Title IX-Students in Transition

September 2021

Dear District and School Staff:

Welcome back to another school year. As many of you are aware, the McKinney-Vento Act for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth requires school districts to designate a local homeless liaison to carry out the duties described in the Act and to inform school personnel and community partners of these duties. Our district’s homeless liaison's information is below:

Amy Dale-Title I/IX Specialist

850-301-3008

Dalea@Okaloosaschools.com

Curriculum & Instruction

202A Hwy 85 N

Niceville, FL 32578


The duties of the liaison include ensuring that —

• homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;

• homeless children and youths are enrolled in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, the district’s schools;

• homeless families and homeless children and youths have access to and receive educational services for which such families, children, and youths are eligible, including services through Head Start programs (including Early Head Start programs); early intervention services under part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and other preschool programs administered by the school district;

• homeless families and homeless children and youths receive referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health and substance abuse services, housing services, and other appropriate services;

• the parents or guardians of homeless children and youths are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;

• public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such children and youths, and unaccompanied youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form understandable to the parents and guardians of homeless children and youths, and unaccompanied youths;

• enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with paragraph (3)(E) of the McKinney-Vento Act;

• the parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth, and any unaccompanied youth, is fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to and from the school of origin, and is assisted in accessing transportation to the school);

• school personnel providing services under this part receive professional development and other support; and

•unaccompanied homeless youths:

o are enrolled in school;

o have opportunities to meet the same challenging State academic standards as the State establishes for other children and youth; and o are informed of their status as independent students for purposes of applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and they may obtain assistance from the homeless liaison to receive verification of such status.

Last year, Okaloosa County School District identified 586 students experiencing homelessness, mostly through the efforts of school staff. We encourage you to visit the Okaloosa County School District- Students in Transition webpage https://www.okaloosaschools.com/depts/title-I-IV-IX/home


Also, the liaison will be following up with you in the near future and providing technical assistance and training for school staff. The liaison will also provide brochures and posters of the public notice of the educational rights of homeless students. These should be displayed in areas of your school where families and students may frequent (e.g., registrar’s office, main office). For further information, please contact Amy Dale-Title I/IX Specialist.

Are children and youth who move in with relatives, friends, or other people covered by the McKinney-Vento Act?

Answer:

Children and youth who are sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason are covered by the McKinney-Vento Act. 42 U.S.C 11434A(2)(B)(i). Families who share adequate housing on a long-term basis due to preference or convenience would not be covered by the Act.