Goal 1: Districts and schools have a sufficient number of staff members to fully support the needs of students experiencing homelessness.
- Hire more McKinney-Vento liaisons to support students and families. (PE, LE)
- Develop a process to recruit, hire, and train a diverse group of knowledgeable educators, McKinney-Vento liaisons, and counselors who represent the student population they are serving. Focus on hiring people of color for leadership and executive roles. (PE, LE)
- Schools should partner with community-based organizations to increase support and capacity. (PE, LE, MM)
- During the COVID-19 pandemic…
Partnerships between schools and community-based organizations can help to quickly meet the emergent needs of students and families that districts often cannot fulfill. For example, Washington Kids in Transition, a nonprofit organization, was able to move faster than the district to fill resource gaps for households experiencing homelessness.
Goal 2: Staff working with McKinney-Vento eligible students are equipped with clear roles and responsibilities. Tasks can include outreach through events to raise awareness, provide McKinney-Vento training, and connect students experiencing homelessness with McKinney-Vento support programs in school buildings. *See Family Outreach and Communication topic area for further information.
- McKinney-Vento liaisons should assist with connecting students and families experiencing homelessness to housing programs, advocating for students’ rights, identifying school building–level points of contact, and introducing them to family engagement and support teams that can provide case management services. This is especially important now, as the need for resources and referrals has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. (PE)
- Support staff should reach out to students and families experiencing homelessness in areas where they live or in another accessible location chosen by the student or family. (PE, LE)
- Create school-based teams, made up of school staff and community-based organizations, that focus on improving students’ academic and attendance rates. The teams should be knowledgeable and trained in working with McKinney-Vento eligible students (e.g., an intervention team, attendance team, racial equity team, or family engagement and support team). (PE, MM)
- Strategy 1: Provide guidance for students and families on how to balance school and work life, access transportation, make appointments for support services, and access childcare services.
- Strategy 2: Follow up with students and families after they complete their initial intake application forms (e.g., student housing questionnaires, referral forms, student-family meetings) by having ongoing conversations about their evolving needs.
|PE||Professional Expertise||Building Changes staff; school and district staff interviewed through Schoolhouse Washington-funded projects and the Students of Color project|
|LE||Lived Expertise||Students and families of color experiencing homelessness interviewed through the Students of Color project|
|MM||Mixed-methods Research||Beating the Odds quantitative and qualitative analysis showing association between a practice and better-than-predicted outcomes|