Homeless Ed Spotlight

Our Marion County School system was recently recognized nationally for its efforts in identifying and serving the homeless students in the district.  We were honored to have been selected by our Alabama State Department of Education Homeless Education Coordinator to receive this National Spotlight.  Please see the story below.  You can also follow this link to reach the page:   https://mailchi.mp/schoolhouse...

This Week’s ARP-HCY Spotlight: Marion County Schools, Alabama

Marion County Schools are leveraging local, state, and federal funds to provide layered supports for students experiencing homelessness, with a focus on basic needs, mental health, and supplemental instruction. In this predominantly rural area, there are fewer service agencies than in urban areas, making school the main provider of basic needs for students experiencing homelessness. After reviewing existing services provided through strong community partnerships, the school district decided to prioritize basic needs as a use of ARP-HCY funds. Marion County Schools have also been intentional about ensuring that students experiencing homelesness have access to all district-provided supports. For example, the mental health coordinator partners closely with the homeless liaison to ensure students experiencing homelessness have access to mental health supports provided to all students. School counselors are points of contact across 10 schools in 5 communities, allowing the homeless liaison to focus on working with community partners. The homeless liaison salary is paid out of the Title I, Part A homeless reservation, and additional counselor time is provided through the school district’s ARP ESSER funds. This layered support makes it possible for the homeless liaison to use her time to go out to schools and connect with community partners.  “You may have heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. That is our approach to providing for our homeless students. We take a personal approach to make sure identified students have the same opportunities as anyone else in our system. ARP-HCY funds have certainly made it possible to help ensure our mission of ‘Changing Children’s Lives’.”  - Kevin Dulaney, Federal Programs Director