FFC(LEGAL) - STUDENT WELFARE: STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Liaison for Court-Related Students
A district shall appoint at least one educator, as defined by Education Code 5.001(5), to act as a liaison officer for court-related students. The liaison officer shall provide counseling and other services for court-related students and their parents to establish or reestablish normal attendance and progress in school. Education Code 37.014
Liaison for Students Who Are Homeless
As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), a district shall designate an appropriate staff person, able to carry out the required duties, as the district liaison for homeless children. A district will adopt policies and practices to ensure participation by the liaison in professional development and other technical assistance activities provided and approved by the statewide coordinator for education of homeless children and youths. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)
A district shall inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates working with homeless families, parents and guardians of homeless children, and homeless children of the duties of the liaison. [See FD for definition of "homeless children."]
The liaison shall ensure that:
- Homeless children are identified by school personnel and through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
- Homeless children are enrolled in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, district schools;
- Homeless families and homeless children have access to and receive educational services for which they are eligible, including services through Head Start programs (including Early Head Start programs) under the Head Start Act, early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other district preschool programs;
- Homeless families and homeless children receive referrals to health care, dental, mental health and substance abuse, housing, and other appropriate services;
- The parents or guardians of homeless children are informed of the available educational and related opportunities and are provided meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
- Public notice of the educational rights of homeless children is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such children, and unaccompanied youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form understandable to the parents and guardians of homeless children, and unaccompanied youths;
- Enrollment disputes are mediated;
- The parent or guardian of a homeless child, and any unaccompanied youth, are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, and are assisted in accessing transportation to the school of enrollment;
- School personnel providing services under the McKinney-Vento Act receive professional development and other support; and
- Unaccompanied youths:
- Are enrolled in school;
- Have opportunities to meet the same challenging state academic standards as the state establishes for other children; and
- Are informed of their status as independent students under section 480 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and that the youths may obtain assistance from the liaison to receive verification of such status for purposes of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(6)(A), (B)
Determination of Homeless Status
A liaison who receives training under 42 U.S.C. 11432(f)(6) may affirm, without further action by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that a child who is eligible for and participating in a district program, or the immediate family of such a child, who meets the eligibility requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act for an authorized program or service under Title IV of the Act, is eligible for such program or service. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(6)(D)
Liaison for Children in State Conservatorship
Each district shall appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison officer to facilitate the enrollment in or transfer to a public school of a child in the district who is in the conservatorship of the state and submit the liaison's name and contact information to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in a format and under the schedule determined by the commissioner of education.
TEA shall provide information to the liaisons on practices for facilitating the enrollment in or transfer to a public school of children who are in the conservatorship of the state.
Education Code 33.904
Transition to Higher Education
A district, in coordination with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), shall facilitate the transition of each child enrolled in the district who is eligible for a tuition and fee waiver under Education Code 54.366, and who is likely to be in the conservatorship of DFPS on the day preceding the child's 18th birthday to an institution of higher education by:
- Assisting the child with the completion of any applications for admission or financial aid;
- Arranging and accompanying the child on campus visits;
- Assisting the child in researching and applying for private or institution-sponsored scholarships;
- Identifying whether the child is a candidate for appointment to a military academy;
- Assisting the child in registering and preparing for college entrance examinations, including, subject to the availability of funds, arranging for the payment of any examination fees by DFPS; and
- Coordinating contact between the child and a liaison designated by the Higher Education Coordinating Board for students who were formerly in the conservatorship of DFPS.
Family Code 264.1212 [See FFEA]
Transition Assistance for Highly Mobile Students
"Enrollment conference" means a student-centered meeting for a newly enrolled student to identify academic and extracurricular interests; introduce school processes and opportunities for engagement; develop course and instructional strategies; review credits and assessment information; determine social-emotional support; and communicate confidential information that may impact a student's success, if needed.
"Records" means documents in printed or electronic form that include, but are not limited to, student transcripts; individual course grades; academic achievement records; course credits, whether full or partial; individualized education program referrals; intervention data; immunizations; state assessment scores; student attendance data; disciplinary reports; graduation endorsements; special education/Section 504 committee records; performance acknowledgements; and personal graduation plans.
19 TAC 89.1601(7)–(8)
Transfer of Student Records
Each district must ensure that copies of student records are made available to schools to which students who are homeless or in substitute care transfer.
Each district is required to transfer student records within ten working days of receipt of a request from a district to which a student who is homeless or in substitute care enrolls, as required by Education Code 25.002(a-1) [see FD(LEGAL)]. The discretionary authority under Education Code 31.104(d) [see CMD(LEGAL)] to withhold records of a student if the student has not returned or paid for instructional materials or technological equipment does not exempt a district from the mandatory provision to send records to another public school in which the student enrolls.
Proof of enrollment in a different district permits retroactive withdrawal to the date a student enrolled in the new school. The date of enrollment in the new district is considered the date of withdrawal from the previous district.
Student records must be requested, sent, and received using the Texas Records Exchange (TREx) system.
If a district fails to receive the required information within ten working days, the requesting district may report the noncompliant district to the division responsible for TREx Support at TEA.
19 TAC 89.1603
Systems and Procedures
Each district shall develop systems to ease transition of a student who is homeless or in substitute care during the first two weeks of enrollment at a new school. These systems shall include the following:
- Welcome packets containing applicable information regarding enrollment in extracurricular activities, club activities, information on fee waivers, tutoring opportunities, the student code of conduct, and contact information for pertinent school staff such as counselors, nurses, social workers, the foster care liaison, the homeless liaison, the principal and any assistant principals, and related contacts;
- Introductions for new students that maintain student privacy and confidentiality to the school environment and school processes by district faculty, campus-based student leaders, or ambassadors; and
- Mechanisms to ensure that a process is in place for all students who qualify to receive nutrition benefits upon enrollment, as all students who are homeless or in substitute care are eligible for United States Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Programs. The process must expedite communication with the district nutrition coordinator to ensure that eligible students are not charged in error or experience delays in receiving these benefits.
19 TAC 89.1605(a)
Pertinent staff members (such as principals, registrars, counselors, designated liaisons, nutrition coordinators, transportation specialists, etc.) should be knowledgeable concerning communication, processes, and procedures for facilitating successful school transitions for students who are homeless or in substitute care.
For each district, the TREx, the Personal Identification Database (PID), or the Person Enrollment Tracking (PET) application must be used to expedite coordination and communication between the sending and receiving schools.
19 TAC 89.1605(c)–(d)
A district shall convene an enrollment conference with the student within the first two weeks of enrollment or within the first two weeks after the student is identified as homeless or in substitute care. The convening of the enrollment conference shall not delay or impede the enrollment of the student.
The enrollment conference shall address the student's credit recovery, credit completion, attendance plans and trauma-informed interventions, interests and strengths, discipline or behavior concerns, previous successes, college readiness, and social and emotional supports as well as district policies relating to transfers and withdrawals and communication preferences with parents or guardians.
The enrollment conference may be comprised of:
- School administrators;
- Homeless or foster care liaisons;
- A social worker;
- Dropout prevention specialists;
- Attendance/truancy officers;
- The relative caregiver, foster placement caregiver, or case manager;
- The DFPS designated educational decision-maker;
- The DFPS caseworker, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer, or other volunteer, as applicable; and
- A parent and/or guardian, unless the caseworker indicates the parent's and/or guardian's rights to participate have been restricted by the court.
19 TAC 89.1605(b)
When a student who is homeless or in substitute care transfers before or during the school year, the receiving district shall initially place the student in educational programs and courses based on the student's prior enrollment in and current educational assessments from the sending school.
Educational programs include, but are not limited to, gifted and talented program services, bilingual or special language services for English learners, career and technical education, and early college high school.
Course placement includes, but is not limited to, honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical, and career pathway courses.
Each district must ensure that a student who is homeless or in substitute care has the ability to earn the same endorsement categories, if applicable. If only one endorsement is offered, it must be multidisciplinary studies.
To the extent possible, each district shall ensure the continuation of a student's educational and course programs from the previous district and promote placement in academically challenging and career preparation courses.
19 TAC 89.1609
[For award of credit for students who are homeless or in substitute care, see EI. For special education services for students who are homeless or in substitute care, see EHBAA.]
Appropriate district staff must facilitate the process to complete and submit a University Interscholastic League (UIL) waiver of residence application form for a student who is homeless or in substitute care and plans to participate in varsity athletics or other UIL-sponsored activities.
Districts must comply with Education Code 25.001(f) [see FD] and a durational residence requirement may not prohibit a student in substitute care from fully participating in any activity sponsored by the district.
Students in foster care remaining in their school of origin but residing outside of the district of attendance shall be afforded a waiver, as allowed under UIL Constitution and Contest Rules Section 442: Residence in School District and Attendance Zone.
19 TAC 89.1611
Promotion of Postsecondary Information
District counselors or other designated staff shall work with district homeless and foster care liaisons to ensure that all students who are identified as homeless or in substitute care graduate with endorsements, if applicable, and have postsecondary plans identified in their personal graduation plans, to the extent required [see EIF].
District counselors or other designated staff must inform unaccompanied homeless youths of their rights and status as independent students for the purpose of applying for financial aid for higher education and provide verification of such status for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), pursuant to 42 United States Code 11432(g)(6)(A)(x).
Each district shall ensure that a student in substitute care who is enrolled in grade 11 or 12 in that district is provided information regarding tuition and fee exemptions under Education Code 54.366, for dual-credit or other courses provided by a public institution of higher education for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit.
19 TAC 89.1613
Notice of Events
Each district must provide notice in writing to the educational decision-maker and caseworker of a student who is homeless or in substitute care regarding events that may significantly impact the education of the student.
Events that may significantly impact the education of a child include:
- Requests or referrals for an evaluation under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794), or special education under Education Code 29.003 [see EHBAA];
- Admission, review, and dismissal committee meetings [see EHBAB];
- Manifestation determination reviews required by Education Code 37.004(b) [see FOF];
- Any disciplinary actions under Education Code Chapter 37 for which parental notice is required [see FO series];
- Citations issued for Class C misdemeanor offenses on school property or at school-sponsored activities;
- Reports of restraint and seclusion required by Education Code 37.0021 [see FO and FOF];
- Use of corporal punishment as provided by Section 37.0011 [see FO]; and
- Appointment of a surrogate parent for the child under Education Code 29.0151 [see EHBAE];
19 TAC 89.1617; Education Code 25.007(b)(10)
Child Welfare Contact
A district receiving Title 1, Part A funds must collaborate with the state or local child welfare agency to designate a point of contact if the child welfare agency notifies the district, in writing, that the agency has designated an employee to serve as a point of contact for the district. 20 U.S.C. 6312(c)(5)(A)
School-Community Guidance Center
A district may establish a school-community guidance center designed to locate and assist children with problems that interfere with their education, including juvenile offenders and children with severe behavioral problems or character disorders.
Each center shall coordinate efforts of district personnel, local police departments, school attendance officers, and probation officers in working with students, dropouts, and parents in identifying and correcting factors that adversely affect the education of the children.
Education Code 37.051
Upon request from a superintendent, a governmental agency concerned with children that has jurisdiction in a district shall cooperate with the school-community guidance center and shall designate a liaison to work with the center in identifying and correcting problems affecting school-age children in the district. The governmental agency may establish or finance a school-community guidance center jointly with a district according to terms approved by the governing body of each participating entity. Education Code 37.053
A board may develop cooperative programs with state youth agencies for children found to have engaged in delinquent conduct. Education Code 37.052
Parental Notice and Access to Information
Before a student is admitted to a school-community guidance center, the administrator of the center shall notify the student's parent or guardian that the student has been assigned to attend the center.
The notice must include:
- The reason the student has been assigned to the center;
- A statement that on request the parent or guardian is entitled to be fully informed in writing of any treatment method or testing program involving the student; and
- A statement that the parent or guardian may request to be advised and to give written, signed consent for any psychological testing or treatment involving the student.
If after notification, the parent refuses to consent to testing or treatment of the student, the center may not provide any further psychological treatment or testing.
A parent or guardian of a student attending a center is entitled to inspect:
- Any instructional or guidance material to be used by the student, including teachers' manuals, tapes, and films; and
- The results of any treatment, testing, or guidance method involving the student.
The administrator of the center may set a schedule for inspection of materials that allows reasonable access but does not interfere with the conduct of classes or business activities of the school.
Education Code 37.054
On admitting a student to a school-community guidance center, a representative of a district, the student, and the student's parent or legal guardian shall develop an agreement that specifies the responsibilities of the parent and the student. The agreement must include:
- A statement of the student's behavioral and learning objectives;
- A requirement that the parent attend specified meetings and conferences for teacher review of the student's progress; and
- The parent's acknowledgement that the parent understands and accepts the responsibilities imposed by the agreement regarding attendance at meetings and conferences and assistance in meeting objectives, defined by the district, to aid student remediation.
A superintendent may obtain a court order from a district court in the district requiring a parent to comply with such an agreement. A parent who violates such a court order may be punished for contempt of court.
If a district, the student, and the parent or guardian for any reason fail to reach an agreement, any party may request the juvenile court or its designee to conduct a hearing and enter an order establishing the responsibilities and duties of each of the parties as the court deems appropriate.
Education Code 37.055–.056