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Extra-curricular Participation of Homeless Students

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NCHE Resources

Ensuring Full Participation in Extracurricular Activities for Students Experiencing Homelessness *updated Nov 2017*
This brief, part of NCHE's Best Practices in Homeless Education series, is designed to help local homeless education liaisons and school district administrators ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness can overcome the barriers they often encounter to full extra-curricular participation.
Download Ensuring Full Participation in Extracurricular Activities for Students Experiencing Homelessness.

Other Resources

The Case for High School Activities
This report from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) underscores the important contribution made to a student's personal and academic development by participation in extracurricular activities. The report provides compelling statistics about student involvement in extracurricular activities and can serve as useful information when advocating for a homeless student's ability to participate in these activities.
Access The Case for High School Activities.

Young, Gifted, and Homeless
This feature from Sports Illustrated Magazine highlights the struggle of tens of thousands of K-12 and college athletes who experience homelessness. The article and video explore how sports provide a way to survive, and even thrive, despite challenging circumstances.
Visit Young, Gifted, and Homeless.

Sample Forms, Materials, and Policies

AB 1567: Before and after school programs (CA state law)
This 2016 California law
  • gives priority enrollment in school-operated before and after school programs to homeless and foster students,
  • requires these programs to inform the parent or caregiver of a pupil of the right of homeless children and foster children to receive priority enrollment and how to request priority enrollment, and
  • prohibits a program that charges family fees from charging a fee to a family for a child if the program knows that the child is a homeless youth or for a child who the program knows is in foster care.
    View the California: AB 1567 law.

  • Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Rule 6702: Intramural, Interscholastic, and Corollary Athletic Programs
    This BCPS policy ensure full participation in scholastic athletic activities for students experiencing homelessness, including through guaranteeing participation even if the student missed participation deadlines while homeless.
    Download BCPS Rule 6702.

    Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA): Official Handbook
    This DIAA handbook sets forth the rules and regulations governing the administration of interscholastic athletics in the state of Delaware. It includes specific references to the participation of homeless students with the aim of eliminating potential barriers to participation that may be created by mobility due to homelessness.
    Download the 1008 DIAA Junior High and Middle School Interscholastic Athletics Policy.
    Download the 1009 DIAA High School Interscholastic Athletics Policy.

    Texas Education Code 25.001(f)
    This state law reads: "A child placed in foster care by an agency of the state or by a political subdivision shall be permitted to attend the public schools in the district in which the foster parents reside free of any charge to the foster parents or the agency. A durational residence requirement may not be used to prohibit that child from fully participating in any activity sponsored by the school district." The durational residence requirement portion will enable foster students to participate fully in all school activities regardless of how long they've lived in their current foster placement.
    View Texas Education Code 25.001(f) (scroll down to (f)).

    Virginia High School League, Inc. (VHSL): Handbook and Policy Manual
    VHSL's Handbook clarifies that students experiencing homelessness are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities just as any other student would be.
    Download the Handbook and Policy Manual.

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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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