10 Things a Principal Can Do to Help Homeless Students

  1. Be familiar with the federal homeless law that students have a choice of schools and do not need to prove residency.
  2. Prepare the staff and especially office personnel in the guidelines for transfer and registration of homeless children.
  3. Distribute information to teachers and office staff and arrange for in-service for school staff on the subject of homeless students.
  4. Know the BECs relating to homeless children and youth and be in position to explain them as needed to other school staff.
  5. Study and develop guidelines for the sensitive issue of abuse and domestic violence. (Refer to BEC 22 PA Code §12.31 - “Access to Student Records”).
  6. Contact parent and shelter personnel if child is absent for three or more days to find out if assistance is needed.
  7. Alert Student Assistance Program (or S.A.P.) members of any serious conditions of the student. Teamwork and sharing of information are very important, especially if the child’s stay in school is short.
  8. Ensure that the children can participate in field trips, schoolwide activities and class projects even if they do not have transportation or necessary fees.
  9. Put up a “Right to Education” poster for both the faculty and public to see.
  10. A variety of information is available. Call to request a supply for your staff (717) 783-6466.