DCS's Homeless Education Program
The current Corona Virus pandemic has taught us all the importance of children being able to attend school. For many students, school is their place for stability, normalcy, safety, food, and adequate access to technology. This is no different for students experiencing homelessness. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act requires districts to identify students experiencing homelessness and remove any barriers to their enrollment and attendance in school.
DCS has had approximately 80 McKinney-Vento students during the 2020-2021 school year. DCS’ Homeless Education Program has been able to facilitate enrollment for all of these students as well as provide clothing, school supplies, and school-related fees. Our proudest moments come with the ability to purchase the cap and gown for a senior who, despite the many difficulties their family faced, was able to persevere and complete all coursework to graduate.
The needs of this special population cannot be met by DCS alone. The Homeless Liaison collaborates with community agencies such as PACT, Community Action, and the Crisis Services of North AL to provide needed services. The efforts of DCS and these agencies to identify and serve students experiencing homelessness has lessened the impact in the classroom, allowing students to focus on their education.