One of the main goals of the Loyalsock Township School District is to help each homeless student have a school life that is as regular as possible during the period of homelessness.
On July 22, 1987, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act became public law. This was the first comprehensive federal law dealing with the problems of homelessness in America. It is now called the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001. As a first step in 1988, the Pennsylvania Department of Education established the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program. This program has been responsible for assessing Pennsylvania’s homeless children population, developing the appropriate responses and establishing McKinney-Vento Homeless sites.
Some of the objectives of the Loyalsock Township School District are to increase awareness about the needs of homeless children, reveal and overcome possible educational barriers, explain current legislation and policies, and provide assistance and support to families.
Under the McKinney-Vento Act homeless students have certain rights including the following:
- Attend their school of origin or school of current residence
- Remain in their chosen school for the duration of homelessness or the remainder of the academic year if they become permanently housed during an academic year
- Immediate enrollment
- Transportation to the school of choice
- Immediate access to educational services for which the student is eligible (e.g. Title I, special education, before- and after-school programs, vocational and technical education or gifted and talented programs).
- Free meals provided by the district through federal, state or local food programs.
- Appeal educational placement decisions made by the district and remain the school of choice pending resolution.