HEART-Program for Homeless Students » McKinney-Vento HEART-Program for Homeless Students

McKinney-Vento HEART-Program for Homeless Students

Central Valley, East Valley and West Valley School Districts work together through the McKinney-Vento HEART Program to support the educational needs of students who find themselves in temporary or transitional housing during the school year.

The McKinney-Vento HEART Program works closely with the Spokane Valley Partners (10814 East Broadway, 927-1153), area shelters and housing providers, the Spokane Homeless Coalition, Greater Spokane Valley Support Network, area community resources, and the City and County of Spokane. We work together to ensure educational stability for students in short-term, temporary and transitional housing situations so they feel supported and encouraged while they secure permanent housing.

The Program also works closely with all area school districts in Spokane County and Kootenai County (Idaho) to create a region-wide network to support students in short-term, transitional and temporary housing situations.


The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act definition of "homeless":

Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes children and youth who have a nighttime residence that is any of the following:

  • In "doubled-up" situations, staying in the home of another person, relatives or friends, due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason;
  • Living in motels, hotels, RV’s, campers or tents, in parks, or campgrounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
  • Living in emergency, temporary or transitional shelters;
  • Have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings, such as living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
  • Youth not residing with legal parent or guardian; and
  • Runaways.

This also includes youth from 18 through 21 years of age who may still be eligible for educational services in regular or special education who find themselves in the above housing situations.

The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act requires:

  • School Districts must provide educational stability for students in temporary and transitional housing situations.
  • School Districts must provide immediate access to school for students in temporary and transitional housing situations.
  • School Districts must appoint a liaison for students in temporary and transitional housing situations.
  • School Districts must serve students in temporary and transitional housing situations with Title I Funds.

 Educational Rights of Students in Temporary or Transitional Housing Situations:

  • The right the stay in their school (school of origin), even if they move out of the school district.  Students can remain in their school until the end of the school year even if they find permanent housing.
  • The right to immediate school enrollment and full participation in all school activities for eligible students, without proof of residency, immunization records, or other medical records, school records, or other documents.
  • The right to get transportation to their school of origin provided or arranged by the school district, or a joint effort between school districts.
  • The right to attend school district pre-school programs.
  • The right to access to all school services including free school meals, services for English language learners, special education, Title I services, vocational/technical education, gifted and talented services, and before and after-school care, as needed.
  • The right to have disagreements over enrollment with the school settled quickly, and attend the school the student selects while the disagreement is being settled.
  • The right to the same opportunity to meet the same high academic standards as all students. 
Students, parents, and guardians are encouraged to contact our HEART Liaisons at any time during the school year, should they find themselves facing homelessness or if their circumstances change and they need resources.

For more information, please contact:

Katelynn Clark, MSW
School Social Worker, McKinney-Vento Homeless Liaison
Tel: 509-558-6016  |  Cell: 509-720-3240  |  Email: [email protected]

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Housing Questionnaire
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