The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act defines “homeless children and youth” as children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes:
This definition does not consider families or youth who have stable, voluntary, shared living arrangements to be homeless.
Rights: Students who are experiencing homelessness have the right to receive educational services that provide full and equal opportunities to succeed in school. Homeless students have the right to immediately enroll in school, even if they do not have proof of residence or any other required school or health records. If any required documentation is missing, it can be obtained after the student is enrolled. Homeless students have the right to remain in their school of origin, if feasible, and receive transportation services.
Services: All ATLAS services are school-based. Many services are available, based on individual student needs. In addition to transportation, these include, but are not limited to: assistance with enrollment and transfer of records; automatic participation in federal nutrition program; school and special project supplies; academic support through Title I; weekend food backpacks provided by Second Harvest Food Bank; hygiene supplies; summer reading material; and information about agencies that provide services. ATLAS cannot assist families with rent, utilities, or housing.
Partnering with Parents: Parents of ATLAS students in Rutherford County Schools are encouraged to be active partners with us in their child's education. Please talk with the ATLAS contact at your child's school about parental involvement opportunities at the school. Parents are invited to contact their child's teacher or school counselor for a followup conference within 30 days of their child's enrollment in the ATLAS program.
Contact information: Every school has an ATLAS contact person who is trained in identifying students who qualify for the program. If you or someone you know is a student experiencing homelessness, please contact your school and ask for the ATLAS Contact. You may also contact the Rutherford County ATLAS Liaison, Kim Snell at 615-893-5812, ext. 22145, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions regarding the rights and services of homeless students.
ATLAS is a component of the Human Resources and Student Services Department - Paula Barnes, assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Student Services.