Student Support Services

Educational Stability

Brenda Looney
Special Education Director
DCF Foster Care Point of Contact
Mckinney-Vento Homeless Contact
320A Brookfield Road
Fiskdale, MA 01518
(508) 347-3560

Betsy Philpott
English Learning Coordinator

(413) 245-7337




Educational Stability (McKinney-Vento (homeless), Foster Care, Military Connected Students)

Educational Rights of Homeless Childrens: Mckinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law, which requires states to ensure that children who are experiencing homelessness have equal access to a free and appropriate education. The law mandates that all states act to remove barriers that might prevent these children and youth from accessing educational resources.

Homelessness often leads to frequent moving and upheaval, which eliminate the feelings of safety, stability, and predictability that are so important for the healthy growth of students. A stable school experience can help ease some of the effects of homelessness on children. Tantasqua Regional/Union 61 Schools offer many important benefits, including safety, predictability, a sense of normalcy, adult and peer support, meals, basic medical and mental health services, and extracurricular activities. Tantasqua Regiona/Union 61 Schools ensures that they follow the procedures set forth in the McKinney - Vento Act so that children affected by homelessness have stable and safe school experiences.

Students identified as homeless are entitled:

  • To enroll in school immediately with or without typical documentation such as medical records, proof of residency or school records
  • To continue attending school in their school of origin or enroll in the public school where they are temporarily housed
  • To transportation to their school of origin or school where they are to be enrolled
  • To automatically receive free breakfast and lunch
  • To participate in all activities the school sponsors
  • To Title I services, and homeless children and youth who have IEPs or 504 plans the LEA shall coordinate the provision of programs for childrens with disabilities served by the LEA and other involved LEAs
  • To services without fear of discrimination
  • To receive all other educational and supplemental services that all students are provided

Identification and Support:

  • Teachers, staff, and administration shall notify the building liaison (nurse, principal) of their knowledge of a student in a homeless situation or an unaccompanied youth
  • Building liaison will connect with the family and the district liaison to ensure all families/unaccompanied youth's needs are being met
  • Students who enter without records will be placed with peers in an appropriate grade level. If there are indications of a student struggling to keep up with peers, Title I interventions will be put in place and the DCAP will be utilized
  • Each building will complete collection data, which is then submitted, by the district liaison, to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Tantasqua Regional/Union 61 Public Schools are committed to ensure that any student who meets the criteria of a homeless student is protected under these rights. If you have any questions about the McKinney-Vento Act, please contact:

Brenda Looney; 508-347-3560

Special Education Director/Homeless Liaison



bulletHomeless Assistance

bulletMilitary Child Support

bulletMilitary Interstate Child Compact

Documents, Events, and Information

bulletFoster Care Guidance (pdf)

bulletEducational Stability Handbook (pdf)

bulletFamily Resources (pdf)