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Students in Transition (Homeless Education)

The Homeless Education Program works to ensure that students experiencing homelessness are identified, have access to appropriate educational opportunities, and are linked to services to be successful in school. 

Pre-school and school-aged students living in any of the following situations have rights under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act:

  • Living with friends or relatives due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason
  • Living in motels, hotels or trailer parks used to house homeless families
  • Living in emergency shelter or in transitional housing
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, campgrounds, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations
  • Is a foster child awaiting foster care placement
  • Is an unaccompanied or migrant youth who qualifies under any of the above

Families who have lost housing should…

Discuss the situation with school administration so it can be determined whether it is in the best interest of the student to:

  • Stay in the same school he or she attended before the loss of housing (this is the school of origin);  

- or -

  • Transfer to the school closest to the new location

WCPS will enroll the student in the appropriate school. The decision about school enrollment will take into consideration factors including:

  • Length of stay in new location
  • Time and distance to transport the student to and from school
  • Special needs of child
  • Family Preference

What about transportation?

Transportation will be provided to attend the school determined to be in the student’s best interest. The school will assist in arranging transportation.


What services are available?

A student who is in transition has the same rights to access all school programs and services such as:

  • Free school breakfast and lunch
  • Preschool programs
  • Transportation
  • Special education
  • Gifted and talented programs
  • Field Trips
  • Support may also be available for school related expenses

What documents do I need to enroll?

  • School Records
  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunizations Record

If these documents are not available, a student cannot be denied entry into school.  WCPS will help obtain any necessary documents for enrollment.

For additional information, contact the Homeless Education Liaison at 301-766-2823.