My enterprise story is the effects of homelessness in children in the Springfield School District, primarily focusing on downtown Springfield schools. How does homelessness affect academic performance?
Chris R., Principal of Gateways High School in Downtown
An elementary teacher from Brattain Elementary School
Janet Beckman, liason to homeless families in the Springfield School District
Pearl Wolfe, supervisor for the Lane County Human Services Commission
Maybe, hopefully homeless families
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, passed in 1987 and reauthorized in 2001, requires states to ensure that homeless children and youth have the same access to public education as everyone else. And according to a KEZI9 blurb, Springfield School District had the highest percent of homeless students in their district this year with 4.6% which translates to 498 of the 10,864 students.
Susan Castillo said in an article, “Homeless families in Oregon, and around the country, face a host of challenges from finding a safe place to stay and food to eat to making sure students get to school ready to learn.” The issue is, how does homelessness affect children’s academics? Are teachers able to differentiate between those who are in poverty versus not? Success rate comparisons?
Depending on what my sources recommend me to do, I am hoping I can observe an elementary or high school. With a topic like this it’ll be hard to just stay in the boundaries of downtown Springfield, but perhaps if need be, I can just focus on Gateways High School as my main profile for the topic, where the appearance of homelessness versus not may be more apparent and more part of the culture there (in elementary school, most kids disregard class when making friends – it’s more apparent as they get older).
Plan for this week:
I plan to begin speaking to people. Chris is a very easy man to speak to so I may approach him first and ask him for more people that I can speak to. I will find contact information for Janet and either email her or call her to set up an interview. I want to contact the principal of Brattain Elementary and see if there are any teachers who will want to be interviewed. I need to speak to Alice or Suzi on the subject of interviewing families – how I can approach that.