Westchester School District 92½

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Resources » Homeless Education: McKinney-Vento Act

Homeless Education: McKinney-Vento Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law that works to ensure educational stability for homeless youth. The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.”  Examples of children who fall under this definition include:
    • (a) Children sharing housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing;
    • (b) Children living in “motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative accommodations”
    • (c) Children living in "emergency or transitional shelters"
    • (d) Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc.)
    • (e) Children living in “cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations…”
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act ensures the educational rights and protections of homeless children and youth so that they may enroll in school, attend regularly, and be successful. The legislation requires the District 92.5 Education Liaison to assist children and unaccompanied youth in their efforts to attend school. The following applies to homeless children and youth:
  • The right to immediate enrollment, even if lacking paperwork normally required; 
  • Immediate enrollment in the Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch Program;
  • The right to attend school in his/her/they/their school of origin (if requested by the parent and/or is feasible) or in the school in the attendance area where the family or youth is currently residing;
  • The right to receive transportation to his/her school of origin, if requested by the parent;
  • The right to services comparable to those received by housed schoolmates, including transportation and supplemental educational services;
  • The right to attend school along with children not experiencing homelessness;
  • Segregation based on a student's status as homeless is strictly prohibited.
  • Educational organizations and schools.
  • Where appropriate, referrals to food bank and meal programs, local service organizations (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.), family shelters, medical services, and other support.
Every Local Education Agency (LEA) is required by law to designate a local liaison for children and youth experiencing homelessness. District 92.5 has a Homeless Liaison who serves as one of the primary contacts between homeless families and school staff along with other service providers. The liaison works to make sure that homeless children and youth enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically. The liaison ensures that the rights of students are protected and that the district fulfills its responsibilities under the McKinney­-Vento Act. Please contact the Homeless Liaison for more information on services provided by District 92.5:
Stephanie DelFiacco (Director of Curriculum)
[email protected]
9981 Canterbury St.
Westchester, IL 60154
Fax: 708-450-2718
We've compiled a list of resources for our neediest families where they can access food, rent assistance, legal help, and more.

Find food assistance, help to pay bills, and other free or reduced-cost programs, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic: https://findhelp.org/

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)
Families with school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals should receive extra SNAP benefits through Pandemic EBT. Families who have school-aged children and are currently receiving SNAP do not have to take any action to receive these P-EBT benefits. Households with school-aged children who are eligible for free or reduced meals when school is in session, but who do not currently receive SNAP benefits, will be able to submit a simplified application for P-EBT benefits using the https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/ online portal or by completing a paper application, which will be available at the IDHS website.

Meals for Kids Interactive Map
Find meals for kids when schools are closed. This site directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The maps are available in English and Spanish.
Local Food Pantries:

Metropolitan Tenants Organization's Renter's Resources During COVID-19
Shares tips for Chicagoland renters, resources for those who cannot pay rent, and news regarding moratoriums on evictions, utility cut offs, etc.