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MA DESE Guidance for Entering Homeless and Foster Care Student Data (2017-18)

Article ID: 1018
Last updated: 17 Oct, 2017
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NEW for 2017-18: SIF districts do not need to do manual entry

Starting in the 2017-18 collection, SIF districts do not need to manually enter homeless and foster care student information into the Security Portal application, unless it is to edit or correct data that was transmitted in error.

For districts that are live in SIF, the information should be entered into the district SIS, and that data will be transmitted to ESE automatically via the SIF agent. The data that is transmitted via SIF will be populated in the homeless and foster care student application. Districts can go to the homeless application to verify, review, edit, or correct the data at any point in the school year.


iPass provides SIF Districts with data fields on the Student's MA DOE screen and Confidential screen to report their Homeless, Foster Care, Dwelling Arrangement and Unaccommpanied Youth status via SIF transmission. These data elements are sent in the SIF StudentPersonal Object.

When should homeless and foster care students be reported?

  • At the point when he/she arrives in the district if a new student. Or when district staff learns that an already enrolled student has become homeless or placed in foster care.
  • Only students enrolled in the district should be entered (do not enter a student who is sheltered/placed in the district and transported to his/her school of origin in another district).
  • In addition, students whose homelessness or foster care placement spans school years will need to reentered in subsequent years.
  • This data collection is cumulative and on-going for each school year. Though the data is not certified and submitted until the end of the school year (usually July), it is important to have it up-to-date on October 1st.

Once a student is entered:

  • The student will appear on the list of reported students on your Add/Update screen.
  • Note: It is possible that a student was both homeless and placed in foster care during the school year. That student should be entered in both categories and will appear on both lists.
  • The Edit function is used to correct a data entry error, for example, should numbers in the SASID identifier be transposed. The dwelling arrangement should not be updated. Districts are not asked to “track” the changes in housing status.
  • The Delete function is used only if a student is erroneously entered.
  • Do not delete or update students if they become permanently housed. The data collection effort needs to be a cumulative record of all homeless students enrolled in the district for any given school year.
  • Once the school year closes, the data is archived and the application is reset. Therefore, students whose
    homelessness spans school years must be reentered in the subsequent school year, i.e. a student
    homeless in June needs to be reentered in September if that student remains homeless, with their new
    grade and Primary Night Time Residence.
** Attached please find the Massaschusetts DESE Guidance for Entering Homeless and Foster Care Student Data. **
Attached files
file Guideline for Homeless and Foster Care_2017-18.pdf (124 kb)

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