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Data Collection

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NCHE Resources

Federal Data Summary School Years 2011-12 to 2013-14: Education for Homeless Children and Youth
This November 2015 report provides a summary of the 2013-2014 state data collection required by the U.S. Department of Education of the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. The 2013-2014 data also are presented in comparison to the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 data collections, as applicable. Issues related to data quality for various elements also are discussed.
Download Federal Data Summary School Years 2011-12 to 2013-14: Education for Homeless Children and Youth.
Download reports from previous years.

Guide to Collecting and Reporting Federal Data
This Guide serves as a resource for managing the collection and submission of high quality data that meets federal requirements. While primarily designed to meet the needs of State Coordinators for Homeless Education and EDFacts Coordinators, local liaisons may also find the Guide helpful in completing data reports required by their State Educational Agencies. The Guide includes:
  • a list of all the information school districts and states are required to report,
  • a table to help liaisons and state coordinators assess data quality,
  • sample comments states can submit with data, and
  • information to help plan for future collections.
    Download the Guide to Collecting and Reporting Federal Data.

  • McKinney-Vento Data Standards and Indicators Guidebook
    This NCHE guidebook will assist McKinney-Vento programs with the collection and reporting of outcome data. It will help program staff become familiar with the current set of McKinney-Vento standards and indicators, understand the purposes of these standards and indicators, assess the strengths and challenges associated with the collection of data on each of the standards, and develop strategies for implementing the standards and indicators at the program level.
    Download the McKinney-Vento Data Standards and Indicators Guidebook.

    McKinney-Vento Data Standards and Indicators - 2006 Revisions
    This NCHE resource provides an updated version of the original five Standards and Indicators for Quality McKinney-Vento Programs developed in 2000. Reflecting provisions in the reauthorized McKinney-Vento Act and five years of effective practice, the revision includes 10 standards and proposed indicators that are comprehensive and quantifiable. Also included is a guide for developing program benchmarks.
    Download the McKinney-Vento Data Standards and Indicators - 2006 Revisions.

    Other Resources

    Counting Homeless Youth
    This guide, published in October 2010 by the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), provides specific recommendations for how best to include unaccompanied homeless youth in the local Point in Time (PIT) counts that will be conducted in January 2011. It includes strategies on how to involve key stakeholders in the PIT count planning process, indicates locations where homeless youth may be found, and details ways to facilitate data collection, among other key action steps.
    Download Counting Homeless Youth. is the U.S. government's official government-wide online data source. Created as part of the President Obama's commitment to open government and democratizing information, will open up the workings of government by making economic, healthcare, environmental, educational, and other government information available on a single website, allowing the public to access raw data and transform it in innovative ways.
    Download the website.

    Data Quality Campaign: Using Data To Improve Student Achievement
    The Data Quality Campaign is a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to improve the collection, availability and use of high-quality education data and to implement state longitudinal data systems to improve student achievement.
    Visit the Data Quality Campaign website.

    Detangling Data Collection: Methods for Gathering Data
    This article, published in August 2004 as part of the Out-of-School Time Evaluation Snapshot series from the Harvard Family Research Project, describes the common data collection methods used by current out-of-school time programs to evaluate their implementation and outcomes. It provides detailed information about using surveys and questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, observations, tests and assessments, and secondary sources and data reviews.
    Read Detangling Data Collection: Methods for Gathering Data.

    Homelessness: A Common Vocabulary Could Help Agencies Collaborate and Collect More Consistent Data
    This June 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) addresses (1) the availability, completeness, and usefulness of federal data on homelessness, (2) the extent to which research identifies factors associated with experiencing homelessness, and (3) how differences in definitions and other factors impact the effectiveness of programs serving those experiencing homelessness. GAO reviewed laws, agency regulations, performance and planning documents, data, and literature on homelessness; and spoke with stakeholders, such as government officials and service providers, about potential barriers.
    Download Homelessness: A Common Vocabulary Could Help Agencies Collaborate and Collect More Consistent Data.

    HUD Homeless Management Information Systems
    HUD's Homeless Management Information Strategies (HMIS) page provides communities with valuable direction and technical assistance resources on strategies to collect information on people experiencing homelessness.
    Visit the HUD HMIS webpage.

    Interagency Data Disclosure: A Tip Sheet on Interagency Collaboration
    This tip sheet, developed by the U.S. Department of Education in coordination with the the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, will help state and local homeless education programs, housing and human service agencies, and organizations serving homeless families, children, and youth coordinate their services better by disclosing student data with each other. The tip sheet discusses the privacy rights and protections in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and focuses on the following areas of data sharing:
    1.Disclosure of aggregate data
    2.Disclosure of individual student data with consent
    3.Disclosure of individual student data without consent under applicable exceptions outlined in federal law.
    The tip sheet also highlights the work of several communities that have implemented effective data sharing and integration strategies to serve homeless families, children, and youth more effectively.
    Download Interagency Data Disclosure: A Tip Sheet on Interagency Collaboration.

    Point-in-Time Count Methodology Guide
    This guide, published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides Continuums of Care (CoCs) with standards and guidance concerning acceptable methodologies and approaches to conducting annual Point-in-Time (PIT) counts of homeless people. The audience for this guide is CoC stakeholders involved in planning and executing the PIT count. The guide is useful for determining a process for collecting high-quality data on the number and characteristics of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in local communities. It also includes a special section on strategies for counting unsheltered youth, including collaborating with local homeless education liaisons in the planning and execution of the count.
    Download the Point-in-Time Count Methodology Guide.

    Youth Count! Process Study
    Youth Count! is a federal interagency initiative that aims to improve counts of unaccompanied homeless youth. Between December 2012 and January 2013, nine U.S. communities participated in the initiative by expanding their annual homeless Point-in-Time count efforts to increase coverage of homeless youth. This report details a process study of the initiative conducted by Urban Institute to identify promising practices that could be adapted and taken to scale to produce credible and useful data nationwide.
    Download the Youth Count! Process Study.

    Sample Forms, Materials, and Policies

    Michigan Monthly Homeless Student Count Form
    The Michigan Department of Education uses this form to collect data on a monthly basis from its districts on the number of homeless students enrolled and served each month.
    Download the Michigan Monthly Homeless Student Count Form.
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    The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

    This website was produced with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, on contract no. ED-01-CO-0092/0001. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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