Skip to content

McKinney-Vento and the Residency Questionnaire

Families live in many different situations and several of those experiences may qualify for McKinney- Vento (homeless) enrollment.  The McKinney-Vento Act, which became part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), mandates protections and services for children and youth who are homeless.

To enable schools to accurately identify and determine enrollment, a Student Residency Questionnaire and Free/Reduced Lunch application must be completed for all students (online or hard copy) annually.  Students enrolled under McKinney-Vento shall be enrolled immediately without proof of residency, immunizations, school records, birth certificate, or other documents. They may enroll at the boundary school they are currently living in, the school they attended before they lost their housing, or the school where they were last enrolled.

Qualification under McKinney-Vento is defined as “temporary” and must be re-affirmed each school year by the family completing the Student Residency Questionnaire and the Free/Reduced Lunch application when registering their student. Please remember that unaccompanied minors do not necessarily qualify under McKinney-Vento.

McKinney-Vento are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and includes:

  • Children or youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
  • Children or youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used, as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • Children or youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and,
  • Children or youth who live with another family to escape abuse.
  • Migratory children or youth who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described above.


  • Doubled-up – the McKinney-Vento Act defines this term as “sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason” [§725(2)(B)].
  • Hotels/Motels – living in a hotel or motel.
  • Shelters – are supervised publicly or privately operated facilities designed to provide temporary living accommodations.
  • Unsheltered – includes cars, parks, campgrounds, temporary trailers, abandoned buildings and substandard housing.

McKinney-Vento services are NOT for:

  • Children or youth who live with someone else so that they may attend a particular school to participate in that school’s programs or activities.
  • Children or youth whose families have doubled-up while waiting for their home to be built.
  • Living with family when new to the area until they find a home;