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BCS Homeless Education FAQ

Homeless Frequently Asked Questions

Bessemer City Schools

Homeless Education Program

 

FAQ Sheet 2016-2017

 

The Bessemer City Schools Title I Homeless Education Program is a District wide school-based program that promotes school stability and academic success of displaced children and youth.

WHO ARE WE?

Dr. Keith Stewart, Superintendent of Bessemer City Schools

Brenda Rumley, Director of Federal Programs for Bessemer City Schools

Meoshia Mayes, Program Assistant for the Homeless Education & Parent Involvement Program

 

WHERE ARE WE LOCATED?

Board of Education Annex, Homeless Education Program                                                  

412 17th Street, North, Bessemer, Alabama 35020

Phone: 205-432-3050   Fax: 205-432-3072      

HOURS: Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 PM

 

WHAT IS HOMELESSNESS?

 A family living in temporary shelter, hotel or motel, campground, vehicle or living in substandard housing or doubled up with friends or relatives because they don’t have a place of their own due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.

 

An unaccompanied youth who is a runaway, in temporary foster care, or is not in physical custody of a parent or guardian, and does not have a permanent nighttime residence.

 

MCKINNEY-VENTO ACT:

 The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law, passed in 1987, to help people experiencing homelessness. Under the McKinney-Vento Act, it is the obligation of all districts to identify all homeless students. McKinney-Vento is designed to address barriers that homeless children and youth face such as enrollment issues, attendance, and the overall success of the student within the school.   Many homeless children and youth within the city of Bessemer are identified by the designated homeless liaison located at each of our eight schools. Most of our homeless in the city of Bessemer have been identified as doubled up; they are temporarily living with friends or family. This is typically due to fire, domestic violence, low income, increased family size or loss of job. The Bessemer City Board of Education, the Department of Federal Programs and the Homeless Education Coordinator will ensure that homeless students within our community have access to a high quality education and other services necessary for these students to meet the same challenging performance standards as other students.

 

 

SERVICES WE PROVIDE

 

Assistance with enrollment and translator if needed

 

Transportation to school of origin within the district when possible

 

Assistance with school supplies, school uniforms and hygiene products

 

Assistance with community resources

 

Parent Training and Mentoring Programs

 

Professional Development to school personnel

 

Community Outreach

 

Funding for Field Trips, Graduation Fees, and  Related Activities 

 

  DATA

 

In 2013-2014, the program identified and served 263 homeless students in Bessemer City Schools.  The overall numbers increased to 333 in 2014-2015. As of May 20, 2016, we have served 354 homeless children and youth for the 2015-2016 school year.  The individual numbers are listed by grade levels below.

 

 

 

Grade levels of students identified in Bessemer City Schools as homeless for 2015-2016:

 

Preschool                                          10

 

Kindergarten                                     27

 

Grade 1                                            34

 

Grade 2                                            34

 

Grade 3                                            39

 

Grade 4                                            24

 

Grade 5                                            26

 

Grade 6                                            31

 

Grade 7                                            25

 

Grade 8                                            24

 

Grade 9                                            43

 

Grade 10                                           17

 

Grade 11                                           12

 

Grade 12                                           08

 

 

 

HOW CAN YOU HELP US TO HELP OUR DISPLACED STUDENTS AND FAMILIES?

 

While students experience instability in their home lives due to homelessness, school is often a place of safety and security. All students should feel safe and have a sense of belonging in a consistent and caring environment Please call the numbers above or email our program at mmayes@bessk12.org with any student you suspect may be living in a homeless situation. It is vitally important to identify and serve as many homeless students as we can locate. Thank you for your help.

Revised 07-25-16