a Homeless Primary Nighttime Residence code if they experience homelessness and Program Service Code 8272 – Homeless Unaccompanied Youth Status (if applicable).
FAFSA Completion Initiative
- The Higher Education Services Corp (HESC), which administers the Excelsior Scholarship and the Tuition Assistance Program, has launched a FAFSA Completion Initiative.
- The initiative aims to increase FAFSA completion in New York State, since the FAFSA is required for need-based State and federal financial aid programs.
- District Superintendents or Charter School Principals/Executives must sign a data access and security agreement on behalf of their school in order to participate. We encourage you and your LEA to look into this program, as FAFSA completion is strongly correlated with postsecondary enrollment.
McKinney-Vento Statewide Workshops
The State Education Department requires that all McKinney-Vento Liaisons participate in McKinney-Vento workshops, webinars, or other on-site trainings in compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NYS-TEACHS provides events for no charge throughout the year.
This year’s Annual McKinney-Vento Workshops will be held in the following locations:
Friday, November 2, 2018
Desmond Hotel & Conference Center
660 Albany Shaker Road
Albany, NY 12211
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
RIT Inn and Conference Center
5257 West Henrietta Road
Rochester, NY 14467
New York City
(Only for professionals in NYC)
We will be holding three December 2018 Workshops at CUNY Graduate Center
More information will be available soon here.
If you can’t make it to one of the Workshops, we encourage you to sign up for one of our Regional Trainings or Webinars. Please view our training page for upcoming webinar dates and registration information for all of our events. Note that events are updated throughout the year.
Toll-Free Infoline: Please call our toll-free Infoline, (800) 388-2014, if you have questions about the educational rights of students experiencing homelessness. Our Infoline is open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday. (P.S. You may notice that our name has changed, but our services have not!)
Posters and Brochures: We provide State Education Department (SED)-approved brochures and posters that you can use for outreach. Liaisons should make sure that these materials are prominently displayed! Order posters for school buildings, district offices, local departments of social services, shelters, food pantries, and other locations where families and youth experiencing homelessness may frequent. Brochures and posters are available in both English and Spanish. Posters are available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Urdu, and French.
Website: We update this website frequently to provide you with current guidance memos, resources, and training materials. Browse information by topic, watch a recorded webinar, look up the name of a liaison from a neighboring district, and more.
E-Alerts: Throughout the coming school year, you will receive updates and information on McKinney-Vento. To make certain you receive the information you need from NYS-TEACHS and SED, please speak with your IT director to ensure you are able to receive email from the following addresses: e-alerts, info, and Melanie Faby.