The Grundy County Board of Education is committed to educating youth experiencing homelessness and will serve each student according to the student’s best interest. A homeless student shall have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths.
Students experiencing homelessness are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.Homeless students include:
Students sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; students living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; students living in emergency or transitional shelters; or students abandoned in hospitals;
Students who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodations for human beings;
Students living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or trains stations, or similar settings; and
Migratory students who are living in circumstances described above.
Grundy County Homeless Liaisons:
Grundy County District Homeless Coordinator: Tonya Garner, Federal Programs Supervisor
Coalmont Elementary School ENABLE Liaison: Natasha Clark
North Elementary School ENABLE Liaison: Jennifer Partin
Palmer Elementary School ENABLE Liaison: Angie Mitchell
Pelham Elementary School ENABLE Liaison: Holly Bryan
Swiss Memorial Elementary School ENABLE Liaison: Shannon Crabtree
Tracy City Elementary School ENABLE Liaison: Liz Grudger
Grundy County High School ENABLE Liaison: Tabitha Sherrill
The local liaisons serves as one of the primary contacts between homeless families and school staff, district personnel, shelter workers, and other service providers. The liaison coordinates services to ensure that homeless children and youths enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically.
Grundy County ENABLE liaisons must ensure that:
homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
homeless children and youths are enrolled in, and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school;
homeless families, children, and youths have access to and receive educational services for which such families, children, and youths are eligible, including services through Head Start programs(including Early Head Start programs), early intervention services under Part C of the IDEA, and other preschool programs administered by the LEA;
homeless families, children, and youths receive referrals to health, dental, mental health, and substance abuse services, housing services, and other appropriate services;
parents or guardians of homeless children and youths are informed of educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
public notice of the educational rights of homeless students is disseminated in locations frequented by parents and guardians of such children and youths, and unaccompanied youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form understandable to the parents and guardians and unaccompanied youths;
enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act;
parents and guardians and unaccompanied youths are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to and from the school of origin and are assisted in accessing transportation services;
school personnel receive professional development and other support; and
All students, upon registering for Grundy County Schools Pre K thru 12th grade, will complete a residency form. Once the forms are completed, the ENABLE Liaison will examine them to determine any students that qualify as being homeless. Once the students are identified the students and the families will be interviewed and explained their rights through the McKinney - Vento Act. (ENABLE Forms attached)
School Registration of Homeless Students:
Homeless children and youth shall be immediately enrolled in school, even if the child or youth lacks the records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency and other documentation. The enrolling school must immediately contact the last school attended to obtain relevant academic and other records.
School of origin is the:
school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed;
school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including preschool; or
designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.
A homeless child/youth’s right to attend their school of origin extends for the duration of homelessness. If the homeless child or youth becomes permanently housed during the academic year, they are entitled to stay in the school of origin for the remainder of the academic year.
If the child or student becomes homeless in between academic years, i.e. during the summer, they are entitled to attend their school of origin for the following academic year.
Subsequent to being registered, the homeless student should be immediately referred to the school’s ENABLE Liaison, who will assist the student, parents/guardian and school personnel in areas of need. The liaison will explain the ENABLE program to the student and families and provide assistance as needed. Services and materials that are available to the participants will be explained and information on available outside resources will be provided.
Health Records and Birth Certificate Requirements:
If a homeless child or youth seeks to register without a record of immunization, the ENABLE Liaison or school secretary should contact the student’s former school to request the student’s records, immunization and to discuss other enrollment/placement issues. If information is not available to satisfy immunization compliance, this requirement should be temporarily waived, pending efforts to obtain the medical records. In the interim, the school nurse should collaborate with community health agencies to obtain proper immunizations.
If a birth certificate is not available, the student should be registered immediately and subsequent appropriate steps should be taken to resolve this issue.
Educational Records, Transfer and Withdrawal:
Educational information needed for proper placement should initially be obtained from the student’s former school. If educational records or educational information are not available, the student should be registered and an educational record developed in accordance with the Grundy County Board of Education Student Records Guidelines. In these cases, the STAR Universal Screener test should be administered to assist in determining an appropriate placement according to their level of academic skills.
If a homeless student seeks to register without having appropriate transfer forms, the receiving school should immediately register the student, contact the former school for transfer information and request that the educational record be forwarded.
An unaccompanied youth who is experiencing homelessness must be enrolled immediately, even if the youth does not have a fixed place of residence, proper documentation or solely because the youth is not under the supervision of a parent, guardian or person in a parental relationship. The ENABLE liaison will assist in enrollment. The school will make every effort to locate the parent or guardian to complete the registration process. In unusual situations, Child Protective Services or Department of Social Services may be contacted, with referrals consistent with school policy in reporting cases of parental neglect.
If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in a school:
The homeless student shall be immediately admitted to the school in which the enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute.
The parent or guardian of the student shall be provided with a written explanation of the school’s decision regarding school selection or enrollment, including the rights of the parent, guardian, or student to appeal the decision.
The student, parent, or guardian shall be referred to Grundy County School’s Homeless Coordinator who shall carry out the appeal process as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute; and
In the case of unaccompanied youth, the homeless liaison shall ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of the dispute.
Tracking system for Homeless Students:
Federal guidelines mandate that Grundy County Board of Education track and report the number of homeless students. During registration of homeless students, a secured (confidential) code will be used in Power School to track students in the district. Powerschool is the data system Grundy County Department of Education uses to prepare required Federal and State reports regarding the education of homeless students.
Grundy County Board of Education
McKinney- Vento Enrollment Dispute Appeal Process
If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in a school which cannot be resolved the following process shall be followed:
Oral Complaint: In the event that an unaccompanied student or the parent or guardian of a student (hereinafter referred to as the Complainant) disagrees with a school’s decision regarding the student’s eligibility to attend the school, the Complainant shall orally present his position to the division’s homeless liaison
Written Complaint: If the disagreement is not resolved within five (5) school days, the Complainant may present a written complaint to the Grundy County School’s Homeless Liaison. The written complaint must include the following information: the date the complaint is given to the homeless liaison; a summary of the events surrounding the dispute; the name(s) of the school division personnel involved in the enrollment decision; and the result of the presentation of the oral complaint to the homeless liaison.
Within five (5) school days after receiving the written complaint, the Grundy County School’s Homeless Liaison will reach a decision in consultation with the Director of Schools as needed regarding the contested enrollment and shall provide a written statement of that decision, including the reasons therefore, to the Complainant. The homeless liaison will inform the Director of Schools of the formal complaint and its resolution.
Appeal to the Director of Schools: If the Complainant is not satisfied with the written decision of the homeless liaison, the Complainant may appeal that decision to the Director of Schools by filing a written appeal. The homeless liaison shall ensure that the Director of Schoolsreceives copies of the written complaint and the response thereto. The Director of Schools shall schedule a conference with the Complainant to discuss the complaint. Within five (5) school days of receiving the written appeal, the Director ofSchools shall provide a written decision to the Complainant including a statement of the reason therefore.
Grundy County Board of Education
McKinney-Vento Enrollment Dispute Resolution Form
Person Completing Form: __________________________________ Date: ______________
The student listed above has the right to enroll immediately in the school of choice pending resolution of the dispute.
You may provide written or verbal documentation to support your position. You may use the form attached to this notification.
You may seek the assistance of advocates or attorneys.
You may contact the Office of Consolidated Planning and Monitoring to discuss this decision with Jonathan M. Bolding, M.A. | McKinney-Vento & Neglected/Delinquent Programs Coordinator,, Andrew Johnson Tower, 9th floor, 710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243, (615) 770-1793 (desk)
Grundy County Board of Education
McKinney-Vento Written Notification of Enrollment Decision
To be completed by the parent, guardian, caretaker, or unaccompanied youth when a dispute arises. This information may be shared verbally with the local liaison, as an alternative to completing this form.
Date Submitted: ________________________________
Students(s): _______________________________________________________ Person Completing Form: ____________________________________________ Relation to student(s): _______________________________________________ I may be contacted at (phone or email): _________________________________ I wish to appeal the enrollment decision made by:
I have been provided with:
____ A written explanation of the school’s decision, and
____ Contact information for the local homeless education liaison.
Dispute Resolution can be added to the form after it is finalized.
Optional: You may include a written explanation to support your appeal in this space or provide your explanation verbally.
The school provided me with a copy of this form when submitted. ________________ (Initials)
Grundy County Board of Education
Determining Feasibility for School Placement
The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to consider the school of origin as the first option in school enrollment. Parents may choose the school of origin or the school in the residency area where the child is currently living. The following individuals may be consulted in determining what placement is in the child’s or youth’s best interest:
The homeless child,
The parents or caretakers of the homeless child,
Homeless shelter personnel,
Representatives of social service agencies,
School division homeless education coordinators,
School social workers, and
It is the school division’s responsibility to determine the school of origin and residency and to resolve any conflict concerning the school placement that is in the best interest of the student. Whenever possible, the school division is to comply with the parents’/caretakers’ wishes. If the school division and parents do not agree on the appropriate placement, the state’s enrollment dispute resolution procedure must be followed. The student should be enrolled in the school parents have chosen during the resolution process. If schools of residency and origin are in different divisions and determined as the best placement, the local homeless education liaisons from both divisions must work together to arrange transportation.
The McKinney-Vento Act states that once a child has been identified as homeless, residency requirements do not apply. The federal law requires that a child or youth experiencing homelessness attend:
The school of origin: This is the school that the child last attended before experiencing homelessness or the school where the student was last enrolled;
The school of residency: The school identified by the attendance zone in which the student is currently physically staying.
Enrollment should take place immediately.
A worksheet is provided to assist in determining the feasibility for school placement decisions that are in the student's’ best interest.
Grundy County Board of Education
Worksheet for Determining Feasibility for School Placement
Please provide the following information for the previous schools the child attended, listing the most recent school first.
Dates of Attendance
Living Arrangement at the Time
Are the school of origin and the school of residency in the same or different public school divisions?
What is the child’s desire concerning the school of his/her best interest?
What is the opinion of the parent or caregiver concerning the child’s school of best interest?
What is the distance and time spent on travel from the current residence to the school of origin?
If transportation is not currently available back to the school of origin, how can it be arranged?
What time of year is it (near the end of the school year, the summer)?
How long did the child attend the school of origin? Were meaningful social and educational relationships established?
Are there specified people in the school of origin who have been providing support or assistance to the family or child experiencing homelessness?
Are there special programs such as gifted, bilingual, or remedial education in which the child has been participating at the school of origin?-If yes, please name.-Are they available at the school of residency?
Based on the knowledge of the family situation, how long is it likely that the family will remain at the current residence?
What is the likelihood that the family experiencing homelessness will once again establish residency in the attendance area of the school of origin?
Individuals consulted on this determination of feasibility for school placement in the student’s best interest:
Signatures of the individual(s) making the recommendation: