Temporary Housing & Education Rights

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that discusses the public education of children and youth in temporary housing.  This law protects the educational rights of children and youth living in temporary housing situations such as those described below. Children and youth living in these situations will be protected by the McKinney-Vento Act for the entire time they are living in a temporary housing situation.


What qualifies as temporary housing?
-Emergency or transitional housing and shelter placements
-Shared housing due to a loss of permanent housing or financial hardship.
-A nighttime residence that is not fixed, regular or adequate.
-Living in motels, hotels, camping grounds, cars, parks, abandoned buildings and bus or train stations.  
-Abandoned in hospitals or living in a public or private place not designed for sleeping. 

Under the McKinney Vento Act, children and youth who are living in temporary housing situations have the right to...
Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there;
Choose between the school they attended before losing their housing (known as the school of origin) or the school where they were last enrolled (also known as the school of origin);
Enroll and participate in school without providing proof of residency, immunizations, school records, or other documents normally needed for enrollment;
Receive transportation to and from the school of origin;
Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as those offered to other students who are eligible to receive them and;
Enroll and attend classes in the school district even while the parent and the school resolve disagreements about enrollment.

Students who are temporarily housed must be enrolled in school immediately even if they do not have documents normally needed for enrollment, like:
school records,
medical records,
proof of immunizations,
birth certificates,
proof of residency,
guardianship papers or Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

Homeless Unaccompanied Youth 
Youth whose living situation meets the McKinney-Vento criteria (lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence) + is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.  Any school-age child or youth can be an unaccompanied youth, but they are often adolescents.


In accordance with NY State regulations, please find below the district's contact information for both Homeless and Foster Care Liaison:

Rondout Valley Central School District
Cathy Westbrook, McKinney Vento and Foster Liaison
Telephone:  (845) 687-2400 Extension 4210
cwestbrook@rondout.k12.ny.us

More Information and Resources:
For the most current and detailed information regarding the McKinney Vento Act follow this link New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS)  https://nysteachs.org/ 

For answers to frequently asked questions follow this link:  https://nysteachs.org/faq/

NYS-TEACHS provides information, referrals, and trainings to schools, school districts, social service providers, parents, and others about the educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness. NYS-TEACHS is funded by the New York State Education Department. If you have any questions about this Guide, please contact NYSTEACHS toll-free at 1 (800) 388-2014.

For additional information about homeless unaccompanied youth:
From National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE): https://nche.ed.gov/unaccompanied-youth/ 

The Office of Youth and Young Adult Services - Ulster County
https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/youth/rhy/directory.asp?County=Ulster