I am a coach working with a student who has been homeless and highly mobile for the last year and a half. He was initially attending a traditional high school, but his parents pulled him out due to grades, and now he attends an online charter school. Recently, I worked with the student to apply for a hardship waiver so he could continue to participate in sports even though his grades are below the requirement. The athletic association approved him to participate in JV sports but not varsity. Sports have been a positive influence for this student. Does McKinney-Vento protect him so he can participate in varsity sports?
Feb 6, 2023 | Q and A
Answer: An important first step in your advocacy is to make sure the student is connected to the homeless liaison, who can assist with removing barriers to academics and extracurricular activities. Depending on what is happening with the student’s grades, he may be able to get a waiver for participating in varsity sports. If you can connect his struggling grades with his homelessness, which seems likely due to his mobility and the correlation in time of his loss of housing and the drop in his grades, there is a strong argument that he should get a waiver.
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