Resources for Students Experiencing Homelessness

  • What does it mean to be homeless? 

    The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youth as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:

    • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason

    • Children and youth who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters

    • Children and youth 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

    • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or

    • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above

    What rights do students experiencing homelessness have?

    School districts must ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness are able to participate fully in school activities, and that barriers to identification, enrollment, and retention in school are identified and removed. Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to:

    • Immediate Enrollment: No matter the documentation.
    • Transportation: Schools should continue providing transportation support as needed to eliminate barriers to enrollment, participation and retention in school, including to pick up meals or distance learning items.
    • Academic Access and Success: This includes free meals, and all other academic supports afforded to their housed peers and more.

Related Information

  • Contact:
    Don Scatena, Director of Student Services
    dscatena@smuhsd.org
    650-558-2258 


    Student Services Location and Hours of Operation 
    Mondays - Thursdays: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Fridays: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

    650 N. Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA 94401


    Per California Assembly Bill 27, all families are required to complete the homeless declaration annually.

    Homeless Declaration:  English  | Spanish Coming Soon