Hemet Unified School District is committed to supporting the unique educational, emotional and social needs of all students including those that are in foster care or are experiencing homelessness. These hardships can often cause stress and anxiety that affect a child’s capacity to focus in school. Through a collaborative effort between Student Support Services and school sites, we strive to create a safe haven during these difficult times.
A child in foster care is defined as any child who has been removed from the custody of their parent(s)/guardian(s) by the juvenile court and placed in a group home or foster home. The child is under the direct supervision of a county probation officer or social worker. Foster Youth can also include children who are receiving family maintenance services; they may be living in the home and still receiving court appointed support from a social worker. In these instances, custody has not been returned to parents and the child remains a Foster Youth.
In accordance with AB 490 foster youth have the right to:
- Remain in their school of origin for the duration of the school year.
- Immediately enroll in school even if they are missing records normally needed for school enrollment.
- Attend a regular, mainstream school unless they have an IEP requiring a different educational placement, or the person with educational rights determines that it is in the child's best interest to attend a different educational program or remain in his/her school of origin.
- Have their school records transferred in a timely manner (2 days).
- Have their grades protected. A youth's grades cannot be lowered due to absences caused by a change in placement, attendance at a court hearing, or a court ordered activity.
- Receive partial credits. Schools must award all students credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed at another public school, a juvenile court school, or a non-public, non-sectarian school.
A student that is defined as homeless is a child without a regular, fixed, and adequate nighttime residence. The child may live in a shelter, a temporary home, a motel, a car, a campground, or on the street. Homeless children may also be living temporarily with relatives or friends because of a loss of permanent housing.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures that homeless children and youth, including preschoolers, have equal access to the same free, appropriate educational programs as other children and youth. This federal law mandates the elimination of educational barriers facing homeless children and youth, to increase school stability and protect students from discrimination. Under this legislation, homeless children and youth are entitled to have access to the same educational experience and resources as all students.
Homeless Youth are entitled to:
- Immediate enrollment in school without a permanent address, immunizations, school records or other papers.
- Continue in the school that the student attended before becoming homeless (school of origin).
- Go to school, no matter where the student lives or how long he/she has lived there.
- Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of required school records or documents.
- Enroll and attend classes even while the school and parent/student seek to resolve a dispute over enrollment.
- Receive transportation to his/her school of origin as long as he/she is homeless, or if the student becomes permanently housed, receive transportation until the end of the academic school year.
- Participate in tutoring, school-related activities, and/or receive other support services.