It can be overwhelming for a homeless liaison to manage their workload without knowing which students are eligible for McKinney-Vento support.
The COVID-19 pandemic added to the challenges that homeless liaisons face on a daily basis. With students attending school irregularly, it became incrementally more difficult to provide them with the necessary services for which they were eligible.
In the webinar “Making a Positive Impact on McKinney-Vento Qualified Students” presented on May 4, TransACT's Phillip Smith was joined by Debbie DiAnni, McKinney-Vento Liaison for the School City of Hammond, and Heidi Reang, District Homeless Liaison with Oregon’s Tigard-Tualatin School District. Together they discussed practical approaches to meeting common challenges associated with tracking McKinney-Vento students and how they've successfully leveraged technology to overcome these challenges.
With the end of stimulus packages and eviction moratoriums, the number of students eligible for McKinney-Vento services is expected to rise sharply. Debbie says she has already seen a significant increase in eligible students within her district, with over 400 identified students this year compared to just over 200 the prior year.
"One of the things that we're seeing here in the Midwest is that rents are getting astronomical," Debbie says. "So, many families are being forced out because although they're employed full-time or have employment, they can't keep up with the bills."
"Communication is important so all stakeholders know a student has enrolled at a different school or has a new address," says Heidi.
"Communication is our number one concern because, without that, we don't have any way of communicating their needs. We're just trying to be creative because the money may not be there, but the families will still be there."
Watch the recorded webinar to hear the full discussion, including how to:
- Identify McKinney-Vento-eligible students who change schools or withdraw from the district
- Leverage technology to address the daily hurdles faced by McKinney-Vento homeless liaisons
- Overcome barriers to collaboration and communication with real-time data
TransACT's Homeless Information Management System for Students (HIMSS) can help connect homeless liaisons to eligible students. HIMSS is a data management system created for homeless program administrators and designed to help meet annual McKinney-Vento reporting requirements.
By sending automated alerts to essential school and district stakeholders whenever a student changes schools or addresses, staff can more quickly and efficiently connect them with support. With HIMSS, liaisons can easily track and manage the services provided to students. HIMSS helps schools’ homeless liaisons and community service providers stay connected by providing the following:
- Automated emails to service partners when students' homeless status or foster care status is confirmed
- Optional logins so service partners can access the system remotely
- Automatic tracking of enrollment and services, even if a student transfers to a different school or district
Schedule a demonstration to learn more about HIMSS!