13A.05.09.03

.03 General Responsibilities.

A. Each local school system in Maryland shall:

(1) Develop, review, and revise policies to eliminate barriers to the enrollment, retention, and success in school of homeless students in a manner which addresses:

(a) Transportation issues;

(b) Enrollment delays caused by residency requirements;

(c) Lack of available records normally required for enrollment such as birth certificates, previous school records, immunization records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documentation;

(d) Guardianship issues;

(e) Uniform or dress code requirements; and

(f) Opportunities to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held.

(2) Coordinate with local social services agencies and other agencies or programs providing services to homeless children and youth and their families;

(3) Coordinate with other local school systems on interdistrict issues, such as transportation or transfer of school records;

(4) Provide services to each eligible homeless student that are comparable to services offered to other students in the local school system, including:

(a) Public preschool programs;

(b) Educational programs or services;

(c) Programs in career and technology education;

(d) Special education programs;

(e) Programs for gifted and talented students;

(f) Before-school and after-school programs;

(g) School meal programs; and

(h) Transportation; and

(5) Designate a homeless education coordinator responsible for:

(a) Ensuring that homeless children and youth are identified by school personnel, are enrolled in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in schools of that local school system;

(b) Coordinating the referrals of homeless children to health care, dental care, mental health services, and other appropriate services;

(c) Expediting school placement decisions;

(d) Identifying homeless children, youth, and families in the community;

(e) Coordinating programs and services to prevent duplication of services;

(f) Monitoring programs and projects to ensure their compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, if the local school system receives funds under the McKinney Act;

(g) Informing parents or guardians of homeless children and youth of the educational and related opportunities available to their children, ensuring that they are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;

(h) Disseminating public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youth in the schools, community agencies, family shelters, soup kitchens, and organizations where children and youth receive services;

(i) Ensuring that the parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth and any unaccompanied youth is fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, is assisted in accessing transportation to the school that is selected, and that enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with Regulation .07 of this chapter;

(j) Working with Title I administrators to ensure that Title I services are provided in accordance with the reservation of funds required by McKinney-Vento Act;

(k) Coordinating and collaborating with the State coordinator and community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youth;

(l) Developing and implementing a program to train school personnel on the educational rights of homeless children and youth, policies and procedures to identify and serve homeless children and youth, and on the special needs of homeless children and youth;

(m) Assisting unaccompanied homeless youth in the school selection process; and

(n) Ensuring that enrollment disputes are mediated according to the local school system's appeal process consistent with Regulation .07 of this chapter.

B. The Department shall:

(1) Collect and provide local school systems with monthly information on the number of homeless students reported by shelters, to validate the accuracy of information reported to the Department and correlate information collected by local school systems;

(2) Coordinate and collaborate with educators, including child development and preschool program personnel, providers of services to homeless and runaway children and youth and homeless families, local school system homeless education coordinators, and community organizations and groups representing homeless children and youth and their families;

(3) Facilitate coordination of services to homeless students with other State agencies;

(4) Administer the McKinney-Vento Act grant program;

(5) Prepare and submit reports to the federal government in accordance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act; and

(6) Provide the coordinators technical assistance and other support necessary to assist local school systems coordinators to ensure local school system compliance.