One of the main goals of the Williamsport Area School District Student Services Department is to help each homeless student have a school life
that is as regular as possible during the period of homelessness.
On July 22,1987 the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act
became public law. This was the first comprehensive federal law dealing
with the problems of homelessness in America. Recently It is now called the McKinney-Vento
Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001. As a first step in 1988, the Pennsylvania Department of Education
established the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program. This
program has been responsible for assessing Pennsylvania’s homeless
children population, developing the appropriate responses and
establishing McKinney-Vento Homeless sites.
Some of the objectives of the Williamsport Area School District are to increase awareness about the needs of homeless
children, reveal and overcome possible educational barriers, explain
current legislation and policies, and provide assistance and support to
Under the McKinney-Vento Act homeless students have certain rights including the following:
- Attend their school of origin or school of current residence
in their chosen school for the duration of homelessness or the
remainder of the academic year if they become permanently housed during
an academic year
- Immediate enrollment
- Transportation to the school of choice
access to educational services for which the student is eligible (e.g.
Title I, special education, before- and after-school programs,
vocational and technical education or gifted and talented programs).
- Free meals provided by the district through federal, state or local food programs.
- Appeal educational placement decisions made by the district and remain the school of choice pending resolution.
The Districts school social workers can support and help students in
homeless situations in many ways. Please see their contact information below:
Mrs. Heather Way 9-12 Grade - School Social Worker
Mrs. Julie Caringi 5-8 Grade - School Social Worker
Mrs. Megan Hunter K-4 - School Social Worker
Our social workers may assist families with the following:
- Make sure students are enrolled in school immediately, even if they do not have the papers they would normally need.
- Help families and youth get immunizations, immunization records or other medical records, if a student needs them.
- Tell parents and youth about all transportation services and help set up transportation.
- Make sure students get all the school services they need.
- Tell parents and guardians about all the programs and services the school has for their children.