Returning to School in Tumultuous Times: Resources to Encourage Dialogue and Learning

In today's newsletter, you'll find:

Returning to School in Tumultuous Times: Resources to Encourage Dialogue and Learning

Many students and educators will return to school this year with anxiety and fear about the future — concerns resulting from ongoing trends and recent events, including the continuing pandemic, racially discriminatory book bannings and gag orders, increasing discrimination against LGBTQᐩ people, the rising toll of gun violence, and the restrictions on reproductive health care.

While these issues impact all students, when we look at who is most likely to experience homelessness, we see that each of these issues is particularly relevant for students who are homeless.

We recognize that SHC’s network is diverse, with diverging political and personal views. What we have in common, however, is a steadfast belief in the potential of every child and youth to succeed, and the critical role of education – from early childhood through postsecondary – to help them avoid homelessness as adults.

This blog provides information, practical tools, and opportunities for learning and dialogue. We wish to support you, and the children and youth you serve, and invite you to share your thoughts on how we can best do so in these tumultuous times.

Read it here

Fall Professional Development and Training Webinar Series

In response to many requests for professional development, SchoolHouse Connection is pleased to offer a new webinar series designed for school and district staff who want to learn more about the basics of the McKinney-Vento Act’s rights and protections, and best practices for serving children and youth experiencing homelessness. 

Each 90-minute session will offer a combination of presentation, Q&A, and interactive breakout sessions (organized by state or district) so that attendees can have an opportunity to start to apply the information learned. Participants will receive access to materials, including a recording, slides, and editable materials to use in your school or district. A certificate of completion will also be provided.

This opportunity is designed to cover the basics of the McKinney-Vento Act. and is ideal for liaisons to share with a wide range of educators and school personnel. We plan to offer these sessions each quarter throughout the school year, so if you and your staff cannot attend one date, please know there will be more to come!

Register for our Fall Quarter Sessions:

Thursday, September 15th: McKinney-Vento 101. Register here 
Thursday, September 22nd: Identification for School Staff. Register here

ARP-HCY Spotlight: Socorro Consolidated Schools, New Mexico

The American Rescue Plan Act provided an historic $800 million to support the identification, enrollment, and school participation of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including through wrap-around services. Each week, SHC will share what we're hearing about how states and districts are using American Rescue Plan-Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) funds. Check back each week, and email Karen Rice (Senior Program Manager of Education Initiatives), if you have an idea we can share!

Socorro Consolidated Schools used ARP-HCY funds to create a systems navigator position to increase the capacity of the homeless liaison. The district hired a navigator from the community to ensure that the navigator knew the formal and informal resources and was integrated in the community. The navigator works 10-20 hours per month, contacting families, conducting needs assessments, and walking families through the entire process of finding housing. This position has increased the capacity of the liaison to help families move out of homelessness. 

The navigator also provides intensive case management for approximately 25-30 families by going to housing appointments, filling out housing applications, tracking housing applications, and partnering with the community housing office. The navigator contacted all families to help identify and help meet needs prior to the start of the new school year. 

The homeless liaison is partnering with the finance manager to create a plan for sustainability. This collaboration allows the liaison to make the case for using the Title I set-aside to sustain the navigator position once ARP-HCY funds are no longer available. 

“As the homeless liaison, we owe these families as much support as we can provide, and having these funds has been awesome. With ARP-HCY, we’ve been able to have someone who is a part of the community dedicate their time to this support. I wouldn't have been able to try this without the extra money. Now that we’ve been provided the funds to be creative, I can use my [Title I] set-aside to continue to fund the position. There’s money in districts and the more we can have a seat at the table, the more we can advocate to meet the needs of our students. For those who don’t feel like they have a voice in financial decisions, I recommend keeping data. Data will make a seat at the table for you. People can’t deny data.”

-Frances Fuller, Homeless Liaison

Upcoming Webinars

Certificate on Human Trafficking

Join National Network for Youth and the McCain Institute on Sept. 14 as they share key information about the self-paced online Certificate programs they developed where you can learn about the fundamentals of human trafficking, red flags, assessment approaches, the impact of trauma, and how to serve at-risk youth.

Register Now

National Summit on Youth Homelessness: Submissions Deadline Sept. 23

The National Summit on Youth Homelessness + Hill Day hosted by NN4Ywill take place on March 1 - 2, 2023, in Washington, DC. You can contribute your expertise to this year’s event! Submit your innovative ideas for a presentation today. Visit their webpage for more information on how you can participate as a speaker this year. Deadline for Submission: September 23, 2022.
More Opportunities to Engage with SchoolHouse Connection
Connect With Us On Social Media

They are many other ways to stay engaged with our work. To keep up with news and resources, connect with us on social media. 

SHC's Consulting Services: Capacity-Building

The American Rescue Plan Act is sending significant new funding to support children and youth experiencing homelessness to schools and districts that have never before received such dedicated funding. These schools and districts now have an opportunity to build more robust McKinney-Vento programs and to ensure their funds are used where they can best serve children and youth experiencing homelessness. SHC can support these new grantees with needs assessments, strategic program planning, goal-setting, professional development, policy and procedure development, and specific best practices for student success.

SchoolHouse Connection is a national non-profit organization working to overcome homelessness through education. We provide strategic advocacy and practical assistance in partnership with early childhood programs, schools, institutions of higher education, service providers, families, and youth. We believe education is the only permanent solution to homelessness. Learn about us.
Donate to SchoolHouse Connection
Copyright © 2022 SchoolHouse Connection, All rights reserved.