Olustee-Eldorado Public School District Foster Care Plan
Under the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Section 1112(c)(5)(B) Title I educational stability provisions took effect on December 10, 2016. By such date, each school district was to have a Foster Care Plan developed and disseminated to all stakeholders.
In Section 1111(c)(5) of ESSA, the school district must collaborate with the Child Welfare Agency and Tribal Child Welfare Agencies (CWA) to implement the Title I educational stability provisions. Therefore, each school district shall develop a clear, written Foster Care Plan. As such, the Foster Care Plan for Olustee-Eldorado Public School District shall be as follows:
1. LEA Point of Contact and responsibilities.
The superintendent will designate at least one person to serve as the Foster Care Point of Contact (POC). The POC may also be the homeless student coordinator. This designation will occur by December 10, 2016, and shall be updated annually. The name of this person will be turned in to the OSDE through the online Grants Management System by September 30th of each year. If additional staff members are needed to meet the requirements, the superintendent will make assignments as deemed necessary. The POC will work in the best interest of the child to ensure that all educational requirements are being met.
The POC will work closely with the CWA to:
• Coordinate with the corresponding child welfare agency POC to implement
Title I provisions;
2. Decision-making process.
A committee will meet to determine if the school of origin is not in
the best interest of each foster care child and the appropriate placement
of the child. The committee will be comprised of the site administrator
or representative, the LEA’s POC, and a member of the CWA. In emergency
circumstances the CWA has the authority to make an immediate decision
regarding the school placement, and then consult with the LEA and revisit
the best interest determination of the child.
3. The type of documentation or records that should be shared between parties.
Foster care parents, social workers or other legal guardians will be allowed to immediately enroll children in foster care in the school district without having the necessary paperwork (birth certificates, shot records, academic records, special education records, etc.) This is to help aid the student with a smooth transition into the district. The receiving school district will contact the school district of origin for the records and make adaptations as needed. After enrollment, the following guardianship or legal custody documents shall be provided for verification by the foster family or CWA:
• Power of attorney
Olustee-Eldorado School District will share education records with the CWA that are allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other state privacy laws. This allows educational agencies to disclose without parental consent educational records, including IDEA, of students in foster care to the CWA.
4. Collaborative structure, such as regularly scheduled meetings, in which relevant individuals can participate in a particular process.
The POC will meet with the site administrator, school counselor, classroom teacher, and foster parent as needed to discuss the progress of the child in foster care and will document the results of meetings. All decisions will be made utilizing a collaborative team approach to determine what will be in the best interest of the child.
5. The best interest determination document regarding the child’s school placement (school of origin or the receiving school).
Olustee-Eldorado School District shall utilize the following sample form from the Oklahoma State Department of Education in making a “best interest” determination for each child in foster care. The final determination as to what is in the best interest of the child will be made by the CWA.
(B) Other Previous School Attended
Describe the relationship connections at current school: ____________________________________________________
6. Transportation procedures.
In addition to regular transportation routes, the school district will collaborate with the CWA when transportation is required to maintain children placed in foster care in a school of origin outside their usual attendance area or district when it is in the best interest of the student. Under the supervision of the superintendent, the POC will invite appropriate district officials, the CWA, and officials from other districts or agencies to promptly arrange cost-effect transportation for the student.
Olustee-Eldorado School District will collaborate with the CWA to develop and implement clear, written procedures governing how transportation is provided to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin. The school district will also work with the CWA to reach an agreement in regards to covering the transportation costs. The agreement will cover how the transportation will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the child’s time in foster care. Each agreement can/will vary greatly because the unique needs of each child should be considered in making the decision on transportation.
8. Clear, written policies that will remove barriers to immediate enrollment and record transfers for children in foster care.
Olustee-Eldorado Board of Education has modified existing board policy to eliminate any barriers to enrollment and/or transfer of educational records for children in foster care as described in this plan.