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501.15-R - Administrative Regulations Regarding Homeless Children and Youth




The district will ensure reasonable efforts to identify homeless children and youth of school age within the district, encourage their enrollment in school, eliminate existing barriers in district policies and procedures which may serve as barriers to their enrollment, and ensure that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free public education, including public preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.


The term “unaccompanied youth” means youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian including those living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the streets, or in other inadequate housing; youth denied housing by their families; and school-age unwed mothers living in homes for unwed mothers who have no other housing available.

The term “homeless children and youth” means individuals from ages 3 through 21 who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Children or youth that are incarcerated or in foster care are not considered homeless. The term includes:

  • Children and youth who are:
    • sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (referred to as “doubled up”);
    • living in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
    • abandoned in hospitals.
  • Children and youth 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;
  • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

The term “school of origin” means the school that the homeless child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the homeless child was last enrolled.

To help ensure that homeless children and youth have a full opportunity to enroll, attend, and succeed at school the board shall:

  • Designate the Executive Director of Student Services as the local homeless children and youth liaison;
  • Provide training opportunities for staff so they may help identify and meet the needs of homeless children and youth;
  • Remove barriers; including those associated with fees, fines, and absences to the identification, enrollment, retention, attendance, and/or success in school for homeless children and youth;
  • Ensure collaboration and coordination with other service providers;
  • Ensure transportation is provided in accordance with legal requirements;
  • Provide school stability in school assignment according to the child’s best interest;
  • Ensure the privacy of student records as provided by applicable law including information about a homeless child or youth’s living situation;
  • Engage in the dispute resolution process for decisions relating to the educational placement of homeless children and youth as provided by applicable law; and
  • Prohibit the segregation of a homeless child or youth from other students enrolled in the district.

The superintendent [or designee] may develop an administrative process or procedures to implement this policy.

Adopted: 8/06
Reviewed: 4/11; 3/12; 7/13; 10/17; 9/20
Revised: 1/15; 12/16
Related Policy (Code #): 501.1-14; 501.15
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 20 USC § 6301; 42 USC § 11302; 42 USC §§ 11431 et seq; 281 IAC 33
IASB Reference: 501.16