Homeless Students

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 families.

 Under the McKinney-Vento Act homeless students have certain rights including the following:

  • Attend their school of origin or school of current residence
  • Remain 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
  • Immediate 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.

School Social Worker (Grades 9-12)
Mrs. Heather Way
570-323-8411 x66105

School Social Worker (Grades 5-8) 
Mrs. Julie Caringi
570-327-5500 x40332

School Social Worker (Grades K-4) 
Mrs. Megan Hunter
570-327-5500 x40331

 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.

The homeless liaison for the Williamsport Area School District is:

Dr. Richard Poole, Director of Student Services, 570-327-5500 x40310, rpoole@wasd.org

Regional Coordinator for or Education of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness:

Mr. Jeff Zimmerman, 570-718-4613, jzimmerman@liu18.org

 

Homeless Students FAQ

Frequently asked questions on McKinney Vento Law and Regulations

Download Homeless Students FAQ

Lycoming County Community Resources

Services and agencies in Lycoming County who can support and assist homeless families.

Download Lycoming County Community Resources