“Out of School Time” typically refers to supervised programs students attend before or after the regular school day. Examples of Out of School Time programs include those offered by childcare centers and community centers, and academic programs such as tutoring, school clubs, and sports programs.

Without reliable access to these types of programs, students experiencing homelessness often lack a safe, stable, and supervised environment in which to continue to build positive social and emotional learning. McKinney-Vento liaisons, school staff, and district leadership can help bridge opportunity and development gaps by partnering with community-based organizations to provide free or low-cost Out of School Time programs and transportation. According to McKinney-Vento law, “immediate enrollment rights include receiving adequate and appropriate transportation to and from the school of origin and the ability to fully participate in all school activities.” Providing transportation for students experiencing homelessness to and from Out of School Time programs allows for equitable access to opportunities for further learning and development.

(Note: Abbreviations following recommendations indicate sources for those recommendations. See the Sources Key below for details.)

Goal 1: All students and families experiencing homelessness can easily access transportation to and from Out of School Time programs.

  1. Partner with community-based organizations and rideshare companies, such as Uber, to provide transportation to school and community events. (PE)
  2. Partner with local public transportation services, such as city metro buses, to provide free, year-round youth transit passes. (PE)
  3. Advocate for transportation services for students experiencing homelessness by using the 21st Century law, which funds academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours. (LE)

Goal 2: Students and families are connected with community-based organizations so they can access before- and after-school childcare and extracurricular activities.

  1. School districts and community-based organizations form partnerships to waive fees, use federal Title 1 funding, and/or write grants to ensure students experiencing homelessness have access to programs outside of regular school time. (PE)
  2. Shelters partner with government programs and community-based organizations to expand access to Out of School Time programs. They can do this by prioritizing scholarships to and slots in programs for students experiencing homelessness. (PE, LE)

Goal 3: Students and families experiencing homelessness have access to high-quality, culturally- relevant childcare and transportation services.

  1. Partner with in-home, community-based childcare centers that are representative of the student population. (PE, LE)
  2. Provide culturally responsive communication with parents, students, and childcare providers through the use of trained interpreters. (LE)
  3. Hire transportation providers that reflect the community they are serving and provide ongoing training regarding trauma-informed care and confidentiality. (LE)

Goal 4: Out of School Time is used to expand on academic support, especially for students experiencing homelessness who may need additional assistance to account for learning loss.

  1. Create one-on-one after-school tutoring opportunities utilizing federal Title 1 funding. (PE)
  2. Create school-based “homework clubs” for students experiencing homelessness to catch up on learning loss. (PE)
    • Strategy 1: Fairmount Park Elementary School in Seattle created an after-school homework club specifically for students experiencing homelessness, and collaborated with their McKinney-Vento liaison to pay dedicated teachers for the extra time and set up transportation.

Goal 5: Engagement with students increases through provision of mentorship opportunities in schools to help those experiencing homelessness expand their network of support.

  1. Partner with local organizations that can match students with culturally aligned mentors for support. (PE, LE)
  2. Partner with MENTOR Washington, an organization that works with mentorship providers across the state to offer mentors for youth experiencing homelessness. (PE)

Sources Key

AcronymCategorySources Include:
PEProfessional Expertise Building Changes staff; school and district staff interviewed through Schoolhouse Washington-funded projects and our Students of Color project
LELived ExpertiseInterviews with with parents, students (including those from our Students of Color project), and school staff in Washington State
MMMixed-methods ResearchBeating the Odds quantitative and qualitative analysis showing association between a practice and better-than-predicted outcomes

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