A student enrolled in a virtual academy (and withdrew from the local school) last year. Then the student lost housing. I understand the virtual school is the school of origin. However, this school year, the student is withdrawing from the virtual academy and re-enrolling in in-person school. The student continues to be eligible under McKinney-Vento. However, when the student became homeless last year, the student moved to a different local attendance area. Now that the student is re-enrolling in in-person school, the student wants to return to the school they were attending before entering the virtual academy. Does the student have the right to re-enroll in the school they attended before enrolling in the virtual academy or are they required to enroll in the local attendance area school?

A: School of origin “means the school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including a preschool.” 42 USC 11432(g)(3)(I)(i). In this situation, the school the child attended when...

I am working with a mother and student who just became homeless due to domestic violence. They are now doubled up with family in another district. The family they are staying with has students attending a choice school. The family I’m working with would like the student to attend the same choice school, saying that it is in the best interest of the student. Does the student have the right to attend the choice school?

A: In terms of a right to attend this school under the McKinney-Vento Act, it would have to fall under this section of the law: “(ii) enroll the child or youth in any public school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or...

A parent and student are staying in a transitional housing program run by a local substance abuse provider. I believe in the past, to determine eligibility, our district has looked at their housing prior to entering transitional housing, since the transitional housing program is a continuation of substance abuse treatment. I am now wondering if we should be considering this a McKinney-Vento situation?

A: I agree it is important to look at the housing situation prior to entry into the treatment program. Since the family is in the program due to substance abuse treatment and not loss of housing, the family may have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence....

Two students alternate staying with parents who are separated and living apart. Mom lost her housing and moved into the housing of the other parent, with the children. Are the students eligible under the McKinney-Vento Act because they are doubled-up at the other parent’s house, even though they have been living there half-time?

A: As long as there is stability in this housing, this would not be a McKinney-Vento situation. Legally, this is not “sharing the housing of others” because the home is, in fact,  their housing. The students are just staying there more often than usual. However, if...

A student is attending a K-6 charter school and has been identified as experiencing homelessness. For 7th grade, students attend feeder schools based on their local attendance area. The student used to live in the local attendance area of school A. However, the student is currently staying in the local attendance area of school B. Does the student have a right to attend feeder school A, even though the student is not living in that attendance area? Do school of origin rights apply?

A: School of origin applies to feeder schools only when there is a “designated receiving school” for students. 42 USC 11432(g)(3)(I)(ii). If all students leave the charter school and begin attending local school A, the student would retain school of origin...

I got a referral from a mother and child who are staying in a transitional housing program run by a local substance abuse treatment program. The housing program is not a homeless transitional housing situation; it’s just a continuation of the parent’s treatment. Is the student eligible under McKinney-Vento?

Answer: Since the parent is in the program for substance abuse treatment and not due to homelessness necessarily, you need to talk with the parent about what their housing situation was prior to entry into the program. If the family has (or had) a fixed, regular, and...

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