Acting Deputy Chief
Kimberly Caputo440 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Homeless Children’s Initiative
Homeless Children’s Initiative
Alfred Quarles, Homeless Coordinator
Some of the main objectives of the Homeless Children’s Initiative are to inform the School District of Philadelphia of its responsibilities to homeless children and youth, to increase awareness about the needs of homeless children, to reveal and overcome possible educational barriers, to explain current legislation and policies, and to provide practical advice to those working with homeless children.
Afterschool & Summer Enrichment ProgramsHCI After School Enrichment Programs provide a variety of academic, cultural and social activities to homeless students who attend schools near the facility where they reside. The programs consist of classes and activities that reinforce the District’s Core curriculum as well as tutoring and homework support. These programs build the student’s awareness, participation in and the enjoyment of the arts, music, drama and dance. These programs also emphasize social skills that focus on developing self-esteem, confidence and respect, including recreational components to promote these skills.
Classes include but are not limited to; instruction in basic math and reading skills, health, nutrition and fitness, social studies and science activities with some laboratory demonstrations, creative and performing arts, crafts, outdoor sports, life experiences and field trips.
The Summer Enrichment Programs include all the above activities but may also include special projects like; science fairs, community projects, gardening, camping, fishing, boating and special opportunities to attend selected events.
HCI currently funds 16 after school programs and 18 summer enrichment programs
The McKinney–Vento Homeless Act, now a part of the Improving America’s Schools Act, (Public Law 103-382), and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, guarantees a free and appropriate public education for all homeless children and youth. BEC 42 U.S.C. &11301 outlines procedures for deciding school placement, enrolling students, and determining fiscal responsibility. Federal and state laws make our responsibility clear. With over 9,000 homeless children currently attending Philadelphia public schools, we must provide appropriate academic support and services. Please familiarize yourself and your staff, including counselors, teachers, secretaries, NTA’S and others with the following school admission and transfer procedures.
The School District of Philadelphia is committed to assuring educational continuity for all children who do not have fixed, permanent homes. We provide tokens to students who live in shelters, motels, hotels, cars and other non-permanent housing situation. Students are eligible for tokens when the student is continuing in the school they attended before becoming homeless, if the school is more than one mile from the current resident.
The School District of Philadelphia now requires all students to wear uniforms to school. In implementing this policy, each school should be sensitive to the challenges faced by homeless students and families. No child’s education should be interrupted due to lack of proper clothing.
We have communicated with shelter providers regarding strategies for providing homeless students with uniforms. Schools can work to ensure that homeless families are able to obtain uniforms for their children in the following ways:
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440 North Broad Street 2nd Floor - Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: 215.400.4170 Fax: 215.400.4171