Equal Access Admittance/Enrollment

All homeless, foster, migratory, immigrant, and limited English proficient children shall have equal access to the same free appropriate public education, including  public  preschool  education, provided  to  other  children  and  youth.    Such  children  will  be  provided  the  opportunity  to participate  in  the  same  state  educational  programs  and  to  meet  the  same  state  student performance standards as all other children without being isolated or stigmatized. 

Students who live in the attendance areas of Etowah County School System and who are homeless, foster, migratory, immigrant and/or limited English proficient shall not be prohibited from school attendance due to any of the following: 

A. Residency requirements 
B. Lack of social security number 
C. Lack of birth certificate 
D. Lack of school records or transcripts 
E. Lack of immunizations 
F. Legal custody requirements 
G. Transportation 
H. Language barriers 
I. Disabilities 

 If a student desiring enrollment is identified as a foster student or as a homeless student 
(according to the definition as described as Title VII B of the McKinney‐Vento Homeless Assistance Act),  the foster student, the homeless student shall be enrolled immediately, eligible for free meals, and transportation needs will be determined.  Enrollment of a homeless, foster student shall not be denied or delayed due to any reason related to their homelessness. 

The options for the placement of homelessness, foster students are (1) continued enrollment in the school attended prior to homelessness, foster care; or, (2) enrollment in any school that non‐homeless,  non‐foster  students  who  live  in  the  attendance  area  where  the  homeless,  foster student is presently living are eligible to attend.  The placement decision shall be made according to the best interest of the homeless, foster student.  Factors to be considered include family plans, educational services available, special programs, transportation, and length of stay in the shelter facility.  In the best interest of the child or youth, school administrators shall comply with any placement request made by a parent or guardian.  A homeless, foster student enrolled pursuant to these provisions shall not be denied services offered to other students in the school system. 

Resolution of Disputes:  Enrollment of a homeless, foster student shall not be denied pending resolution of a dispute. Any dispute concerning the Etowah County Schools providing a public education to a homeless, foster individual, who may be eligible or designated as a homeless, foster student, shall follow the following procedure: 

A. Upon receipt of a written complaint regarding eligibility, placement, or transportation, the parent or guardian shall be given notice of their right to review. The Homeless, foster Liaison shall be notified of the dispute by the Director of Attendance and/or the Transportation Department. A resolution of the dispute will be facilitated by the 
Homeless, foster Liaison in accordance with McKinney‐Vento Act requirements as 
expeditiously as possible, but no later than five (5) school days.  A written explanation of 
the decision shall be provided to the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth by the 
Homeless, foster Liaison, including a statement regarding the right to appeal to the 
Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee.  In the event the dispute cannot be 
resolved at the school system level, the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth may 
request a review of the dispute by an Assistant State Superintendent or other designee 
of the State Superintendent at the Alabama Department of Education.  The Assistant 
State Superintendent, or other designee, will address the issues in the dispute with ten 
(10) days from the receipt of a written request for resolution.

B. The Assistant State Superintendent, or other designee, may, if the issue is not resolved in the written review, assign members of the Alabama Department of Education to 
make an on‐site visit to further clarify and resolve the issue.  All complaints must be 
resolved within 60 days unless given written explanation.

Etowah County Board of Education Policy Manual 5.10

 

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