Seattle Public Schools


Homeless Program: McKinney-Vento

Students and Families Experiencing Homelessness

Seattle Public Schools homeless program ensures students have access to education and can fully participate in school. We encourage student’s education by removing barriers that would limit their ability to fully engage and participate in school activities and events. We strive to partner with families to stay involved in their student’s education by providing resources and community referrals to assist with educational support services and basic needs.

Students who are experiencing homelessness have the right to remain in their school of origin or enroll in the local attendance area school nearest to their nighttime residence. Upon request, transportation is provided to students and youth if qualified according to district transportation standard.

Transportation requests may be made by:

  • Contact the School : contacting the main office of the school your child attends and asking for the McKinney-Vento building point of contact for assistance;
  • Contact the District : calling the McKinney-Vento District Liaison at 206-252-0660 or contacting the Family Support Specialist for your school.

Your McKinney-Vento School Building Point of Contact can be found here: MKV Building Point of Contacts.

How are students considered homeless?

A student or their family is considered homeless according to the McKinney-Vento Act’s definition of homelessness. McKinney-Vento Definition of homelessness:

Individuals who lack afixed, regular, and adequatenighttime residence.

  • Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason.
  • Living in emergency shelter or transitional housing.
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
  • Living in a public or private place not designed for or regularly used as accommodations.
  • Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.

Homeless Unaccompanied Youth

A child or youth experiencing homelessness not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian is considered an Unaccompanied Youth .

School Enrollment for students experiencing homelessness

Seattle Public Schools Admissions Center introduced an online enrollment registration for new students in August, 2017. Parents and unaccompanied youth may enroll for the current school year online or in-person at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave. S Seattle, WA 98134. Learn about the online student registration process.

Know Your Rights

McKinney-Vento eligible students have the right to:

  • receive a free, appropriate public education;
  • enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment, or having missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness;
  • enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents;
  • continue attending the school of origin, or enroll in the local attendance area school if attending the school of origin is not in the best interest of the student or is contrary to the request of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth;
  • receive transportation to and from the school of origin per SPS Transportation policy, if requested by the parent or guardian, or by the local liaison on behalf of an unaccompanied youth; and
  • receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to each student’s need.
  • If the school district assigns your child to a school other than the school of your choice, you have the right to a written explanation and the right to appeal that decision.

McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution

  • If you disagree with school placement, transportation, or other provisions of support, you may request the McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution process.
  • While a dispute over your enrollment is being resolved you have the right to enroll in the school chosen.

Utilize the McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution forms or call the McKinney-Vento District Liaison at 206-252-0660 to request a McKinney-Vento Dispute Resolution Process packet. Once forms are completed, submit to the District Homeless Liaison, at