Report 2019-104 Recommendation 9 Responses

Report 2019-104: Youth Experiencing Homelessness: California's Education System for K-12 Inadequately Identifies and Supports These Youth (Release Date: November 2019)

Recommendation #9 To: Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District

To comply with federal law and best practices, Norwalk-La Mirada should, before academic year 2020-21, ensure that school staff who provide services to youth experiencing homelessness receive training as federal law requires. Further, as set forth in best practices, the LEA should provide this training at least annually, and the training should include the definition of homelessness, signs of homelessness, the impact of homelessness on youth, and the steps an LEA should take once school staff has identified a youth as possibly experiencing homelessness.

1-Year Agency Response

The annual Norwalk La Mirada staff training was completed, as mandated, 2020. Due to COVID- 19, the training was implemented virtually through ZOOM and WebEx. To further strengthen our training efforts, we developed the McKinney-Vento Program "What You Need Know" informational series which includes the following documents: Definition of Homelessness, Signs of Homelessness, The Impact of Homelessness on Youth, and the steps that staff should take once they have identified a youth possibly experiencing homelessness. Further, the MV team has developed the "MV Program School Staff Resource Guide", which consists of individualized strategies for administrators, teachers and classified staff that work with homeless students. The guide provides tools for successful engagement with families in transition. In addition, the MV team began to promote "National Homeless Awareness Month" by publishing a homeless awareness manual with additional training modules and resources.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

6-Month Agency Response

Due to school closure the NLMUSD was not able to complete our annual teacher training phase that began the first week of March. However,moving forward we will conduct the teacher training via zoom and expect to complete by 9/15/20, taking into consideration that school ends on the first week of June and does not resume until the second week of August.

To date We have completed all face to face training and have also developed specialized McKinney-Vento binders for front office staff,mental health providers, school counselors and other staff.

We have also developed a district wide resource guide for all staff that come in contact with students in transitions,from school bus drivers to administrators, and continue to expand our staff awareness of our homeless population.

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

60-Day Agency Response

We have set up dates for 19/20 series of annual training on the following

January 14th, 2020 training for all front office enrollment clerks and registrars (complete)

February 14th, 2020 counselors training all NLMUSD counselors

March 5th and March 27th all NlMUSD teachers

Superintendents directive to place the following information on all staff handbooks: definition of homelessness,signs of homelessness,the impact of homelessness on youth, and the steps to take once homeless student has been identified..... (completed 1/17/2020)

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

We look forward to Norwalk-La Mirada demonstrating its implementation of this recommendation at its 6-month response.

All Recommendations in 2019-104

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.