Homeless students are those who lack a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence. This includes students who are:

    • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (doubling up);
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
    • Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
    • Living in abandoned hospitals;
    • Have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation of human beings, or
    • Live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting.

    The definition includes migratory students who live in the aforementioned situations. Beginning Dec. 10, 2016, “those awaiting foster care placement” are not included in the definition.


    Pursuant to the McKinney-Vento Act, an unaccompanied youth includes a homeless child or youth under the age of 21 and not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 


    Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Indiana will create a plan to better align our local, state, and federal programs to help all students be successful.

    The Indiana Department of Education is committed to meaningfully engaging a diverse group of stakeholders through a variety of methods and opportunities to solicit thoughts, opinions, and recommendations concerning provisions in Indiana’s state plan. 


    • The right to enroll immediately, even if you don't have all the required paperwork. Schools normally require parents to have birth certificates, proof of residency, school records, and medical records with them when they enroll their children. If you are experiencing one of the housing situations covered by the McKinney-Vento Act, then you can enroll your children without these documents, although you may need to get some of them later.
    • The right to school placement at the school in their best interest. Your children may go to the school they attended when they were permanently housed, also called their school of origin, even if you are not staying in that district. Alternatively, your children may attend the school where you are temporarily staying. This right lasts the entire duration of your homelessness or until the end of the school year after you achieve permanent housing.
    • The right to transportation services. Schools must provide your children with transportation to their school, if feasible, until you get permanent housing. Parents who need this service for their children should request it from the McKinney-Vento Liaison.
    • The right to other services. The fees for breakfast and lunch provided by the school, as well as the fees for textbooks, should be waived for your children. They also are automatically eligible for Title I services, which may include before- and after-school programs, tutoring programs, or other assistance such as graphing calculators required for math classes.
    • The right to appeal decisions regarding enrollment and services. If the school district makes a decision about your child's school enrollment or the services that your child receives (such as transportation) that you disagree with, you have the right to appeal that decision. The school's McKinney-Vento Liaison should be contacted immediately to assist you with the appeal. While the dispute with the school district is being resolved, your child has the right to attend the school or receive the services in question.
    • The right to attend school and school activities without the fear of being singled out. Children in unstable housing situations cannot be separated from their peers just because of their housing situation. They have the right to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities just like any other student.


    McKinney-Vento Information

    Cub Connect Brochure 

    Defining Homelessness Fact Sheet - from the Indiana Department of Education 

    Cub Pantry 

    Homeless Students' Rights

    Contact Chelsea Fountain, Community Outreach Liaison, for help with identifying available resources and supports at 317-346-8684 or fountainc@franklinschools.org


    IDOE's McKinney-Vento: Homeless Children & Youth Program 

    National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)

    School House Connection

    National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth



    Franklin Community School Corporation

    Director of Mental Health

    McKinney-Vento Liaison





    Director of Student Pathways & Opportunities 

    Homeless Education Specialist

    Indiana Department of Education

    115 West Washington Street, Suite 600

    Indianapolis, IN 46207

    (317) 232-0957