All children and youth have the right to free, appropriate public education.  Including children and youth with:

  • Uncertain housing
  • A temporary address
  • No permanent physical address 

The federal McKinney-Vento Act guarantees school enrollment for anyone who, due to a lack of housing, does not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  Such children and youth may live:

  • In an emergency shelter or transitional housing.
  • In a motel, hotel, or campground due to the lack of an adequate alternative.
  • In a car, park, public place, bus or train station, or abandoned building.
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends due to loss of housing or economic hardship.
  • In these conditions and be a migratory child or youth, or
  • In these conditions and be a youth not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Children and youth living in these settings may meet the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness and have additional educational rights. 

Where can a child or youth without a fixed, regular, and adequate residence attend school?

  • The school the child or youth attended before becoming homeless or was last enrolled (school of origin), or
  • The school in the attendance area where the child or youth is currently living. 

How can delays be avoided when enrolling a student experiencing homelessness in school?

  • Enroll the student immediately.
  • Contact the previous school and ask that the records be sent electronically or shared over the phone.
  • Contact the principal, school counselor, or local homeless education liaison with any concerns.
  • Contact the local homeless education liaison to support unaccompanied youth when enrolling in school. 

Where can I get help?

Local Homeless Education Liaison
Karen Martin

Supervisor of Compliance
309 Volunteer Avenue
Clintwood, VA 24228
[email protected]
(276) 926-4643