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Contact Information
Jill Fijal
Homeless & Foster Care Coordinator

180 Broadway Street
Chicopee, MA 01020

413-594-1450 / Cell 413-454-2950
FAX 413-594-3467
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act
The McKinney-Vento Assistance Act ensures education rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Homeless children and youths: individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. It includes:
1. Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals.

2. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

4. Migratory children (as defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended) who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

In addition, according to McKinney-Vento, a fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change. A regular residence is one which is used on a regular (i.e., nightly) basis. An adequate residence is one that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments. Therefore, children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate residence will be considered homeless. Homeless students have the right to:

Enroll and enrollment: attending classes and participating fully in school activities.

School of origin: the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including a preschool. When a child or youth completes the final grade level served by the school of origin, the school of origin includes the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.

Unaccompanied youth: a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title I, Part A ensures the educational stability of students in foster care.

The term “foster care” is defined as follows:
placement by DCF of a student into 24-hour out-of-home care, away from his/her parents or guardians. These placements include, among others:
• foster family homes;
• foster homes of relatives;
• emergency shelters (including STARR programs and Transitional Care units);
• residential facilities;
• child care institutions;
• group homes; and
• pre-adoptive homes.

In addition, according to ESSA students in foster care have the right to,

Immediate Enrollment: when it is in a student’s best interest to leave the school of origin, enrollment in a school in the local school district (see below) must take place without delay, to prevent disruption of the student’s education.

Local School District: the Massachusetts school district in which the student’s foster care home, provider, or facility is physically located. When it is determined to be in a student’s best interest to leave the school of origin, the local school district must enroll the student immediately.

School of Origin (See above for District of Origin): the school that a student was attending at the time of placement in foster care or the school a student is attending at the time of any subsequent change in a foster care placement.