Arlington Public Schools (APS) is committed to providing support to our students experiencing homelessness. Project Extra Step provides support for successful academic experiences for these students. The APS homeless liaison is responsible for ensuring the identification, enrollment and access to the academic programs offered by APS. For more information families should contact the social worker at their child’s school or call the Project Extra Step office at 703-228-6046 or the Homeless Liaison at 703-228-2585.
Definition of Homelessness
Anyone who, due to a lack of housing, lives:
- In emergency or transitional shelters;
- In motels, hotels, trailer parks, campgrounds;
- In cars, parks, public places, bus or train stations, or abandoned buildings;
- Doubled up with relatives or friends;
- In these conditions and is a child or youth not in the physical custody of an adult (unaccompanied youth);
- In these conditions and is a migratory child or youth.
To determine homelessness, consider the permanence and adequacy of the living situation. Unaccompanied homeless youth refers to a youth without fixed, regular, and adequate housing who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. This would include runaways living in homeless situations and those denied housing by their families (sometimes referred to as throwaway children and youth).
What Families Experiencing Homelessness Need To Know
- Children and youth experiencing homelessness have a right to attend school.
- You do not need a permanent address to enroll your child in school.
- Children and youth experiencing homelessness can stay in their original school or enroll in any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend, according to their best interest. Schools must provide you with a written explanation if a placement dispute occurs, and you may appeal their decision. (Contact the homeless liaison.)
- Your child cannot be denied school enrollment just because school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available. Your child may have the right to transportation services to and from the school of origin, if determined feasible.
- Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which he or she is eligible. Transportation may not be available for these activities.
- Homeless unaccompanied youth have these same rights. (Contact the homeless liaison.)
Free and Reduced Lunch Procedures
Students who are experiencing homelessness are entitled to free and/or reduced lunch under the Federal Food and Nutrition Act. Parents do not need to complete a regular application for free and reduced lunch. Your child will automatically be enrolled in free and/or reduced lunch when registered as homeless. Requests are authorized through the homeless liaison.
Arlington Public Schools is required to provide transportation help for students experiencing homelessness in order that they are able, if they choose, to remain in their school of origin. Transportation is arranged through the homeless liaison’s office staff. Transportation options may include school bus, taxi cab and/or public transportation. Once transportation is arranged (usually 3-5 working days) the parent/guardian is notified. A signed release form is required in order to provide taxi cab and/or public transportation. Rules and regulations are provided to the parent/guardian at the time transportation is arranged. The school social worker at your child’s school will contact the homeless liaison in order to set up transportation.
Referral Form Click Here
Formulario de Referencia Presione aqui
Rights of Homeless Students Click Here
Derechos de los Alumnos que Carecen de Hogar Fijo Presione aqui
Brochures for Project Extra Step
The Department of Human Services administers Arlington County’s Housing Choice Voucher Program and Housing Grants Program, ensuring access to affordable housing for all members of the community. For more information on housing supports, visit: http://publicassistance.arlingtonva.us/housing/
The Department of Human Services has established several community safety net programs to help people with short-term needs that include food, child care, utilities, medical care and homelessness prevention. For more information, visit: http://publicassistance.arlingtonva.us/
Barbara Fisher, Homeless and Foster Care Liaison
Arlington Public Schools
Office of Student Services
Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd Arlington VA 22204
Office: 703-228-2585 or 703-228-6046