Homeless Student Resources
The West Chester Area School District believes that homeless youth should have access to free and appropriate public education and wishes to limit the barriers that homeless children may face (WCASD Homeless Policy 251 ). Our goal is to have the educational process continue as uninterrupted as possible while children are in homeless situations.
Homeless students are defined as individuals lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, which may include the following conditions:
1. Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons.
2. Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
3. Living in an emergency, transitional, or domestic violence shelters.
4. Abandoned in hospitals.
5. Using public or private places not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings, as a primary nighttime residence.
6. Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations, or similar settings.
7. Living as migratory children in conditions described in previous examples.
8. Living as run-away children, abandoned, or forced out of homes by parents/guardians or caretakers, or separated from parents/guardians for any other reason.
9. Living as school-age parents/guardians in houses for school-age parents/guardians if they have no other living accommodations.
Some of the rights include:
1. The ability to remain in the school of origin or enroll in the school in which you currently reside
2. Transportation to school and other school-sponsored activities
3. Receive free meals, waivers, and assistance with school supplies
4. Referrals to early childhood services, medical, dental, mental health providers, housing assistance, and food security (services may be offered in the district and/or through collaboration with community partners)
5. Comparable services to those offered to other district students
6. Assistance with obtaining or transferring records
7. Assistance engaging with district activities and events such as parent/teacher conferences
Please contact your school’s Home and School Visitor or the district homeless liaison, Tricia Alston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-266-1226 for eligibility determination and assistance. If there are any disputes, as you have the right to appeal educational placement decisions, please refer to the Board Policy 251 (http://go.boarddocs.com/pa/wche/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=CU4RJ66E2855 ) for your rights and procedure or contact Tricia Alston, Homeless Liaison for assistance.
Below are links to resources with further information and details.
- PA Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Espanol
- Chester County Community Resource Guide/Guia de recursos comunitarios del condado de chester
- Housing and Shelter Resources in 2-1-1
- WCASD Enrollment Policy
- WCASD Homeless Policy 251
- Homeless Intake Form Formulario Para Estudiantes Sin Hogar
- Homeless Update Form Formulario Para Estudiantes Sin Hogar
- Home and School Visitor Staff List and Home and School Visitor Staff List by School
- Chester County Food Cupboard
- West Chester Food Cupboard
- ACT in Faith Food Cupboard
- Finding your way in PA app
- Attendance/District Boundary Maps
- Bridge of Hope
- Home of the Sparrow
- St. Mary’s Shelter
- Domestic Violence Center of Chester County
- North Star of Chester County