McKinney-Vento Rights and Services Brochure

Are you…

  • In transition?
  • Homeless?
  • Living in a shelter or temporary housing with school-aged children?
  • A youth with no place to live?

You may be eligible for services under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.


You Have Rights!

If you are the parent or guardian of a school-age child and are without permanent housing, your child has the right to go to school. (McKinney -Vento Act, rev. 01/2002).

Homeless: What Does It Mean?

  • Someone who is staying at a temporary living place, such as a shelter or hotel.
  • A youth not living with a parent or guardian.
  • Someone who is spending nights in a place not meant for sleeping (like a car or a condemned building).
  • Someone who doesn’t have a “fixed, regular or adequate place to live,” including crowding too many people into one apartment or temporarily staying with friends or family due to financial hardship.

What School Should You Choose?

If you don’t know where you are going to live next, keeping your child in the same school for the school year may be the best thing you can do for your child’s education and emotional security. You have two choices based on what is in the student’s best interest:

  • Keep your child in the school your child was attending before you lost your housing (school of origin). If you choose to keep your child in the same school, your child may continue at that school for as long as you are homeless or until the end of the school year.
  • Enroll your child in the school nearest the shelter or temporary place where you are currently staying.
  • If the school disagrees with your enrollment request, they must notify you in writing and include the dispute resolution process.

Tips for dealing with the School

Ask to speak to the district’s McKinney-Vento Liaison for assistance. Inform the Liaison that you are in a temporary living situation. The Liaison will be able to help you enroll, determine transportation needs, offer resources and answer any questions you might have. Remember—if your student is remaining in the school of origin, you are not required to obtain an out-of-district release if you are residing outside Clover Park School District boundaries.

Can My Child Ride the School Bus?

Contact the District’s McKinney-Vento Liaison to find out if your child is eligible to ride the school bus – (253) 583-5154. In some situations, it might be in the student’s best interest to receive Pierce Transit bus passes, or have the parent self-transport the student. Mileage reimbursement can be arranged in certain cases. Please ask the McKinney-Vento Liaison about these other options

What Records Does the School Need About My Child?

  • School records
  • Birth certificate
  • Immunization records

If you are sending your child to a new school, the school must immediately enroll your child even if you can’t produce the records they need right away. They will assist you to obtain needed records. Proof of residency is not required for enrollment of homeless children. However, a school can require you to provide an address or some way to contact you.

Your Right to be Treated Fairly

Your child can participate in all the same school activities as other children:

  • Before and after school programs
  • Counseling
  • Free school breakfast and lunch
  • Special Education, Bilingual, Vocational, Highly Capable programs
  • School supplies
  • Title I/LAP
  • The public schools must evaluate your child if he/she has a disability.

If you believe the educational rights of your child have been violated or your child has been discriminated against, you can file a complaint at the school. A good place to look for assistance is to talk with the school district’s McKinney-Vento Liaison, Holly Shaffer, at (253) 583-5154.

Your Responsibilities

  • During the school year your child should be going to school every day.
  • If you are transferring your child, you must enroll your child in the school right away.
  • You must immediately ask the school for transportation if you need it.
  • Ask if special tutoring or counseling is available to help make up for lost school time.
  • You should meet with your child’s teacher regularly to make sure your child is getting every appropriate pro-gram.

Note to High School Students

If you are a high school student living away from your parents and do not have permanent housing (maybe you are staying in a shelter or with friends or relatives), these same rights apply to you.

Who Do You Call If You Have A Question?


Melissa Ford
McKinney-Vento Case Manager
10903 Gravelly Lake Dr SW, # 5
Lakewood, WA 98499
Phone: (253) 583-5157
Fax: (253) 583-5158
Email: [email protected]
Web: CPSD Homeless Assistance

~ OR ~

Melinda Dyer
Program Supervisor
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Education of Homeless Children and Youth Phone: (360) 725-6050
Email: [email protected]

Community Resources

United Way - 211

Central Intake - 682-3401

LASA - 582-5320

Alliance Youth Shelter - 502-5470

YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter - 383-2593

Community Voice Mail - 571-5960

Dental Hot Line - 798-6044

Domestic Violence Helpline - 798-4166

Community Health Care - 597-4550

Crisis Helpline - 1-800-576-7764

Energy Assistance - 572-5557

Healthcare for the Homeless - 627-5445

Homeless Childcare - 572-3213

Homeless Prev./Rapid Rehousing - 383-3056

Family Support Centers - 798-6403

TANF/DSHS - 476-7000

Pierce Transit - 581-8000

South Sound Outreach - 593-2111

Pierce County Housing Authority - 620-5400

Public Health Information - 798-2987

Clover Park Schools Info - 583-5000

Rev: 12/08/2015

Clover Park School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal, and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Address correspondence to one of the following individuals who have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination at Clover Park School District, 10903 Gravelly Lake Dr., SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-1341:

Title IX Coordinator,
Section 504/ADA Coordinator,
Civil Right Compliance Coordinator
Greg Davis, Executive Director of Compliance and Student Services 
Contact the Executive Director of Compliance and Student Services
(253) 583-5154