Homeless Students Rights and Services

 Washington State Requirements and Guidance for Education
of Homeless Children and Youth

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

Defining Homeless

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:
  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth awaiting foster care placement
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations


Eligible children have the right to:

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference and is feasible.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children's needs.



If you believe your children may be eligible, contact the Mt. Adams School District Liaison, Cesar Hernandez, at (509) 848-5732, chernandez@masd209.org, or your school building liaisons.
Harrah Elementary School - Kimber Frazier - (509) 848-5702, kfrazier@masd209.org
Mt. Adams Middle School/White Swan High School - Helen Haggerty - (509) 874-8600, hhaggerty@masd209.org
These liaisons will be able to share the services and supports that are available.
You may also contact the National Center for Homeless Education at (800) 308-2145, https://nche.ed.gov/, for further information.
Staff Training and Materials
For training materials and webinars, please visit http://www.k12.wa.us/HomelessEd/Resources.aspx