Students in Temporary Living Situations
Oak Park Elementary District 97 ensures the rights of students in temporary living situations. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, students have the right to an education, services, programs, and activities, regardless of their living situation.
The term “homeless children and youth” is defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes children and youth who are:
- sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or substandard housing;
- living in a motel/hotel, trailer park, or camping ground, due to lack of alternative, adequate housing;
- living in emergency or transitional shelters; or
- living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting; abandoned in hospital.
Student and Family Rights
- McKinney-Vento Notice of Rights (English)
- McKinney-Vento Notice of Rights (Spanish)
- Flowchart for McKinney-Vento Eligibility Determinations
Frequently Asked Questions
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youth experiencing homelessness.
The right to enrollment, free lunch, school fees waived, and transportation.
The “school of origin” is defined as the school that a child or youth last attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including preschool. The “school of origin” also includes the receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools. Typically, we presume that the school of origin is in the student’s best interest, except when doing so is contrary to the request of the parent or guardian, or, (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth. The school of origin usually provides the least interruption to a child’s education.
Under McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to enroll homeless students even if they do not immediately have paperwork normally required such as school records, immunization, or health records should be obtained as soon as possible.
Families are encouraged to reach out to the homeless liaisons to share living arrangements to determine eligibility. Assessing eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Once it is determined that a student/family meets the homeless definition under McKinney-Vento families are eligible to receive services and remain eligible for the remainder of the year. Eligibility is reassessed every year to continue participation in the program.
The “school of origin” is defined as the school that a child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled, including preschool. The “school of origin” also includes the receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools. Typically, we presume that the school of origin is in the student’s best interest, except when doing so is contrary to the request of the parent or guardian, or, (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth. The school of origin usually provides the least interruption to a child’s education. The school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area are eligible to attend. Placement of the student should always be in the student’s best interest and the least interruptive of continued education, relationships, etc.
A household that is lacking adequate heat, electricity, and/or water. Having unsafe heating sources or electrical services that present a clear and present danger. A home with no functioning kitchen or no plumbing. A home that is condemned by housing or other government authorities. A home that is overcrowding to the point that it is unsafe or does not meet the fire code.
Referrals to our Families in Transition program can be made by phone or email by connecting with the homeless liaison.
Resources for Families in Transition
Housing Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ending homelessness in west suburban Cook County.
- PADS Emergency Shelter - Intake call (708) 397-4426, text (708) 979-5033 or email [email protected]
- Rental Assistance Due to COVID-19
- Emergency Housing Assistance Program - Preventing a Housing Crisis
Oak Park Homelessness Coalition
The Oak Park Homelessness Coalition (OPHC) is a multi-stakeholder group comprised of 50-plus organizations and individuals working in five work groups to end homelessness in Oak Park.
- Oak Park Housing Coalition Resource Flyer (English/Spanish)
- Emergency Warming Centers (coming soon!)
Health Connection HUB
Free or reduced-cost services for healthcare, housing, food, and other social supports near you.
Organization helps mothers ages 24 or younger to provide housing, paid job training, academic coaching and family support for those impacted by systemic and structural barriers
2-1-1 Metro Chicago
2-1-1 is a new free source connecting suburban Cook County residents with the support they need, such as food, housing, utility assistance, access to health care, and vital resources.