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Tales from the Field: Supporting Recently Arrived Youth

The Tale:

Recently, a woman called the helpline and identified herself as the aunt of a young man who recently arrived from South America. Her nephew is 16 years old and is currently residing with her and her family. She has no legal custody of him and has shared that she currently does not have plans to pursue legal custody. Currently, her concern is that her nephew has been waiting for an ENL (English As a New Language) program placement. She did not have issues with enrollment initially, however, her nephew has been placed in general classes with monolingual students. She has noticed that he is struggling academically and is struggling to learn the language without the proper program in place. Additionally, she believes that her nephew was not properly assessed during his intake for an accurate program planning placement. She has tried to connect with the school, however, has received pushback from the school, stating that without an official transcript, they are limited in information and proper placement. She also shared that the school has reached out regarding immunizations. She is wondering how long students have to obtain immunizations before they are allowed to return to school.


Questions to consider:

1. Is this student McKinney Vento eligible?

2. How many days does the family have to obtain immunizations?

3. How long does a school district have to provide a final program placement for Bilingual Education?

4. How can liaisons and school districts work with UHY and families of recently arrived students to ensure that proper program planning takes place without official transcripts from previous education institutions?


Resources:



  1. Is this student McKinney Vento eligible?

The student described above is McKinney Vento eligible. In this scenario, the student is an unaccompanied homeless youth. Unaccompanied youth are defined as youth who are not in the physical custody of their parents or legal guardian and are living in a temporary housing arrangement (See 42 U.S.C. §11434a[6]; Education Law §3209[1][a][1][v]; and 8 NYCRR §100.2[x][1][iii][6]). This definition refers to all unaccompanied children and youth in temporary housing between the ages of 5 and 21, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, who are residing in New York State.


The law's definition of homeless children and youths, which includes youth who are living with family members in ‘doubled-up’ housing (e.g., sharing the housing of other persons due to economic hardship or a similar reason) may describe many unaccompanied youth who reside in sponsor households. McKinney-Vento eligibility determinations must take into account the unique circumstances of each child. (Provision of Educational Services for Recently Arrived Unaccompanied).


In this scenario, the student is residing with family. However, the current housing situation may be fixed and adequate but based on the information shared is not currently regular. There is no legal custody paperwork in place or intent to pursue permanent legal custody of the student. The family is allowing the student to reside with them upon his arrival from South America, the regularity of the housing situation is uncertain and therefore the student is protected under the McKinney Vento Act as an unaccompanied homeless youth.

2. How many days does the family have to obtain immunizations?

3. How long does a school district have to provide a final program placement for Bilingual Education?

4. How can liaisons and school districts work with UHY and families of recently arrived students to ensure that proper program planning takes place without official transcripts from previous education institutions?


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