Enrollment If Homeless

Any homeless child shall be immediately admitted to District 401, even if the child or child's parent/guardian is unable to produce records normally required to establish residency.

Section 6:140 of the Board of Education's District Policy Manual governs District 401's rules and procedures for the enrollment of homeless children.

Access and School Attendance

It is District 401's policy that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths, including a public preschool education.

A homeless child may attend the District 401 school that the child attended when permanently housed or in which the child was last enrolled. A homeless child living in any District 401 school’s attendance area may attend that school. 

Definition of "Homeless Child"

A “homeless child” is defined as provided in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act.

► McKinney-Vento Definition

As defined by Section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Act, the term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:

  • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of Section 103(a)(2)(C) of the statute);

  • Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;

  • Migratory children (as such term is defined in Section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in the three previous clauses.

► Illinois Education for Homeless Children Definition

As provided in the Illinois statute (105 ILCS 45/1-5), a homeless person, child or youth includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime place of abode, or an individual who has a primary nighttime place of abode that is:

  • A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing);

  • An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

  • A public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

For More Information

District 401’s liaison for homeless children is Dr. Kathleen Porreca, principal of Elm Middle School.

If you have questions about enrolling a homeless child in District 401, Dr. Porreca can be reached by phone at 708-452-3550 or by email at this address.