Student Programs » Homeless Students / Families

Homeless Students / Families


Homeless families

A significant number of homeless families live within our district boundaries. Our liaison for homeless families with school children is Steffanie Altenbern. She may be reached at (208) 468-4600, ext. 1161 or (208) 498-0569.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2001

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Subtitle B-Education for Homeless Children and Youth), reauthorized in January 2002, ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Services to homeless children are required by Local Educational Agencies in the No Child Left Behind Act, and are primarily found under the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act of 2002 (Title X, Part C No Child Left Behind Act) and under Title I.

Who is Homeless? 

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines "homeless children and youth" as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

  • Anyone who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence may live in the following:
  • Doubled up with family or friend;
  • In a car, park, campground, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing or similar;
  • In a motel or hotel;
  • In a house or vehicle of any kind (including camper) without running water,
  • electricity, or heat;
  • In shelter or transitional housing.
  • Unaccompanied youth; youth not living with a parent or legal guardian; 
    Awaiting Foster Care (first 30-days in foster care);
  • Migratory children living in similar living conditions.


Homeless Student Rights

  • Homeless children have a right to attend school.
  • You do not need a permanent address to enroll your child in school.
    Homeless children have the right to stay in their school or origin if the parents choose.
  • Your child cannot be denied school enrollment just because school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.
  • Your child has the opportunity to receive transportation services to and from the school of origin.
  • Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, or local programs for which he/she is eligible.


School of Origin 
The school of origin is defined as the school the student attended when the student was permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled.

District Resources

  • Services available for students who are experiencing homelessness:
  • Qualification for free breakfast and lunch program;
  • Transportation assistance for children to remain in their school of origin;
    After school tutoring programs;
  • Referrals for clothing;
  •  Free parenting classes;
  • Backpacks, school supplies, blankets and hygiene kits;
  • Referrals to the Mentoring Network;
  • Referrals to community resources;
  • Referrals to food pantries, free meals;
  • Referrals to domestic violence advocates (currently one on site, one day a week);
  • Referrals to medical/dental assistance;
  • Grade/attendance contracts with incentives;
  • Assistance with college applications and financial aid applications;
  • Assistance with application for the Le Tendre national scholarship.

To arrange for the services above, contact the homeless liaison or homeless program specialist at (208)498-0569 or your school counselor for a referral.

Government Resources

  • Idaho State Department of Education- Homeless Education 
    This is the State of Idaho Department of Education's website regarding homeless education.
  • " National Association for Education of Homeless Children and Youth 
    The National Association for Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) is the national organization that supports the education of homeless children and youth. Their website has information regarding policy and advocacy, higher education for homeless youth, unaccompanied homeless youth, and more.
  • " National Center on Homeless Education -- NCHE is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance and information center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. It contains different resources for educators, family, and youth regarding homeless education.


(Adapted and changed to fit Nampa School District  from information provided by Nampa School District, West Ada School District, NAEHCY, NCHE, and Idaho State Department of Education 2014)