The federal definition of homelessness used by all public schools in the United States includes children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition specifically includes children and youth living in shelters, transitional housing, cars, campgrounds, motels, and sharing the housing of others temporarily due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons. This is the same definition of homelessness used by Head Start, special education, child nutrition, and other federal family and youth programs.
Students who meet the definition of "Homeless" and are identified or identify themselves as such have the right to:
At APS, students are primarily identified at enrollment or through the school Counselor. Families or students who believe that they are homeless, should identify themselves as such to the school Counselor.
If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment, the established district dispute process shall be followed [Policy ]. Children have the right of enrollment until such time as there is a final resolution to the dispute.
Parents/Guardians/Students who feel that their request to enroll has been incorrectly denied or wish to contest their child's placement should be encouraged to contact the Director of Federal Programs for consultation. If the dispute is not resolved at this stage, they will be asked to submit their case in writing followed by the remainder of the steps outlined in Policy.
Should the final result of the district dispute process be unsatisfactory to the parent/guardian/student, they may appeal the district’s final decision by contacting the State Homeless Liaison at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
APS is required to identify a person to act as a Homeless Liaison. This person's duties involve training school staff in identification procedures, serving as an advocate for homeless students, arranging for services and arbitrating disputes that may arise.
APS's Homeless Liaison is Mrs. Charissa Byrne, School Counselor, and may be reached at 405-785-2605 and then dialing 2 for the High School.