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Rockwood School District

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Homeless Services for Nonpublic Partners

backpack hanging off a chair in a classroom

Contact Information

Stephen Hankins

Stephen Hankins

Supt Assist Student Services

Please contact us for support for homeless and/or migrant students. Support can include any instructional needs that cannot be met through other programs.


Title I Support of Homeless Students in Rockwood

We want to be sure you know how we can use Title I funds to support homeless students in Rockwood. This information is from DESE and the National Center for Homeless Education. As in the past, all requests for use of Title I funds must be pre-approved by Rockwood's Federal Programs Coordinator (Stefanie Steffan) and will be reserved for RSD students that are identified as homeless. This includes nonpublic school students who are homeless in the Rockwood attendance area. The concrete examples provided herein are useful guidelines.

Adopted from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Title VII, Subtitle B, Section 725(2) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 2015.

The term "homeless children and youths" are students:

  • who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence,
  • including:
    1. children and youths who are sharing the housing of others (known as doubling-up) due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
    2. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations for human beings;
    3. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, and
    4. migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.

If the residence is not fixed, regular and adequate, it is considered a homeless situation.

The McKinney-Vento Act also recognizes unaccompanied youth who are homeless. According to the act, an unaccompanied youth is a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian.

Following are DESE-provided suggestions of services that can be supported with Title I funds for homeless students, taken from the DESE Homeless Children and Youth Grant Program Administrative Manual.

After assessing the needs of homeless students, the Homeless Liaison and Title I Coordinator, along with other district-level administrators, may consider funding the following:

  1. Before-school, after-school, and/or summer programs
  2. Outreach services to students living in shelters, motels, and other temporary residences to help identify homeless children and youth and advise them of available school programming
  3. Basic needs, such as clothing, uniforms, school supplies, and health-related needs
  4. Counseling services
  5. The excess cost of transportation
  6. Homeless liaison salary
  7. The hiring of teachers, aides, and tutors to provide supplemental instruction to students whose achievement is below grade level
  8. The work of the local liaison
  9. Parental involvement programs that make a special effort to reach out to parents in homeless situations
  10. Research-based programs that benefit highly mobile students
  11. Data collection to assess the needs and progress of homeless and other highly mobile students

The following information is from the National Center for Homeless Education. Another list of sample Title I-supported services is provided. Please note that Title I funds "must be used as a last resort when funds or services are not reasonably available from other public or private sources…"

G-11. May Title I, Part A ARRA funds be used to provide services to homeless students?

Yes. Serving homeless students is an integral part of Title I, Part A. Homeless students who attend any school served by an LEA, regardless of whether the school receives Title I funds, are eligible for Title I services. (ESEA section 1115(b) (2)(E).) Specifically, an LEA must reserve such funds as are necessary to provide services to homeless students who attend non-Title I schools that are comparable to those provided to students in Title I schools. These services may include providing educationally related support services to homeless children in shelters and other locations where they may live. (ESEA section 1113(c)(3)(A).) To the extent that services to students in Title I schools increase due to the large increase in Title I, Part A ARRA funds, the obligation to provide comparable services to homeless students in non-Title I schools would increase accordingly.

Title I, Part A ARRA funds may provide a wide variety of services to homeless students. In addition to providing services to assist homeless students in meeting the state's challenging academic achievement standards, Title I, Part A ARRA funds may be used to provide services that may not ordinarily be provided to other Title I students. For example, to help homeless students effectively take advantage of educational opportunities, an LEA may use Title I, Part A ARRA funds to provide, where appropriate, items or services including, but not limited to:

  • Items of clothing, particularly if necessary to meet a school's dress or uniform requirement
  • Clothing and shoes necessary to participate in physical education classes
  • Student fees that are necessary to participate in the general education program
  • Personal school supplies such as backpacks and notebooks
  • Birth certificates necessary to enroll in school
  • Immunizations
  • Medical and dental services
  • Eyeglasses and hearing aids
  • Counseling services to address anxiety related to homelessness that is impeding learning
  • Outreach services to students living in shelters, motels, and other temporary residences
  • Extended learning time (before and after school, Saturday classes, summer school) to compensate for lack of quiet time for homework in shelters or other overcrowded living conditions
  • Tutoring services, especially in shelters or other locations where homeless students live
  • Parental involvement specifically oriented to reaching out to parents of homeless students
  • Fees for AP and IB testing
  • HSE/GED testing for school-age students

Several principles govern the use of Title I, Part A ARRA funds to provide such services to homeless students.

  • First, the services must be reasonable and necessary to assist homeless students to take advantage of educational opportunities. (ESEA section 1113(c)(3)(A); OMB Circular A-87, Attachment A, C.1.a)
  • Second, Title I, Part A ARRA funds must be used as a last resort when funds or services are not reasonably available from other public or private sources, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's free- and reduced-price school lunch program, public health clinics, or local discretionary funds (sometimes provided by the PTA) used to provide similar services for economically disadvantaged students generally.