Families in Transition - General Information

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MCPASD's Transitional Education Program, in compliance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, ensures we are meeting the educational rights (and needs) of our students experiencing homelessness.  Our purpose is to reduce barriers to school enrollment, attendance, and achievement by providing advocacy, resources, and coordination of services with community partners so that all children are available to learn.

What is McKinney-Vento?

McKinney-Vento refers to students experiencing homelessness or families in transition. Part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, this law protects eligible student from discrimination and mandates equal access to educational services. Students who are eligible must have no barrier to their education. The law mandates a school to designate someone to be a “homeless liaison” to act as the contact for families in transition and community agencies that service these families.  

How is homelessness defined under McKinney Vento?

The McKinney-Vento legislation defines homelessness for educational purposes as; Children and youth who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  

A student may qualify if they are currently:

  • Sharing housing with others due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason
  • Staying in emergency shelters
  • Temporarily living in a motel or hotel due to loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reason
  • Living in a car, park, campground, abandoned building or other inadequate accommodation
  • Living in transitional housing (case management and subsidy and time limited)
  • Living in other situations that are not fixed, regular or adequate for nighttime residence
  • Migratory children who live in any of the circumstances as described above
  • Children/youth living in a homeless situation who are also not under the care of a parent and/or legal guardian

McKinney Vento students have the rights to:

  • Immediate enrollment: Even if students lack documentation regarding residency, guardianship, immunizations or school records.
  • Attend school: The right to attend the school of residence or the school of origin. The school of origin is where the student was last enrolled or where they attended school when permanently housed.
  • Remain enrolled: The student has the right to remain enrolled in the selected school for the duration of homelessness or through the academic school year if they become permanently housed.
  • Access: Students will have access to the same programs and services that are available to all students.
  • Transportation services: Receive transportation to/from school.

Community Resources:

Homeless Resource Guide: This guide is updated regularly with resources and events available in Madison for those experiencing homelessness or those who are identified as low-income.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about community resources available to you in the Middleton/Madison area, please contact Paley Nordlof, Homeless Liaison at (608) 826-7649 or via email at pnordlof@mcpasd.k12.wi.us.

Educational Resources:

Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness: Animated video that promotes awareness of the issues that students experiencing homelessness may face and how to help meet those needs.

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction: Education for Homeless Children and Youth

Contacts for Transitional Services

Homeless and Foster Care Liaison
Paley Nordlof
7106 South Avenue
Middleton, WI  53562
Phone:   608-826-7649
Fax:  608-829-1536

REACH Coordinator (Grades 9-12)
Christina Teschendorf
Middleton High School & Clark Street Community School
Phone: 608-205-8143
Fax: 608-829-1536

MCPASD Director of Student Services:  
Barb Buffington
7106 South Avenue
Middleton, WI  53562
Phone:   608-829-9054
Fax:  608-829-1536

State Coordinators of Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program:                                  
Kristine Nadolski 
Phone: 608-267-7338

Karen Rice
Phone: 608-267-1284


Related Links

► Homeless Education Network of Dane County

 Dane County Homeless Consortium