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Enrollment for Displaced Students
Enrollment and Providing Services to Gifted and Talented Students who have been displaced
Children and families can be displaced in various ways. Floods, fires, and other types of natural disasters that can destroy homes or make them uninhabitable for periods of time can cause displacement. Families can also experience hardships that result in major home life changes.
Children who have been displaced, including gifted and talented students, often enroll in new schools where they are currently living. The child may have come to Colorado with his/her family or may have been relocated to or within Colorado to stay with extended family or friends. Either way, schools and districts have responsibilities to these students so they can access supports and services that enable them to receive gifted services as required by state rule.
During times of displacement, children face many challenges in accessing and succeeding in school. To support children and families, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.), establishes the definition of homeless used by U.S. public schools, and the educational rights to which children and youth experiencing homelessness are entitled. Coordination between education for homeless children and youth (EHCY) programs, which implement the McKinney-Vento Act, and gifted education programs, which implement ECEA, is the key to ensuring that children experiencing displacement receive the full range of services to meet their complex needs.
The term “homeless children and youth”— (applicable to children who are displaced)
A. means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and
I. 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; or are abandoned in hospitals;
Ii. 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…;
Iii. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
Iv. migratory children…who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
Children and youth who are experiencing homelessness as the result of a disaster often live in a variety of unstable, temporary arrangements. The McKinney-Vento Act’s definition of homeless includes a range of living situations that are not fixed, regular, and adequate and, therefore, qualify as homeless.
IN STATE Enrollment, what to expect:
Colorado children who have been displaced that enroll in another Colorado district can expect the following:
The new school will ask for permission to get records from the prior school district. The sending district will send the gifted identification body of evidence and the students most recent Advanced Learning Plan.
Upon transfer of records, the receiving district will review the ALP from the previous district within 45 days of receipt and develop an Advanced Learning Plan in the new district which aligns to both student need and services available. This should be done in collaboration with teachers, the students, and the family.
The new district will also develop a progress monitoring schedule to ensure the services align to student needs and adjustments can be made if needed.
Throughout this process gifted staff should communicate clearly to parents, student, and school personnel according to district communication protocols. Parents must receive communication within 60 school days of the students start date about how the new district will meet the needs outlined in the student’s ALP.
Who can help?
You’ve been through an ordeal. You may not have access to all of your records and are likely under a great deal of stress. The school is a safe place that can offer you and your child some normalcy during a difficult time.
In Colorado Gifted Education is administered by Administrative Units (AU). Each AU has a Director/Coordinator of Gifted Education that can help you to get your child the support they need.
If you have access to the internet, please visit the following links:
OUT of STATE Enrollment, what to expect:
Children entering Colorado from other states that enroll in Colorado school districts can expect the following:
The new school will request records from the other school and may request consent to evaluate as eligibility criteria vary from state to state. Gifted education staff will want to review the previous identification data and may request additional testing to meet requirements set for within Colorado rules.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military children was put in place to ease school to school transitions for military children. Rules state that when a gifted learner moves the new school should place the learner in the same or similar program they were participating in at the previous school. However, new evaluations can be performed if necessary to collect additional data to ensure the child is identified and served appropriately at the new school/ district in alignment with Colorado state requirements.