In December 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorized the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). It specifically addressed the needs of students in foster care and instituted new protections for them. These provisions took effect December 10, 2016, and require that school districts work with child welfare agencies to ensure the educational stability of children and youth in foster care.
The law specifically requires the following:
- A child in foster care remains in his or her school of origin, unless it is determined that remaining in the school of origin is not in that child’s best interest;
- If it is not in the child’s best interest to stay in his or her school of origin, the child is immediately enrolled in the new school even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment; and
- That the new (enrolling) school immediately contacts the school of origin to obtain relevant academic and other records.
A local point of contact for foster care is required.
In Volusia County Schools:
Homeless Education Liaison/Foster Care Contact
Phone: 386-734-7190, ext. 20856
Location: DeLand Transportation Building 8
Transportation to school of origin is a critical piece of this requirement and the policy will be the same as used for students living in homeless situations. Registrars will follow those established procedures in requesting transportation.
Collaboration is continuing with the local child welfare agencies in fully implementing this federal law, including initial identification as well as documentation and tracking in Cross Point. We are developing additional procedures and policies to ensure compliance and best practice.
Please address any questions or concerns to the Foster Care Point of Contact, Jennifer Watley, via email or phone.
We will be evolving in our service to these students over the next few months as this is new for all involved.
These rules and policies are now in effect.
- Foster Care Manual
- FDOE Foster Care Requirements (ESSA)
- Foster Care Interagency Agreement
- Foster Care FAQ
- Foster Care Transportation Policy
- Circuit 7 Procedures for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Staffings
- Local Educational Agency Checklist Related to Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care
- Process for School Staff on Foster Care
- ESSA School Stability Flow Chart