InClass

Learn the truths about student homelessness and what Arizona teachers can do. In the 2013-14 school year, more than 1.3 million American students were homeless. This number is a staggering 100-percent increase from the 2006-07 year, according to the report Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students i

Feb 09, 2017

Learn the truths about student homelessness and what Arizona teachers can do.


In the 2013-14 school year, more than 1.3 million American students were homeless. This number is a staggering 100-percent increase from the 2006-07 year, according to the report Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students in America’s Public Schools.

Consider these facts from the study, conducted between October 2015 and February 2016 of homeless youth and more than 500 liaisons across the country.

  • 78 percent were homeless a few times or more.

  • 50 percent slept in a car, park, abandoned building, bus station, or other public place.

  • Six in 10 formerly homeless youth say it was hard to stay in school while they were homeless.

  • 42 percent say they had at one or more points dropped out of school.

  • 54 percent of formerly homeless youth say both concrete supports (such as school supplies, transportation) and emotional factors (feeling safe, emotional support) were equally important.


While these students find it difficult to stay in school — let alone perform well — and connect with their peers, there are things teachers and liaisons can do to help.

1. Refine and standardize systems for identifying homeless students.

The first step? “Ensure that all school staff, not just McKinney-Vento liaisons and coordinators, receive adequate training so that they can assist in identifying and supporting homeless students,” the report says.

2. Focus on outreach efforts to inform homeless students and their families of their rights.

Improving rights education efforts will help make these students and their guardians more likely to seek help.

3. Actively work with students to help them stay in school.

The report suggests proactively working with students to ensure they have assignments and help when they miss school, being more flexible with grading policies, and helping them through legal issues like participating in school activities.

4. Actively work to connect homeless students to outside supports.

“Connections with caring adults beyond the walls of the school are invaluable to youth personally,” the report says. “However, young people tell us that these connections were not made nearly as frequently as they were needed.”

5. Leverage early warnings systems to prevent student homelessness.

According to the National Center for Homeless Education, warning signs can include:

  • lack of continuity in education (attendance at numerous schools, missing personal records for enrollment);

  • poor health and nutrition (missing immunizations, chronic hunger, increased vulnerability to sickness);

  • transportation and attendance problems (multiple absences, erratic tardiness, inability to contact parents);

  • poor hygiene;

  • social/behavioral concerns (poor self esteem, aggression, difficulty socializing);

  • lack of privacy and personal space after school (missing basic school supplies, loss of books or supplies, incomplete or missing homework); and

  • statements from parents or child ("I don't remember the name of our previous school"; "We've been moving around a lot"; "Our address is new; I can't remember it").

Related Content

InClass
10 Links to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

10 Links to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

The holidays are near, Arizona educators! Keep calm and get your teaching on.

Read More
InClass
10 Ideas for a Festive Fall Season

10 Ideas for a Festive Fall Season

Welcome cooler temps, fall flavors and more with these fun ways to celebrate the season — in and out of the classroom. Is pumpkin spice your favorite seasoning? Do you love all things red, orange, and yellow? If so, you’ll love these fall-themed links. Think fall leaves are a plane ride away? Thin

Read More
InClass
10 Click-Worthy Links for Every Teacher

10 Click-Worthy Links for Every Teacher

We share our favorite teacher-friendly links from the past week. Happy November! Fall in Arizona sets our teacher-hearts ablaze with the first hints of cooler weather and the promise of Thanksgiving. Here’s a quick list of links to start your month off on the right foot. Looking for fresh craft in

Read More

Get weekly teaching tips, helpful resources, and important Arizona education news!

Sign up for our email newsletter today.

Arizona K12 Center

@azk12 Mar 28, 2020 18:56:12

RT @JLedTeach: @azk12 Way to go to all our #amAZingNBCT Candidates who are clearly finding their ways to keep taking steps forward. I since…

Arizona K12 Center

 

Please Wait
View Cart (0)