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Student Services

Homeless Student Services

       

RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS
 
If your family is in a temporary or inadequate living situation because you have lost your housing, your child may be eligible for certain educational services. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, a Federal law, the Epping School District  is responsible for providing certain services to children and unaccompanied youth (children living apart from a parent or legal guardian) who are considered “homeless.”
 
Who is considered “homeless”?
Under Federal law, a student is considered homeless if the student:

  • Does not have a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence
  • Shares the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • Lives in a motel, hotel, trailer park or campground due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Lives in emergency or transitional housing
  • Was abandoned in a hospital
  • Awaits foster care placement
  • Has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings or
  • Lives in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting.
  • Migrant children qualify as homeless if they live in any of the situations described above.

 
What rights and services can homeless students expect from the Epping School District?


1. In General: Homeless students are entitled to a free and appropriate public education, the same as all other students in the District. The District will not stigmatize or segregate any student because he or she is homeless.
 2. School Attendance and Enrollment: A homeless student can continue to attend his or her “school of origin” (that is, the school attended before becoming homeless, or the school in which the student was last enrolled) or can enroll in the local public school. If feasible, at the family’s request the District will arrange transportation for any student:

  • living temporarily in the District back to his or her school of origin. 
  • living temporarily out of the District back to the student’s District school.

If a student continues to attend his or her school of origin, he or she can remain at that school during the entire time he or she is homeless. Even if the student moves into permanent housing during the school year, he or she can remain at the school of origin until the end of the year.
Homeless students who enroll in the local public school where they live temporarily will be immediately enrolled in school even if they lack medical records, immunization records, school records, proof of residence, proof of guardianship or any other records usually required for school enrollment.
 
3. Disputes: If the District places the student in a school and the family disagrees with that placement, the District must explain the decision in writing and must provide a written explanation of how to appeal the decision.
 
4. Transportation: The District will arrange, at no cost to the student, transportation to the school of origin or, if the student enrolls in the local school, to that school in accordance with District transportation guidelines. Transportation remains in effect as long as the student is homeless and until the end of the school year in which the student moves into permanent housing.
 
5. School Meals: The District will arrange free meals (breakfast and/or lunch as offered by the school) at the family’s request. Once it is determined that the student is eligible for free meals, the free meals can remain in effect for the entire school year.
 
6. Title 1 Services: Homeless students are entitled to certain other services, such as extended day care, preschool and supplemental tutoring instruction, clothing and school supplies. The District will arrange these services if applicable. Title 1 services remain available as long as the student is homeless and until the end of the school year in which the student moves into permanent housing.
 
Who can help?
The Epping School District has a designated building level coordinator  who can help families enroll their children and obtain other services.  
 
In addition, the State of New Hampshire Department of Education has appointed an Educational Consultant, Katherine Adams, for Homeless Education who can help with any problems that can't be resolved with the District.  She can be reached at (603) 271-3838.
 
What are the family’s responsibilities?
Families who have lost their housing should keep in contact with the District or Building Level Coordinators as their living arrangements change, and notify them when they obtain permanent housing. This helps the school keep in touch with parents and students.  If you have any questions, please call the district or building level coordinator listed below.  ‚Äč


District Liaison:
Catherine Zylinski -Director of Student Services - czylinski@eppingsd.org 603-679-8003
Preschool/Epping Elementary School:
Kathleen Stanley-Berting -kstanley-berting@eppingsd.org -603-679-8018
Epping Middle School:
Nicholas DeGruttola - ndegruttola@eppingsd.org -603 679-2544
Epping High School:
Melorah Bisaillon - mbisiallon@eppingsd.org 603-679-5472 

Helpful Links:

Children and Youth Experiencing Homlessness : An Introduction to the Issues 

National Center for Homeless Education -Supporting the Education of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness 

68 Hours of Hunger Epping