Homeless Information

Rights Related to Students Experiencing Homelessness


Homeless Definition

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless youth as individuals between the age of birth and 22 who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. 

This definition includes: 

  • Youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Youth who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Youth who are living in emergency or transitional shelters or are abandoned in hospitals
  • Youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • Youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, 
  • Youth who are living with friends or family because of being a runaway or unaccompanied, or
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in circumstances listed above.

Educational Rights

  • The District shall provide homeless youth with equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as is provided to other youth.
  • Homeless youth shall have the right to fully participate in all school activities and programs for which the child is eligible and have the right to enroll in local comprehensive schools. 
  • Homeless students must have access to the education and other services that they need to meet the same challenging academic standards to which all students are held
  • Homeless youth have the right to immediate enrollment in their school of origin or school where they are currently residing without proof of residency, immunization records, tuberculosis skin-test results, school records, or legal guardianship papers. If a dispute arises during enrollment, homeless youth have the right to contact the District’s Homeless Liaison.
  • Homeless youth automatically qualify for nutrition programs.  
  • The District will accept and issue partial credits for courses that have been satisfactorily completed by a homeless student.
  • Homeless youth have the right to be notified of the possibility of graduating within four years with reduced state requirements, if the homeless student transferred after the second year of high school, is credit deficient, and will not be able to graduate on time with WUHSD graduation requirements.  
  • Directory information regarding a pupil identified as a homeless youth shall not be released unless a parent, or eligible pupil, has provided written consent that directory information may be released. 
  • Homeless youth have a right to apply for financial aid to seek education beyond high school and to file with independent status with the FAFSA. 
  • At the request of the parent/guardian/unaccompanied youth, the district shall ensure that transportation is provided to and from the school of origin, if feasible, for homeless youth.

School Site Homeless Liaison: Aubree Garduno, 562-698-8121 Ext. 3030, [email protected].

District Homeless Liaison: Amy Larson, Director, Student Support Services; 562-698-8121, Ext. 1180 [email protected]. You may contact her for resources or concerns related to enrollment and/or homeless rights.

Complaints related to homelessness are subject to the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedure process and may be sent to: Lilia Bozigian, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, 9401 S Painter Ave., Whittier, CA 90605, (562) 698-8121 Ext. 1020.

Complaints will be investigated within 60 days from the receipt of the complaint. This time period may be extended by written agreement of the complainant.  The complainant has a right to appeal our Decision of complaints regarding specific programs and activities subject to the UCP to the California Department of Education (CDE) by filing a written appeal within 15 days of receiving our Decision. The appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the originally filed complaint and a copy of our Decision. Copies of our Uniform Complaint Procedures process shall be available free of charge.