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Mission Statement

The mission of the Homeless Education Assistance Team is to assist with the educational, social and family needs of homeless children and youth by coordinating communication and services among families, schools and communities. SCHOOL BOARD OF PINELLAS COUNTY Janet R. Clark----Chairperson Carol J. Cook--Vice Chairperson Mary L. Tyus Brown Nina Hayden Linda S. Lerner Peggy L. O'Shea Robin L. Wikle SUPERINTENDENT Julie M. Janssen, Ed.D.

Pinellas County School

Homeless Education Assistance Team (HEAT)

HOMELESS EDUCATION ASSISTANCE TEAM Dropout Prevention Pinellas County Schools 301 4th Street SW Largo, FL 33770

The School Board of Pinellas County, Florida, prohibits any and all forms of discrimination and harassment based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability in any of its programs, services or activities.


· Mission Statement, HEAT Staff--pg.2 · McKinney-Vento Assistance Act--pg.3 · Who Is Homeless?--pg 3 · Provisions--pg 4 · Access Services--pg 5 · Helping Students Succeed--pg 6 · Donation Wish List--pg 7 · Mission Statement, HEAT Staff--pg.8

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Homeless and HEAT Staff

State Coordinator

Lorraine Allen, State Coordinator -provide technical assistance to LEAs in coordination with the local liaison to ensure that LEAs comply with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act. E-Mail: [email protected]

Donation Wish List

Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Visa, Publix, Winn Dixie, etc... Monetary donations to Pinellas Education Foundation, Homeless Project Beds and bed linens School supplies Backpacks Sunscreen, deodorants, feminine products, baby wipes and other personal hygiene products. Sponsors for Holiday gifts Gas cards Bus passes Bath and kitchen towels Breakfast bars and non-perishable foods Brushes, tooth brushes, toothpaste Winter coats, jackets and sweaters Baby items (diapers, cribs, tubs, swings, toys linens, books and toys) Books For more information contact:

North County Suzanne Hennessey, LCSW E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-588-6434 Cell: 727-638-3281 South County Imani Spotwood,, MSW E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-669-1220 ext. 2053 Cell: 727-638-3274

Homeless Education Assistance Team (HEAT)

Althea Hudson, HEAT LEA Liaison & Project Supervisor­ plans and coordinates the development and implementation of the homeless services for homeless children and youth in the district. E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-588-6063 Janet Walker, Resource Teacher--works as a liaison with elementary schools and shelters. Provide assistance obtaining basic needs and tutoring support to homeless children and youth. E-Mail: [email protected] Office (727)669-1220 ext 2078 Cell: 727-638-3229 Louisa James ­Academic Coach-- Louisa collaborates with identified high need middle schools to provide support to homeless students with academic, attendance and behavioral goals. E-Mail: [email protected] Cell: 727-669-1220 Ext.2053 Social Workers--identifies and provides direct services to homeless families. Networks / coordinates with community agencies to expand services for homeless families. Jennifer Gallman, MSW-- E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-507-4730 Ext. 2013 Suzanne Hennessey, LCSW­ E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-588-6434 Cell: 727-638-3281 Imani Spotwood,, MSW-- E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-669-1220 ext. 2053 Cell: 727-638-3274 Teresa Wills, MSW E-Mail: [email protected] Office: 727-669-1220 Ext. 2018

Homeless Education Assistance Team (HEAT)


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Helping Students Succeed Strategies

Helping Homeless Students Succeed:

Stabilize their basic needs-make sure food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, and transportation have been addressed. Provide a buddy on day one for support to the student. If time allows, administer a brief educational assessment to determine student level of instruction. If time is not available, then determine level through conversation, previous school records, etc. Offer educational support to homeless students for either enrichment or after school tutoring. Follow up with teachers to determine identified homeless student progress. Remember confidentiality. Coordinate specific times during the school year for awareness / sensitivity training to school staff explaining the nature and trauma of homeless students.

McKinney--Vento Assistance

Reauthorized 2002, as part of the NCLB, states that every student experiencing homelessness is entitled to: A free, appropriate public education Education in a mainstream school environment Participation in the school food service program Prompt resolution of disputes regarding educational placement No isolation or stigmatization due to their homeless status Placement in their school of origin the entire time they are homeless, and until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing Consideration of parent's requests regarding placement at the school of origin or the zoned school Educational, social, athletic, and recreational services offered to other students

Who is homeless?

Any child or youth (Pre-K-12th grade) who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence: Living in emergency or transitional shelters, FEMA Trailers, abandoned in hospitals Sharing in the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; doubled-up Living in cars, parks, temporary trailer parks, or campgrounds, due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, public or private place not designated for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings Living in hotels or motels Awaiting foster care Unaccompanied Youth: Any child or youth who meets the definition of an individual experiencing homelessness and is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

Homeless Education Assistance Team (HEAT)


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School Selection:

Children and youth experiencing homelessness can stay in their school of origin or enroll in any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend, according to their best interest.

Access Services


Transportation must be provided to and from the homeless student's school of origin upon request of parent or guardian. In addition, the district must provide students in homeless situations with transportation services comparable to those provided to non homeless students. School districts must eliminate barriers to the school enrollment and retention of students experiencing homelessness.

School of Origin-is the school attended by

student when permanently housed or last enrolled

Best interest­ keeps the student in the school of

origin unless against the request of parents or guardian

If a student is sent to a school other than that requested by a parent or guardian, the district must provide a written explanation to the parent of its decision and the right to appeal.

Food Service:

Free breakfast and lunches are available to homeless children if they qualify for McKinney-Vento services.


The Term enroll and enrollment include attending classes and participating fully in school activities. Have the right to enroll in school immediately, even if they do not have required documents, such as school records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documents Enrolling schools must obtain school records from previous school and students must be enrolled while obtaining records. Federal law supersedes state and local laws where there is a conflict (U.S. Constitution, Article V).

Unaccompanied Youth:

District Liaison or designee must be willing to assist the unaccompanied youth to choose and enroll in a school. Inform the youth of his/her appeal rights and the rights under the law. School personnel must be aware of the specific needs of runaway, homeless youth, and awaiting foster care youth.

Preschool-Aged Children:

District Liaison must ensure that families and children experiencing homelessness receive a public preschool program.

Homeless Education Assistance Team (HEAT)



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