According to the Oregon Department of Education, the state observed a slight decrease in the number of students who were homeless at some point during the 2012-13 school year, compared to the previous year. The decline is expected to be the result of a more accurate accounting method, which deleted duplicate student counts when homeless students moved from district to district.
Hermiston School District saw a slight increase in its homeless count with 46 students, less than one percent of the student population, identified in 2012-13, up from 33 students identified in 2011-12. However, this figure is less than the statewide average of 3.2 percent of all Oregon K-12 students being homeless.
The 46 students identified in 2012-13 is a marked difference from the 2010-11 district-high of 74 identified students, or about 1.4 percent of the student population. At this time, HSD has already identified 39 students for the 2013-14 school year.
Using the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program (NCLB: Title X), Hermiston School District identifies students and families who qualify as homeless and takes great effort to support them.
Homeless is officially defined as children and youth who are minors lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes children and youth who:
- are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
- are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
- are living in emergency or transitional shelters;
- are abandoned in hospitals;
- are awaiting foster care placement;
- have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
- migrant children and youth (as defined under NCLB Title IC – Migrant Education) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described above.