PCSSD - 4.52 Students who are Foster Children

4.52 Students who are Foster Children

The District will afford the same services and educational opportunities to foster children that are afforded other children and youth. The District shall work with the Department of Human Services (“DHS”), the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), and individuals involved with each foster child to ensure that the foster child is able to maintain his/her continuity of educational services to the fullest extent that is practical and reasonable.

The Superintendent or his/her designee shall appoint an appropriate staff person to be the local educational liaison for foster children and youth whose responsibilities shall include ensuring the timely school enrollment of each foster child and assisting foster children who transfer between schools by expediting the transfer of relevant educational records.

The District, working with other individuals and agencies shall, unless the presiding court rules otherwise or DHS grants a request to transfer under Foster Child School Choice, ensure that the foster child remains in his/her school of origin, even if a change in the foster child’s placement results in a residency that is outside the district. In such a situation, the District will work with DHS to arrange for transportation to and from school for the foster child to the extent it is reasonable and practical.

Upon notification to the District’s foster care liaison by a foster child’s caseworker that a foster child’s school enrollment is being changed to one of the District’s schools, the school receiving the child must immediately enroll him/her. Immediate enrollment is required even if a child lacks the required clothing, academic or medical records, or proof of residency.

A foster child’s grades shall not be lowered due to absence from school that is caused by a change in the child’s school enrollment, the child’s attendance at dependency-neglect court proceedings, or other court-ordered counseling or treatment.

Any course work completed by the foster child prior to a school enrollment change shall be accepted as academic credit so long as the child has satisfactorily completed the appropriate academic placement assessment.

If a foster child was enrolled in a District school immediately prior to completing his/her graduation requirements while detained in a juvenile detention facility or while committed to the Division of Youth Services of DHS, the District shall issue the child a diploma.

Foster Child School Choice

If DHS approves a request from a foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, to transfer to another school in the District or into the district as being in the best interest of the foster child, the District shall allow the foster child to transfer to another school in the District or into the District if the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, submits a request to transfer on a form approved by ADE that is postmarked by no later than May 1 of the year the student seeks to begin the fall semester at another school in the District or in the District.

By July 1 of the school year in which the student seeks to transfer under this section, the superintendent shall notify the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, in writing whether the application has been accepted or rejected. If the application is accepted, the superintendent shall state in the notification letter a reasonable deadline for the foster child to enroll in the new school or the District and that failure to enroll by the date shall void the school choice acceptance. If the application is rejected, the superintendent shall state in the notification letter the reason for the rejection and that the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, may submit a written appeal of the rejection to the State board within ten (10) days of receiving the notification letter.

The District shall only reject a Foster Child School Choice application if:

  1. The public school or District has reached the maximum student-to-teacher ratio allowed under federal law, state law, rules for standards of accreditation, or other applicable rule or regulation; or
  2. Approving the transfer would conflict with a provision of an enforceable desegregation court order or a public school district’s court-approved desegregation plan regarding the effects of past racial segregation in student assignment.

A foster child whose application is rejected by the District may submit a written request within ten (10) days following the receipt of the rejection letter from the superintendent to the State Board of Education for the State Board to reconsider the transfer.

  • A Foster Child School Choice transfer shall remain in effect until the foster child:
  • Graduates from high school; or
  • Transfers to another school or school district under:
    • The Foster Child School Choice Act;
    • Opportunity Public School Choice Act of 2004;
    • The Public School Choice Act of 2015; or
    • Any other law that allows a transfer.

The District shall accept credits toward graduation that were awarded by another public school district.

When a foster child transfers from the foster child’s school of origin to another school in the District or into the District, the foster child or the foster parent is responsible for the foster child’s transportation to and from the school the foster child transferred to. The District and the foster parent, or the foster child if the foster child is eighteen (18) years of age, may enter into a written agreement for the District to provide the transportation to and from the school the foster child transferred to.

 

Cross References:            

  • 4.1—RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS
  • 4.2—ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS
  • 4.5—SCHOOL CHOICE
  • 4.7—ABSENCES

Legal References:

  • A.C.A. § 6-18-233
  • A.C.A. § 9-28-113

Date Adopted:  04/01/15

Last Revised:  10/16/17