Homeless Education

Definition of Homeless

Anyone, due to lack of housing, who are staying in inadequate or temporary settings, such as youth who live: 

  • In emergency or transitional shelters;
  • In motels, hotels, trailer parks, campgrounds, abandoned in hospitals, awaiting foster care placement;
  • In cars, parks, public places, bus or train stations, abandoned buildings;
  • Doubled up with relatives or friends;
  • In these conditions and is a migratory child or youth


What Families Experiencing Homelessness Need to Know

  • Children and youth experiencing homelessness have a right to attend school.
  • You do not need a permanent address to enroll your child in school.
  • Children in homeless situations have the right to stay in the school they attended before becoming homeless or where they were last enrolled (school of origin) if the parents or guardians choose.
  • Schools must provide you with a written explanation if placement dispute occurs and you may appeal
  • Your child cannot be denied school enrollment just because school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.
  • Your child has the right to transportation services to and from the school of origin.
  • Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which he/she is eligible.
  • Unaccompanied youth have these same rights.


Free and Reduced Lunch Procedures

Homeless students are entitled to qualify for the Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch Program and DO NOT need to fill out the regular application. 

To obtain meals, you may e-mail the student’s name and school name to the Homeless Liaison, Keith Pennington, kpennington@bcps.k12.va.us or contact the student’s school. The division liaison will work with the school of attendance to ensure the student is provided access to meals immediately.

Resources for Families Experiencing Homelessness

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