Ideas


Schoolhouse Washington advances promising practices that are powered by innovation and informed by data. Successful programs happen in communities where school districts, housing nonprofits, other local organizations and individuals work collectively to combat student homelessness. We directly support the sustainability and spread of promising practices through grantmaking and the sharing of knowledge. Schoolhouse Washington also advocates for state and local laws and policies that increase opportunities for students who are homeless to achieve housing stability and educational success.

No Answers. Just Connections.
Guest post by Roxana Parise, Homeless Liaison for Bellingham Public Schools: "I was 11 years old the first time I witnessed an immigration raid. My family was living in central California and we were working in the fields picking blackberries. For a long time, I had nightmares that I was going to be taken away from my family, never to see them again...Today, as a homeless liaison, I work with many families who have at least one undocumented member in their family."
Promising Practices Spotlight: Spokane County makes student homelessness a top community priority
How do you rally a community to support students experiencing homelessness? Spokane County shows a way. A desire to address a community problem evolved into a deliberate action plan, with a broad coalition of local leaders invested in its success.
Schoolhouse Washington comments on state’s ESSA plan
We recently submitted comments on the state's draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. ESSA is a federal law that is designed to support states in providing education that is equitable, meets high academic standards, and helps students who need extra help, like students experiencing homelessness.
Q & A with Tukwila Superintendent Nancy Coogan
Schoolhouse Washington recently awarded an 18-month grant to the Tukwila School District, where 11.5 percent of all students in 2015-16 were identified as homeless, compared to 3.65 percent statewide. We asked Tukwila Superintendent Nancy Coogan about the district’s ongoing work to address student homelessness and how Schoolhouse Washington will enhance those efforts.
Solutions for ending youth homelessness rest within young people themselves
Hoping to learn from those who persevered through the challenges of student homelessness, Schoolhouse Washington recently sat down with several members of Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness (YAEH), a program of The Mockingbird Society, a Seattle-based nonprofit.
Infographics on student homelessness to share
In partnership with Seattle University's Project on Family Homelessness, we've produced a new series of infographics that illustrate what we know about student homelessness in Washington state and its impact. Please use and share widely!
The Homeless Student Stability and Opportunity Gap Act: Stabilizing Homeless Students in their Schools and Communities
In 2016, The Homeless Students Stability and Opportunity Gap Act (HSSA) passed with great bipartisan support. Learn which school districts and community organizations received the competitive grants and how they help stabilize families in their schools and in their communities.
Promising Practices Spotlight: HOST families offer stability to students experiencing homelessness
Mason County HOST (Housing Options for Students in Transition) helps students who seek to earn a high school diploma, GED or technical certification – but face barriers to reaching their goals because of the homeless crisis they are experiencing.
Schoolhouse Washington recommends key change to state’s draft Every Student Succeeds Act plan
YOUR VOICE NEEDED: Ask the state to include students experiencing homelessness in its plan to improve graduation rates. Public comments accepted until February 15.
Number of K-12 students experiencing homelessness in Washington state keeps climbing
School districts across Washington state have identified 39,671 K-12 students as having experienced homelessness during the 2015-16 school year – an 11.7 percent increase over the previous year and more than double the number from just eight years ago.
More help on the way for Tukwila students who are unstably housed
Building Changes has awarded a Schoolhouse Washington grant to the Tukwila School District to strengthen its ongoing efforts at helping students who are homeless or precariously housed.
Who is Homeless?
Federal law (“the McKinney-Vento Act”) defines “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
Student Homelessness Across Washington State Continues to Rise
This week, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) reported that 35,511 students were homeless in the 2014-15 school year[...]
Homeless Student Stability and Opportunity Gap Act Signed into Law!
After years of advocacy and community partnership, HB-1682, the Homeless Student Stability and Opportunity Gap Act has been signed into law[...]
Falling Through the Gaps: How a Stay in Detention Can Lead to Youth Homelessness (2015)
Washington State provides its youth a right to health care, to an education, to food assistance, and to be protected[...]
Thousands of Homeless Students Slipping Through the Cracks (2015)
The Washington State Department of Commerce identified 42,038 students that would have qualified for McKinney-Vento in the 2011-2012 academic school[...]
TALK POVERTY: Kids Should be Focused on Homework, Not Working to Find a Home (2015)
Katara Jordan discusses her work to help homeless students and their families address barriers to their enrollment and participation in[...]
Who are Washington’s Homeless Children and Youth: Venn Diagram (2015)
vocates took notice that legislators, media, and the public often used the terms “homeless students” and “homeless youth and young adults” interchangeably[...]
Student Homelessness in WA State: What We Know (2014)
This document details the nexus between youth homelessness and education by providing a comprehensive examination of services currently provided to[...]
Unaccompanied Homeless Students Estimate (2013-2014)
Unaccompanied homeless students represent an often times hidden population and are difficult to accurately identify. Lacking an accurate number[...]