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Growing Your program in 10 easy steps


Title: Using School Based Programs to Support Homeless Students Author: CP8230 Last modified by: CDUKES Created Date: 6/17/2013 9:29:28 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Growing Your program in 10 easy steps

Growing Your program in 10 easy steps
  • National Association for the Education of
    Homeless Children and Youth
  • 2013 National Conference
  • Atlanta, Georgia

Contact Information
  • Heather Denny, MEd
  • State Coordinator for Homeless Education
  • Montana Office of Public Instruction
  • PO Box 202501
  • Helena, MT 59620-2501
  • (406) 444-2036

1. Start with a Needs Assessment
Community needs assessment
  • Ask if the district did a previous assessment
  • Check with local non-profits to determine if
    anyone has done a needs assessment as part of a
    grant application
  • Check with your local HUD CoC to determine if
    they have done a local needs assessment
  • All of this data can be used in combination with
    a district level assessment to determine larger
    community issues

How many homeless children are in my district?
  • Approximately 10 of the students who receive
    free or reduced lunch experience an episode of
    homelessness during the school year.
  • Approximately 50 of all homeless children are
    between the ages of 0 and 5 (not enrolled in
  • Look at community factors that may affect
    homeless rates
  • Unemployment rates
  • Availability of affordable housing
  • Access to housing support (HUD/Section 8)
  • Is your community an access point for services?
  • Do you have shelters (homeless, domestic
    violence, etc.)

How many homeless students are in my district?
  • What are their ages?
  • Which schools are they in?
  • Are there certain times of year that families
    become homeless?
  • Are homeless students moving in and out of my
    school? Why? From/to where?
  • Are their other categories they fit into?
  • LEP 13-14 nationally
  • Migrant 1 nationally
  • Special Education 13-14 nationally
  • Unaccompanied Youth 6-8 nationally
  • Indian Education
  • Gifted Talented

Where do homeless families live in my community?
  • Doubled up 75 nationally
  • Often living with other low-income families
  • May be living with elderly parents
  • They can be in any community.
  • Shelters 15 nationally
  • Emergency Homeless Shelters, Domestic Violence
    Shelters, Youth Shelters, Transitional Living
    Facilities (drug/alcohol, mental health,
    veterans, youth, etc.)
  • Hotels/Motels 6 nationally
  • Low cost, extended-stay, may offer suites or
  • Unsheltered 4 nationally
  • Campgrounds, parks, wooded areas, bus stations,
    barns, abandoned homes/campers/buses, areas which
    may provide shelter

2. Assess Your Physical Assets
Physical Assets in the Building
  • Cafeteria Are you providing meals (breakfast
    and lunch) to homeless students?
  • Gym Do you have shower facilities that students
    could access before/after school?
  • Laundry Do you have a washer and dryer that
    students could access? (In a life skills
    classroom or in the locker rooms?)
  • Do you have extra lockers for unaccompanied youth
    to use to store clothing and personal items?

Physical Assets in the Building
  • Does your library or computer lab stay open
    during lunch/after school so students can access
    computers to do homework?
  • Do you have space in a closet or empty room where
    you could create a food pantry?
  • Do you have space to create a closet for used
    (recycled) clothing?
  • Does the district own vehicles that could be used
    to transport students or parents?
  • Drivers Ed vehicles, delivery vans

3. Assess Your Personnel Assets
Staff Positions Who is in my Building?
  • Homeless Liaison
  • School Counselor/Social Worker
  • Mental Health Programs
  • School Nurse
  • Parent Liaison (Home-School Coordinator)
  • Special Education
  • Title I Staff
  • Title VII Staff (Indian Education)
  • Title III Staff (Limited English Proficient)
  • Migrant Coordinator (not in your building but
    serving your kids)

Homeless Liaison
  • This person should have the capacity and the
    ability to do the job
  • Have a heart for the population
  • The Liaison should serve as an entry point
  • The Liaison acts as an advocate
  • The Liaison connects students to school based
  • The Liaison may also make referrals to community
  • The Liaison may assist with transportation of
    parents to school meetings
  • The Liaison may provide direct academic
  • The Liaison participates in a number of community
    agency meetings and works with community agencies
    to develop programs to meet the needs of homeless
    families and students.

School Counselor/Social Worker
  • This is the ideal staff person to serve as a
    homeless liaison
  • They are trained to provide holistic support to
  • They can provide trauma informed care
  • The ASCA code of ethics allows school counselors
    to share information about a childs homeless
    status with other school personnel
  • School counselors can provide both one on one and
    group counseling
  • School counselors can assist with college
    applications, FAFSA, and scholarships

Mental Health CSCT
  • Comprehensive School Community Treatment
  • Paid for by Medicaid or private insurance
  • Unaccompanied Youth can apply for Medicaid
    without a parent/guardian
  • Homeless Youth may suffer from a wide array of
    mental health disorders
  • Depression, PTSD, ADHD, ODD, SED
  • Also drug/alcohol addiction

School Nurse
  • Homeless students can be screened by the school
    nurse upon enrollment
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Diabetes/Malnutrition
  • Provide basic health education to older students
  • Hygiene/Basic self care
  • Nutrition
  • Assist students in obtaining necessary
  • Refer families to County Health Dept. or other
    free or low-cost health care

Parent Liaison/Home-School Coordinator
  • Elementary schools should consider this position
    for homeless liaison
  • Usually aware of community supports available to
  • Trained to work with parents and help them engage
    in their childs education
  • Can act as a go between for parents and schools
  • Is often familiar with families who are
  • Families see this person as non-threatening (they
    are not a teacher or administrator)

Special Education Staff
  • Homeless children have a higher than average rate
    of learning disabilities or cognitive delays
  • Malnutrition
  • Pre-natal drug exposure
  • Exposure to toxins before and after birth
  • Stress and trauma
  • Homeless students may have expedited screenings
    and IEPs
  • Pre-school siblings should be referred for Child
    Find screenings
  • Parents may need help to attend meetings
  • Help parents understand their childs educational
  • Help youth learn life skills
  • Help youth plan for graduation

Title I Staff
  • Homeless and highly mobile students often have
    critical gaps in their learning
  • All homeless students must be screened for Title
    I services
  • Encourage schools to screen homeless students
    upon entry
  • Classroom teachers should work closely with Title
    I teachers to provide support to homeless
  • Title I parent engagement programs should serve
    as a model for engaging homeless parents

Title III Staff
  • Homeless students struggling with language arts
    skills should be referred for LEP testing if
  • Parents/caregivers speak another language in the
  • The student spoke another language at home prior
    to entering public school
  • The student was adopted from a foreign country
    after acquiring language skills
  • This includes students who seem to have good
    verbal skills but are struggling to pass written
  • Being a second language learner is not a learning

Title VII Staff
  • Serve tribally enrolled American Indian students
  • Work with Title VII staff to provide culturally
    appropriate programming for homeless students and
  • Communicate with students and parents to
    determine eligibility
  • Assist homeless students in obtaining tribal
    enrollment documents if necessary
  • Utilize tutoring and support services for
    eligible students
  • This program is available in the 23 states with
    federally recognized tribes

Migrant Education
  • Students may qualify as both migrant and homeless
    based on their parents employment and the
    familys living situation
  • Migrant services should be accessed first (they
    usually have higher levels of funding)
  • Homeless services may help to provide educational
    stability to migrant students
  • Contact the Migrant Education Program to
    determine if students are eligible for services
  • Contact Title III (LEP) staff if the student is
    struggling with language skills and you suspect
    this may be related to being a second language

4. Assess Your Program Assets
What Programs Does My School/District Offer?
  • All the Basics
  • Federal Programs Title I, III, VII
  • Special Education
  • School Nutrition Programs
  • School Counseling Programs
  • Bullying Programs
  • Drug/Alcohol Resistance Programs
  • Health/Sex Education Programs
  • Graduation Prep Programs

Special Courses
  • Credit Recovery or online courses
  • AP/Honors Courses (Calculus and other high level
  • Dual enrollment or early college programs
  • Technical Courses Auto-CAD, Business,
    Computers, Drafting
  • Vocational Courses Medical Science,
    Agriculture, Culinary, Automotive, Welding,
  • Life Skills, Personal Finance, Health
    Nutrition, Child Development Parenting, Basic

Extra-curricular Courses
  • Homeless students must have equal access to all
    programs, including extra-curricular activities
  • Students who are engaged in extra-curricular
    activities are engaged in school
  • School engagement success
  • Fine Arts Band, Choir, Orchestra, Dance, Drama
  • Athletics Football, Basketball, Track
  • Academics Academic Decathlon, Quiz Bowl,
    Literary Criticism
  • Clubs and Honor Societies NHS, Key Club, Leo
    Club, FFA

Extra Supports?
  • Response to Intervention (RtI)
  • Differentiated Instruction Meeting the needs of
    individual students, filling gaps in education
    created by high mobility
  • Tiered Intervention including homeless students
    with other students struggling with the same
    subjects, working one-on-one as needed
  • Assessment assessing homeless students at
    non-traditional times in order to properly place
    them and continue ongoing progress monitoring
  • Behavior Interventions used with students who
    may be exhibiting PTSD-like symptoms

  • Recognize the signs of trauma and PTSD
  • Understanding that poverty is a disease
  • There are documented neurological effects
  • Recognizing the non-traditional contributions of
  • Homeless youth are often altruistic, they
    understand sacrifice for the greater good
  • They create unique communities of support

GEAR-Up or Graduation Matters
  • Work from a strength based perspective
  • Help students understand how to set goals and
    achieve them
  • Start with small steps
  • Praise often you may be the only one
  • Talk college basics
  • Talk about college early and often
  • Actively seek out homeless and homeless
    unaccompanied youth
  • Explain how to answer FAFSA questions to get Pell
    grants and other need-based financial aid

Out-of-School Time Learning and Support
  • After School Programs
  • Community Sports - AYSO
  • Summer School
  • Credit Recovery
  • Enrichment
  • Summer Nutrition
  • Job Training/Mentoring
  • Leadership
  • Spring Break/Christmas Break Programs

5. Assess Your CommunityAssets
Community Supports
  • Government Agencies Federal/State/Tribal/County/
  • Section 8 or other income based housing
  • Medicare/Medicaid/IHS/Health Departments
  • Homeless Advocacy Group think of this as one
    stop shopping
  • Transportation Routes? Cost?
  • Food Bank Where? How much? How often?
  • Backpack Buddy Program
  • Social Organizations most have a component that
    involves children and education
  • Lions Club, Elks Lodge, Rotary, Kiwanis, Masons,

Community Supports, Cont.
  • Faith-based Organizations (Churches)
  • University or Community/Tribal College
  • Fraternity/Sorority, Honor Society
  • Faculty, Extension Agents
  • Dual enrollment programs
  • Office of Student Support, Financial Aid Office
  • Local Businesses
  • Gift Cards, SWAG,Donations of out of season
  • Thrift Shops
  • Gift cards
  • Interview Outfits
  • Graduation Outfits
  • Prom dresses

6. Laying the Foundation
Program Basics
  • Enrollment
  • How do you discreetly identify students?
  • Have you removed barriers to enrollment?
  • Have you created a process?
  • School Meals
  • Streamline the process Add liaison info to the
    school meal form
  • Transportation
  • Create a point of contact
  • Plan ahead for possible new routes or drop off
  • Title I
  • Create a referral process
  • Access to other programs
  • Plan for extra-curricular activities

One size fits all?
  • Create one general program that meets the basic
    needs of all students in your school/district
  • Every department should be aware of the role they
    play in the plan
  • Include others in the creation of this plan so
    that everyone is on board (Even if this is just
    via email.)
  • Create option packages that can be added on
    based on the needs of the family/student
  • Special Education, Migrant, Athlete, Honors
    Student, Parenting Teen, LEP (Remember that some
    students may need multiple option packages.)
  • Be flexible!

7. Building the Program
Building with Legos
  • Have a vision, but be flexible
  • Use the best blocks, but realize you may have to
    make due with what youve got
  • Stack and restack until you get it right
  • Build for strength and sustainability
  • Will I have to do all this work again next year?
  • Can I keep adding on to my existing structure?
  • Can I fit new things in without tearing apart the
    whole thing?

  • The program must stand the test of time
  • Should be able to function in the face of
    decreased or zero federal/state funding
  • Build solid infrastructure think about a VISTA
    to help with this (its what they do)
  • Reach out to your community for long term funding

8. Creating a Brand
Whats in a name?
  • Try not to use the word Homeless in your
    program name
  • Families in Transition
  • Program names can reflect the unique cultural
    characteristics of your community
  • SSP Program Si, Se Puede! (Yes, it is
  • The name should reflect the positive nature of
    the assistance that is being offered
  • Student Success Coordinator

Create easy recognition
  • Use the same colors for all of the printed
    materials that you put out
  • Have someone design a logo for the program
  • Graphic designers can be found at your local high
  • Make it a contest!
  • Boil things down to a few key points
  • Can you tell someone what you do in the time it
    takes to ride the elevator up a few floors?

Write your own guidance materials.
  • Use the US Department of Education Non-Regulatory
    guidance or the NAEHCY FAQ document as a
  • Add in state-specific or district-specific laws,
    regulations, and policies
  • Give examples using local program names or
    mention regional situations that may be occurring
    (natural disasters, oil/gas booms, high
    foreclosure areas)
  • Explain to staff how to use district programs and

9. Launching a Public Relations Campaign
Create Printed Materials
  • Do not reinvent the wheel! Borrow from others
    and make it your own!
  • Always include contact info!
  • Make Posters!
  • Hang them in every school building.
  • Put them in high school bathrooms.
  • Hang them in the community.
  • Create Brochures!
  • Tri-fold brochures are the most effective
  • Limit yourself to a few key points
  • Include key community resources

Creating a website
  • Dont bury it! If parents/students cant find
    it quickly, they wont access it
  • Make it informative
  • Explain who qualifies but try not to say
  • Clearly explain district/school policies
  • Make it useful
  • Include contact info for enrolling in school
  • Include links to basic community resources
    immunizations, food, shelter, clothing
  • Ask about your districts policies on using
    social media Facebook, Twitter, etc. to get the
    word out

Personal Advertising
  • You need business cards! They are the adult
    version of Pokemon (Magic the Gathering, etc.),
    we are all trading them!
  • You need to become the homeless person in
    everyones mind.
  • Give everyone your elevator spiel
  • Hand out your brochures
  • Share information on your Facebook page
  • NAEHCY and NCHE are on Facebook too!

Working the Room (Even when it isnt your room.)
  • Talk to everyone, everywhere, all the time!
  • Step out of your comfort zone Remember its all
    about the kids.
  • Look for the connections! (Layers of
  • Ask people what they do, who they serve, how they
    serve them?
  • Help other people make connections Its all
    about who you know.
  • Become the point of entry Help your community
    to become a part of your school.

Have An Answer for Everything/Everyone
  • Remember that people can be motivated to do the
    same thing for different reasons
  • Why help homeless kids?
  • Faith based group Its the moral thing to do.
    Helping children and the less fortunate is a
    basic tenet of every major world faith
    (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc.)
  • Community Its an investment in our future. We
    are helping to raise good citizens.
  • Businesses Its a great community service
    project and free advertising.
  • School Officials It will raise your AYP scores.
    More students will pass the (insert painful
    standardized test name)test. More students will

10. Building Collaborative Partnerships
Know what you need
  • Your community will help you if you are clear
    about your needs
  • Give them data
  • Explain your funding sources (or lack thereof)
  • Explain how you currently use the funds you have
    and the federal/state rules attached to that
  • Give them a list of needs
  • Break your needs down based on your audience
  • Churches money, gas cards, food cards, places
    to do laundry
  • Businesses mentors, employers, gift cards,
    office supplies
  • Food Bank youth food boxes, summer nutrition,
    weekend food supplements

How can we help each other?
  • Remember that everyone has limited resources
  • Be honest about what you can and cant do
  • Always clear it with the chain of command
  • Never make promises!
  • Dont get so focused on leaves that you forget
    they grow on trees and are found in forests!

Let no stone go unturned!
  • Get your materials into everyones conference
    packets at any conference where
    kids/families/educators are the focus
  • DPHHS, Social Workers, Title I, School
    Administrators, Church Youth Groups, After-school
    Programs, Day Care, Group Homes
  • Invite other groups to present at your
    conferences for a workshop or as a vendor
  • Ask to present at conferences or set up a
    tabletop display
  • Offer to provide staff training to other agencies
    many agencies look for cross training

Next Steps
Action Planning
  • Create an action plan for the next year
  • Plan with a group of stakeholders (local
    liaisons, school point-of-contact, community
  • Select 4 or 5 actionable steps
  • What is the objective?
  • What steps will you take to achieve it?
  • Who will do them?
  • When will you have it done?

Review, Revise, Re-evaluate
  • Never stop improving!
  • At the end of the year go back and check your
  • What worked? Why?
  • What didnt work? Why?
  • Where are the gaps? Can you fill them?
  • Look at that stack of business cards. Did you
    forget to get back to someone?

Resources and Information
  • The National Center for Homeless Education
  • The National Association for the Education of
    Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)
  • Montana Office of Public Iinstructions Homeless
    Education Program http//
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