• McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

    Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

    The Education for Homeless Children and Youths (EHCY) program, authorized under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), is designed to address the needs of homeless children and youths and ensure educational rights and protections for these children and youths. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended the McKinney-Vento Act, and changes made by the ESSA will take effect on October 1, 2016.

    Who is considered homeless?

    An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who are:

    • Sharing housing
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds
    • Living in emergency or transitional housing
    • Abandoned or Runaways
    • Awaiting foster care
    • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings.
    • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in the circumstances described above.

    New student to District--Enrollment can be immediate.

    Please contact our District Registrar, Mrs. Carol Staley, 724.796.1551 ext. 2418 or cstaley@fortcherry.org

    Current student in District--Contact Building Principal further assistance.

    School placement

    • School of origin, if the parent wishes and it is feasible
    • School in area of current residency


    To counteract the educational disruption caused by students’ mobility, the McKinney-Vento Act provides these students with the right to continue attending the school of origin, or enroll in any public school that nonhomeless students who live in the same attendance area are eligible to attend, according to the student’s best interest. When determining a student’s best interest, the following factors should be considered:

    • The age of the child or youth
    • The distance of a commute and the impact it may have on the student’s education
    • Personal safety issues
    • A student’s need for special instruction (e.g., special education and related services)
    • The length of anticipated stay in a temporary shelter or other temporary location
    • The time remaining in the school year

    PDE Resources:

    Online Resources

    District Contact:
    Sally Cowden, Homeless Liaison
    724.796.1551 ext 2391

    State Contact:
    Sheldon Winnick, State Coordinator
    PDE Search: Homeless Children