Definition of Homeless
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), defines “homeless children and youth” (school age and younger) as: Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are residing in the following situations due to a due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.
What do families need to know?
Legal Reference: The McKinney-Vento Assistance Act (42 U.S. C. 11431 et seq.) at Subtitle B of title VII. (Reauthorized 2002).
Homeless students are entitled to free breakfast and lunch at school and DO NOT need to fill out the Free and Reduced Meals application. Once the parent (or unaccompanied youth) is identified as homeless under McKinney-Vento, the Liaison will submit documentation to the director of food service to ensure students receive free meals.
RCPS will provide transportation assistance (when in the student’s best interest*) for students approved as McKinney-Vento-eligible so that the student may remain at his/her school of origin. This transportation is arranged through the McKinney-Vento liaison’s office. It may take three to five working days for transportation arrangements to be processed. Once transportation is arranged, the parent/guardian is called and advised of the start date and time of the transportation.
Families who have cars may be provided mileage reimbursement if they provide transportation for the student to and from school.
*“when in the student’s best interest” is determined by the geographic distance from the school, the age of the student, and the amount of time the student would spend being transported on the each day from the out-of-zone address.
Educational Information for Students in Foster Care
School Admission (from Section JEC of School Policy)
RCPS Foster Care Liaison
Sarah M. Schmidt
Renee Edwards - Alternate Liaison
Emergency shelter during cold winter months (December through March)
Domestic Abuse Shelter
Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck Community Services Board (Warsaw)
Emergency mental health assistance
After hours: 1-800-542-2673
Virginia’s Education for Homeless Children and Youth Office
Quin Rivers Homeless Prevention Program
Assistance with rent/utilities if can stay in current housing for 2 weeks
Richmond County Department of Social Services
Short term housing and food assistance
RCPS Liaison Contact Information
Sarah M. Schmidt