Homeless students are defined broadly by PDE as:

    1)    Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

    2)    Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

    3)    Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

    4)    “Migratory children” who qualify as homeless under federal law because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii) above. The term "migratory children" means children who are (or whose parent(s) or spouse(s) are) migratory agricultural workers, including migratory dairy workers or migratory fishermen, and who have moved from one school district to another in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain (or accompany such parents or spouses in order to obtain) temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work.

    5)    "Unaccompanied homeless youth" including any child who is "not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian." This includes youth who have run away from home, been thrown out of their home, been abandoned by parents or guardians, or separated from their parents for any other reason.   

    What is the district’s role in regard to homelessness?

    • Identifying and facilitating immediate enrollment if the student is not enrolled already
    • Set up transportation if  needed
    • Set up free/reduced lunch if needed
    • Outreach in the form of making the school a welcoming place to be, referring to SAP or guidance staff, locating resources such as clothes, school supplies including resources for uniforms, field trips etc.
    • Arranging shelter placement, outside meals, assistance with special education contacts

          The guidance office will assist the student with: (CollegeGreenLight is an additional resource to explore more about the items below)

    • College readiness
    • College selection
    • Application process
    • Financial aid
    • Transition support

    Pennsylvania Department of Education Homeless Basic Education Circular


    Middle/High School - Shannon Flanagan (814) 684-4240 ext. 3707
    Elementary - Linda Branstetter (814) 684-1342 ext. 2130