Menu of Strategies is a working collection of recommendations for schools, districts, and community partners to better support students and families experiencing homelessness in Washington State. To develop our recommendations on addressing the uniquely varied needs of students experiencing homelessness, we pulled together insights from a variety of sources: surveys and interviews with school staff, district staff, and students and families with lived expertise, and student data from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Our most recent report on students experiencing homelessness shows that only 55% of this population graduate on time, compared to 81% of housed students. With pandemic-related school closures, students will fall further behind academically, especially those who were already struggling to attend class before the pandemic due to housing instability.
We need the collective commitment of schools, school districts, and community partners to focus all our strategies and resources toward better supporting students and families experiencing homelessness. Through adapting the recommendations listed in our Menu of Strategies, we can increase attendance and graduation rates, identify and understand students’ needs, and strengthen partnerships between school and housing systems.