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Students at SVAHS who are classified as homeless have many educational rights.  Under Mckinney-Vento Education Assistance Act of 2002, students classified as homeless include anyone who lacks fixed regular and adequate nighttime residence.  This includes living in shelters and motels, on the street, in cars, parks, etc., doubling up due to economic hardship, loss of housing or similar reason, unaccompanied youth.


Students, who meet the definition of homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act, are entitled to attend their school of origin (or last attended), immediate enrollment into a school system (regardless of documentation), transportation, and free and reduced lunch.  Homeless students have the right to equal access and comparable services such as support services, school courses, extra-curricular activities, vocational programs, etc.


Please contact SVAHS McKinney-Vento Liaison, Rebecca Wanczyk, at (413)587-1414 ext. 3402, if you or your  child are homeless and/or you have questions regarding the rights of homeless students.


Foster Care

 Foster Care is defined as a placement by DCF of a student into 24-hour out-of-home care, away from his/her parents or guardians. These placements include, among others:

  • foster family homes;

  • foster homes of relatives;

  • emergency shelters (including STARR programs and Transitional Care units);

  • residential facilities;

  • child care institutions;

  • group homes; and

  • pre-adoptive homes

To promote educational stability, a student has the right to continue to attend the school of origin, unless it is determined not to be in the student’s best interest. Students attending their school of origin should remain enrolled in their district of origin.  If it is determined to be in a student’s best interest to attend a school in the local school district, then in the event of a subsequent change in foster care placement, that school becomes the new school of origin.


Rebecca Wanczyk, Director of Student Services (413)587-1414 ext. 3402

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