Homeless child

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherintexas, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 14, 2014

    I have a new student who is homeless. His family is staying at a local shelter but looking at his permanent folder today, this kid has been to ten different schools. He has had some difficulty in reading through the years but math isn't mentioned much. His last RtI documentation in his file is from 2010. He is having trouble adding ones facts in my class. I've started documenting for RtI and we have no child study team so I can't take his case to a team for help. The mom doesn't have a phone and says she doesn't have transportation to come for a conference.

    What would happen for this poor kid at your school?
     
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  3. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2014

    Does your school have an on-site social worker who can get involved? At our school the administration and the school social worker would go to the mother and see what they could do to help her and support her son.
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Nov 14, 2014

    No
     
  5. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2014

    Does your district have a social service worker? Do you have a SST team? If your school doesn't start working to put one together. Do you have a resource specialist? Do you have a psychologist or counselor or at least one from the district? How does your school service the special ed children with no psychologist at all, that would be breaking IDEA? Talk to those people.

    The child is in a situation where the first thing is the kid has to be in one spot for a while and see if the child can learn math decently, all the issues could be based on his changing schools so much. If after a while he is growing keep up work with him. If he is not growing hold an SST. Are you still teaching 3rd grade? If you are teaching 3rd, how would he have been doing RTI in 2010? Was he retained in Kindergarten?
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    We have a counselor but none of the other things. I'm not sure what she does on our campus. (Read between the lines on that comment.)

    I didn't have time today to do a timeline to see where he was in each grade. I'm not sure if he's been retained. His folder was a mess.
     
  7. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Nov 15, 2014

    First, figure out who your district (or school's) McKinney-Vento Act rep is.

    Second, familiarize yourself with that act if you want. If you need assistance in terms of special education, I can help (I was looking at it a little while back with regards to that for a matter I was assisting someone).

    Third, refer the parent to the state medicaid or child health insurance plan, so the kid has free healthcare (or close enough)

    Fourth, refer the parent to the free/reduced cost cell phone plans (A LifeLine provider) - The only one that comes to mind at the moment is Assurance Wireless.

    According to a site I found, there are different ones that work better in different areas of texas:
    Access Wireless - They use Sprint's Network
    Assurance Wireless - They use Virgin Mobile
    Blue Jay Wireless - They don't say who they use
    Budget Mobile - They don't say who they use, but it looks like one of the major carriers, judging by the coverage map
    enTouch Wireless - Same as above

    There's a bunch more right here
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Nov 15, 2014

    Bros, you are such a wealth of knowledge concerning special education laws and services! You could be such an incredible advocate for students and parents!

    The district has to have some kind of plan and resources for homeless students. At my school, the district social worker would visit them and help the, fill out forms for whatever resources they qualify for. They would also make sure the parents know that the child could continue to come to our school, even if they were No longer in our attendance zone. My school counselor would also keep a close check on the student and would help you get the folder straightened out. We have a few school resources too - backpack, supplies, jackets, etc..., thanksgiving food baskets, Christmas angel tree.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2014

    My school has a team dedicated to working with our homeless / doubled up students. Seriously, we have that high a percentage because of our high poverty levels. Students in shelters usually are issued a laptop and a wifi hotspot because they may need to move more than our usual students, and our school's social worker keeps an eye on them. When it's one of my students, I increase my interactions and document their well-being as well as their academic progress. When possible, I work with them one-on-one, often accepting their assignments orally because they're under such stress. Mostly, I let them know I'm around for them as a point of stability.
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2014

    If this was at my school and the teacher came to me, I would ask them to begin documenting their RtI. I may also pull them to do a quick evaluation to see where their reading gaps are and what the teacher could do for Tier 1 support or if I need to start seeing the child. As I'm also in charge of MTSS I would talk to the school social worker to see if she could reach out to the family. I may also try to schedule a meeting with the MTSS team so that we can brain storm how to assist.

    In the past we've had someone in charge of the McKinney-Vento Act (she left & hasn't been replaced yet). I would be reaching out to various people in our organization to find out who was taking care of situations like this while they look for her replacement.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 15, 2014

    We get many homeless students each year. We refer the family to the school psych, who will set them up with various resources to get basic needs met. As far as academics, we could definitely have an RtI meeting about the student, because we are working really hard to get the rest of our staff to understand that RtI is not just a "gateway to sped." It's supposed to be a problem solving process and we often meet about students like this to talk about how to meet their unique needs. If you're asking about referral to sped (it sounds like you might be?) that definitely wouldn't happen because in order to say a child has a learning disability we have to prove that educational deficits are not due to environmental factors or lack of appropriate instruction. A student who has been in and out of 10 schools would definitely not meet that criteria, at least not until they had been at one school for a significant amount of time with documented interventions happening.
     
  12. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I second this! From reading Bros posts; I also feel that he would make a great SPED advocate whether it be in a school setting or not.
     
  13. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2014

    This student may be considered a SIFE - student with interrupted formal education. You may find several gaps, since 10 schools doesn't mean they were all teaching the same thing at the same time, so he has, at best, had what we call rolling enrollment. He walks into whatever is going on this moment, and what was missed is not really gone into in great detail. In this case, schools may assume that the stay with them is likely temporary, so why invest a great deal of time and effort. Or, just as that time and effort was being provided, the family left the district. We see this frequently with ELL's.
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Nov 15, 2014

    Yes!
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Last week, we got a new family at our site. All three kids have attended 4 schools since August. Each child is incredibly low--it's so wonder, though, since they've moved around so much! So sad!
     
  16. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Nov 16, 2014

    Yep! Play to your strengths, bros. Whatever that means for you...play to your strengths. You have SO MUCH potential in this area. Have you considered social work? You'd be phenomenal.

    OP, I have no suggestions but I know the more seasoned teachers will have some great ideas (and have suggested some already). It warms my heart that you care so much about your students :love: I hope this student isn't lost in the system...I hope everything works out.
     
  17. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I'll email the P to see who the rep is. At my old district, I had many homeless kids but there was staff to keep track of them and to help the classroom teacher. I feel like I'm on my own in this district. No one even told me he is homeless. I found that out on my own.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  18. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Nov 17, 2014

    I have had a homeless student before. It's helpful to know the information in the McKinney-Vento act. So many interesting things are there, like how lunches are automatically supposed to be given to them free of charge, no forms or paperwork required.

    I take the time to make some calls for them whenever possible. For example, when school pictures come around, I call them to ask if a donation can be made, and they always donate their biggest package. I call a local organization close by that donates gift cards, gas cards, and school supplies every year at Christmas.
     

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