Children in foster care face a number of challenges that impact their ability to be successful in the school environment. Children in foster care move from home to home and school to school more frequently than other children for a number of reasons; usually those reasons involve the need to ensure the child resides in the safest and most appropriate home environment that meets the child’s needs. Consequently, children in foster care frequently lose course credit, repeat courses they have already taken, are placed in inappropriate classes or grade levels, and cannot participate in extracurricular activities. Delays in transferring school records result in serious disruptions in learning and special education services.
Rockwall ISD is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children in foster care by maintaining educational stability to the greatest extent possible. To streamline enrollment of foster children, foster parents are required to enroll their students at the campus in their attendance zone with the 2085 form that designates that the student is in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Managing Conservatorship.
Some of the strategies RISD employs to assist with educational stability for foster students are as follows:
- Prompt transfer of student records through TREx in order for students to complete grade and course requirements and improve the students’ opportunity to participate in credit recovery rather than repeating an entire course.
- Promote practices that facilitate access by a foster student to extracurricular activities, enrichment and summer school programs, electronic courses, after-school tutoring, as well as sports activities, at nominal or no cost.
- Enroll foster students with limited education records, including absence of birth certificate, pending receipt of records from sending school and assurance that immunizations have begun.
- Identify a school district foster care liaison who is registered and trained through TEA: Dr. Shelley Garrett, firstname.lastname@example.org, 972-771-0605.
Sources and further information:
- Joining the Military: A Guide to Assist Foster Care Youth and their Caregivers in Navigating the Military Enlistment Process
- Your Bill of Rights: A Collection of Rights for Youth in Care
- Educational and Training Vouchers for Current and Former Foster Care Youth
- Things People Never Told Me: When You Start Living on Your Own From Foster Care, There Are Some Things in Life That People Seem to Forget to Tell You About
- Texas Foster Care Handbook for Youth
- A Guide for Those “Aging Out” of Foster Care in Texas (2nd ed.)