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Mission Statement
Harford County Public Schools' McKinney-Vento Education Program focuses on provided academic and social/emotional support to students experiencing homelessness. Also, to provide educational programs, community resources, and mental health wellness that will increase stability and sustain success.
According to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, students are considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, even if the temporary residence is outside Harford county. Students living under the following conditions are considered homeless:
  • Living with friends or relatives due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
  • Living in motels, hotels, or trailer parks used to house homeless families
  • Living in an emergency shelter or transitional shelter
  • Living in camping grounds
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, buses, or train stations
  • Children or youth who have run away from home and live-in runway shelters, abandoned buildings, the streets, or other inadequate accommodations are considered homeless, even if their parents/legal guardians have provided and are willing to provide a home for them.
  • Unaccompanied youth who may be living in a shelter, inadequate housing, or denied housing by family

Unaccompanied Youth
A student is considered an unaccompanied homeless youth if he or she is under the age of 18, experiencing homelessness, and not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. Unaccompanied homeless youth are protected under the McKinney-Vento Act and entitled to all the rights .
High school-age students experiencing homelessness often face barriers that hinder school enrollment and access to services. Barriers to earning full or partial credit shall be identified and removed, when feasible. All homeless students shall receive assistance from the school counselor regarding opportunities for college education. The school counselor will meet with the student to provide guidance in applying for college and financial aid. In addition, all homeless unaccompanied youth shall be informed of their status as an independent student for college and financial aid and obtain assisstance to receive verification for the FAFSA.

Haga clic aquí para leer Menores no acompañados en español

School of Origin
Moving from one school to another can be distressing for children. The law is designed to increase school stability for students by maintaining students in the school of origin. The school of origin is the school the child attended when he or she was permanently housed or the school in which the child was last enrolled. When deciding if it is in the best interest for the child to stay in the school of origin, consider the following questions:
  • How old is the child?
  • How permanent is the current living situation? Will the child be returning to the boundary of the school of origin, or will the child stay near the current address?
  • Will the child have difficulty transitioning?
    An older child who feels very connected to the school of origin and is going to graduate soon may have a harder time changing school.
  • How anxious is the child due to the move? Would changing schools be overwhelming?
  • Would changing schools cause the child to fall behind in school and result in poor grades?
  • How much time would the child spend commuting to the school of origin?
  • Does the student have special needs that impact school placement to bear consideration for transportation?
The school shall immediately notify the Pupil Personnel Worker(PPW) of any homeless student who enrolls in school and any current student who becomes homeless while enrolled in Harford County Public Schools. The PPW in conjunction with the parent, legal guardian, or unaccompanied youth will complete the homeless residency form. If the parent, legal guardian, or unaccompanied youth does not have the required documents for enrollment, the requirement will be waived so the student may start school immediately. The PPW will assist the family with obtaining the required documents.

Haga clic aquí para leer Escuela de origen en español

Children's Rights Under McKinney-Vento Act
Students have the right to:
  • Attend the school of origin(school student attended before becoming homeless or the last school attended).
  • Transfer to the school closest to your current temporary location.
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if missing records normally required for enrollment, such as birth certificate, proof of residence, previous school records, or immunization records. School Personnel will help in obtaining records.
The Pupil Personnel Worker(PPW) will provide parents with a Parental Rights Brochure which outlines the rights of homeless students under the McKinney-Vento Act. Contact your PPW or HCPS Title I Homeless Liaison if you have any questions regarding your rights.
NOTE: A parent, legal guardian, or unaccompanied youth may appeal the Pupil Personnel Worker's decision regarding school enrollment, transportation, or waver of fees. If the school of origin request is denied or rescinded, the Pupil Personnel Worker(PPW) shall provide a written explanation of the decision accompanied by the appeal process. During the appeal process, a student may remain in the school of origin or enroll in the school serving the geographic area where the student is temporarily housed. An appeal must be made in writing within ten(10) calendar days upon receipt of the written devision by the Pupil Personnel Worker(PPW). The appeal shall be send to the Office of Title I Attn, Homeless Education Liaison at Harford County Public Schools, 102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014, or email to

Haga clic aquí para leer Los derechos del niño bajo la Ley McKinney-Vento en español.

Appeal Process
If a parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth disagrees with a decision regarding eligibility, the school of enrollment, and/or services, they have the right to appeal. Whenever services, in whole or part are denied, the parent or unaccompanied youth shall receive a Denial of Services letter and an Appeal Notice Form. The first appeal must be filed with the Homeless Education Liaison. The homeless Education Liaison shall review and respond within ten(10) calendar days of receiving the appeal. If the parent is dissatisfied with the Homeless Education Liaison's appeal decision, or if a decision is not provided within ten(10) calendar days, an appeal may be filed with the Executive Director of Student Support Services. The Executive Director of Student Support Services shall review the matter and issue a written decision within 15 calendar days. During the appeal process, the student shall remain enrolled in the current school.

Haga clic aquí para leer el proceso de apleación en español

Support Services
The office of Student Support Services provides educational support to homeless students and their families, ensuring that the services are provided as outlined under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act and Every Student Succeeds Act to ensure continuity in education.
All homeless students are eligible to receive services under the McKinney-Vento Act. A student who obtains permanent housing may continue to receive services until the end of the school year.
The Pupil Personnel Worker(PPW) will provide direct services and case management to students who are experiencing homelessness. Pupil Personnel Workers will act as the liaison between home, school, and community to coordinate services to families to promote student success.
In addition, Title I is a federally funded program dsigned to ensure that all children, regardless of family income, have access to a high-quality education. This program provides academic support services to students experiencing homelessness, including tutoring and counseling services.
Haga clic aquí para leer Servicios para estudiantes en español
Pamela M. Smith
McKinney-Vento Liaison
Office of Title I

Harford County Public Schools
102 S. Hickory Avenue
Bel Air, MD 21014
(410) 809-6194