If you learn of a Tumwater School District student who is experiencing homelessness, please contact your school counselor or Sarah Smith at 360-709-7006 at the District Office. We are dedicated to helping our homeless youth succeed within our schools and our community.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Act defines homelessness as the following living situations:
- Residing in a shelter, vehicle, campground, on the street, in 24-hour restaurants, at bus stations, or in a motel, etc.
- Displaced due to natural disaster (hurricane, flood, earthquake, etc.)
- Staying in an abandoned building, trailer or other inadequate accommodations
- Doubled up with friends or relatives due to loss of housing, economic hardships, or similar reasons
- “Couch Surfing”
- “Bounced Around” from family member to family member
- An unaccompanied youth living on his/her own
Rights of Homeless Students and Responsibilities of the School District
Homeless students have the right to register for and attend school, even if they do not have their full documentation such as immunization records, proof of residency, utility bill, birth certificate, special ed. records, etc.
- 2-1-1: Dialing 2-1-1 puts you in touch with many community resources. Information includes assistance for employment support, utility shut-off & eviction notices, physical & mental health, current shelter information, and more.
- Enrollment and attendance must be immediate! As with all new students, secretaries/registrars will need time to contact the teacher(s) and make sure there is a desk and appropriate classroom materials. As a general guideline, students should begin school the next day, if registration was completed before noon. Attendance may begin in 2 days - if registration is after noon. Again, this allows time for the registrar to produce a class schedule, contact the appropriate school counselor to arrange assistance with school lunches, etc., as well as time to communicate with teacher(s) who will need to gather books and secure classroom materials.
- Homeless students have the right to stay in the same school, even if they move to another enrollment area or a new school district, if it is in the best interests of the child. This helps children maintain stability because research shows that students who change schools lose between 2-6 months of academic achievement with each move.
- Transportation must be provided by the school district in the form and can be in the form of, but not limited to, school buses, city bus passes and/or mileage reimbursement.
- Students are entitled to free lunch and breakfast without the need to fill out the forms.
- The services above will continue until the end of the school year in which homelessness ends for that family.
- Our counselors form the first line of support for homeless children within their respective schools and work closely with Community Schools Managers and the district McKinney-Vento Liaison.
- Each school district must have a McKinney-Vento (homeless) Liaison. Sarah Smith 709-7006 is our Homeless Liaison. Becky Powell 709-7007 serves as the District’s McKinney-Vento (homeless) Coordinator.
- Student Assistance Fund: At the District Office, we keep an account with community donations that be accessed for a variety of students’ needs, such as clothing, school supplies, medications, toiletries etc. Call Tami Collins 709-7007 for information.
- WEA Children’s Fund: Members of the Washington Education Association can be reimbursed up to $100 per year per student for clothes and school supplies. Visit http://www.washingtonea.org/ and then choose Children's Fund Charity under Quick Links for details.- Homeless Backpack Program: Each week, TSD Homeless students’ may pick-up a backpack filled with food for the weekend. Backpacks are dropped off at each school weekly. Please contact your Counselor if you have a student who is homeless and would benefit from this wonderful program.- Shoe Bank: The Tumwater/Olympia Masonic Groups sponsor a “Shoe Give-Away Program” for students and their younger siblings. Our counselors have information or you may call 491-4959 or 970-1423.- FirstBook and the South Sound Reading Foundation offer free books to homeless and low income students, K-8. Call 360-412-4499.- The Family Support Network’s Community Resource Guide is available online at http://homelessadvocacy.wikispaces.com/
McKinney-Vento (homeless) Liaison: Sarah Smith 360-709-7006
McKinney-Vento (homeless) Coordinator: Becky Powell 360-709-7007
We are available to speak to Parent or Community Groups.
Donations are greatly appreciated!
Tumwater School District’s Student Assistance Fund
621 Linwood Avenue SW
Tumwater, WA 98512