Any person, including unaccompanied youth, who is otherwise eligible to be enrolled in a school except for lack, by virtue of being homeless, of a bona fide address within the zone of the school shall be accepted immediately into and registered as a student by the school. If said person does not have the required documents—birth certificate and certificate of immunization—the principal shall cause appropriate effort by school personnel to be made to assist in acquiring said documents by such measures as attempting to contact any known former school to obtain there from the needed documents or by arranging for an appointment for the student with the appropriate agency or agencies—the health department, for example—to acquire the necessary documents.
Students who become homeless shall be enrolled in schools based on the best interest of the children and the wishes of the parent/guardian. Unless contrary to the wishes of the parent/guardian, to the extent feasible, schools shall continue to enroll students in their school of origin for the duration of homelessness when a family becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year. If students become permanently housed during an academic year, they may remain enrolled in the school of origin for the remainder of the academic year. Homeless students not previously enrolled in the Atlanta Public Schools shall be enrolled in the zoned public school for the attendance area in which the student physically resides. Reasons for any exceptions must be presented to the parent/guardian in writing including a statement outlining the procedures for appeal.
When such student is enrolled in a school, the Office of the Executive Director responsible for said school shall be designated as the mailing address of the student/parent/guardian, unless the student/parent/guardian otherwise provides the school with a mailing address such as the address of a local shelter where the student and/or parent/guardian are temporarily staying. In any circumstance in which the school would normally mail a communication to a student/parent/guardian and the student/parent/guardian has not furnished an address as provided in the preceding sentence, said communication shall be sent to the student/parent/guardian’s mail box at the Executive Director’s Office. The student/parent/guardian shall be informed at the time of enrollment of this provision and that the mail box should be checked periodically for communications from the school.
Disputes regarding the enrollment of students claiming to be homeless may be appealed through the provisions of Atlanta Board of Education policy JCE, Student Complaints and Grievances. Students shall remain enrolled in the school until disputes are resolved.
Implementation of this policy shall be in accordance with administrative regulations set forth by the Superintendent.
Cross-references with policy: JBB, JBCA