Foster Care Plan
The Calumet Public School District is committed to provide all students with sound educational experiences. We recognize that foster children are at an increased risk of grade retention, gaps in academic achievement, low high school graduation rates, and postsecondary enrollment. These provisions promote greater stability for children in foster care so that they can continue their education without disruption, maintain important relationships with peers and adults, and have the opportunity to achieve college- and career readiness.
The educational stability includes assurances that (1) a child in foster care will remain in the child’s school of origin, unless a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest in that school and (2) if a determination is made that it is not in the child’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the child will be immediately enrolled in the school of residence, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment.
School District Assurances
Foster Care Child Liaison (POC)
The Calumet Public School District will assign at least one person to serve as a Foster Care Child Liaison, or Point of Contact (POC). The name of this person will be turned in annual to the OSDE through the online Grants Management System by September 30th of each year. If additional staff members are needed to meet the requirements, the district will make assignments as deemed necessary. The Foster Child Liaison will work in the best interest of the child to ensure that all educational requirements are being met. The liaison that is assigned to the position will have access available training and materials to keep them informed of any changes in the Foster Care Regulations. The liaison will work closely with state and tribal child welfare agencies to:
A committee will meet to determine the appropriate placement of each foster care child. The committee will comprise of the site administrator or LEA representative, the Foster Care Liaison, and a member of the CWA. In emergency circumstances the CWA has the authority to make an immediate decision regarding the school placement, and then consult with the LEA and revisit the best interest determination of the child. The determining factors that may be evaluated include:
*Transportation costs will not be considered when determining a child’s best interests.
In the event of a disagreement regarding school placement for a child in foster care, the child welfare agency should be considered the final decision maker in making the best interest determination. The child welfare agency is uniquely position to assess vital non-educational factors such as safety, sibling placements, the child’s permanency goal, and other components of the case plan. They child welfare agency also has the authority, capacity, and responsibility to collaborate with and gain information from multiple parties including parents, children, schools and the court in making these decisions.
Enrollment of Students
Foster care parents, social workers or other legal guardians will be allowed to immediately enroll children in Calumet Public Schools. We understand that all necessary paperwork (birth certificates, shot records, academic records, special education records, etc.) may not be immediately available and want to provide a smooth transition for the student into our district. We will contact the home school district for the records and make adaptations as needed. After enrollment the following guardianship or legal custody documents shall be provided for verification by the foster family or CWA:
The IDEA, Part B directs school districts must make a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) available to all eligible children with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). FAPE under IDEA includes the provision of special education and related services at no cost to the parents in accordance with a properly developed Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each child’s placement decision must be made by a group of knowledgeable persons.
The Calumet Public School District will operate in accordance with all state and federal laws regarding special education students. Special education services will be provided to foster care students as they are to all students following the guidelines below.
The Calumet Public School District will ensure that EL students in foster care will participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs by doing the following:
The Calumet Public School District will collaborate with the CWA to develop and implement clear written procedures governing how transportation is provided to maintain children in foster care in their schools of origin. The Calumet Public School District will also work with the CWA to reach an agreement in regards to covering the transportation costs. The agreement will cover how the transportation will be provided, arranged, and funded for the duration of the child’s time in foster care. Each agreement can/will vary greatly because the needs of each child should be considered in making the decision on transportation.
The regular transportation policies approved by the Calumet Public School District will be followed in transporting foster care students. Drivers will be appropriately licensed, certified, and with the required DMV and background checks. Various public school vehicles may be used to transport students depending on the circumstances. Students that must be transported out of state will be school board approved as required by Oklahoma law.
The Calumet Public School District will share education records with the CWA that are allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This allows educational agencies to disclose without parental consent educational records, including IDEA, of students in foster care to State and Tribal agencies.