Homeless Services (McKinney-Vento)

The purpose of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is to remove barriers to education for homeless/transitional students and unaccompanied youth and to provide educational support and stability.

The Ellensburg School District welcomes all families and knows that an equitable system requires extra support for some of our families. In an effort to meet that need, we have a McKinney-Vento liaison, Patty Kimmel, Special Programs Director, to provide services and support for these students and families in our school district. Patty works closely with schools, transportation, local agencies, Student Support Advocates, and Family Resource Advocates to meet the need of all McKinney-Vento students. Patty is available at (509) 925-8117.

Homeless students are defined as lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including:
  1. Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship; or similar reason
  2. Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  3. Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  4. Are abandoned in hospitals
  5. Living in public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings
  6. Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations, or similar settings
  7. Migratory children living in conditions described in the previous examples

An unaccompanied youth is defined as a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. This would include any youth living on their own in any of the homeless situations described above.

Your children have the right to:
  1. Go to school, no matter where you live or how long you have lived there. They must be given access to the same public education, including preschool education, provided to other children.
  2. Continue in the school they attended before you became homeless or the school they last attended, if that is your choice and is feasible. If a school sends your child to a school other than the one you request, the school must provide you with a written explanation and offer you the right to appeal the decision.
  3. Receive transportation to the school they attended before your family became homeless or the school they last attended, if you or a guardian request such transportation
  4. Attend a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Children cannot be separated from the regular school program because they are homeless.
  5. Enroll in school without giving a permanent address. Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay school enrollment.
  6. Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment
  7. Enroll and attend classes in the school of your choice even while the school and you seek to resolve a dispute over enrolling your children
  8. Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other children served in these programs
  9. Receive transportation to school and to school programs
When you move, you should do the following:
  1. Contact the school district’s local liaison for homeless education for help in enrolling your child in a new school or arranging for your child to continue in his or her former school.
  2. Contact the school and provide any information you think will assist the teachers in helping your child adjust to new circumstances.
  3. Ask the local liaison for homeless education, the shelter provider, or a social worker for assistance with clothing and supplies, if needed.
Additional Resources:
OSPI Dispute Resolution Process: