Can I stay in my school when I move?
Yes, you have the right to remain in your school when you are removed from your home or if you change placements while in foster care if it is in your best interest to be there. This is called your “school of origin.” Make sure you tell your case manager, and your guardian ad litem and/or attorney if you have one if you want to stay in your school or change schools.
Who decides if I stay in my school? Do I get a say?
Yes, you do. The following factors are used deciding if it is in your best interest to stay in the same school when you enter foster care or move placements:
- If you want to stay in your school
- What your parent or legal guardian wants
- Whether you have a sibling(s), close friends, and/or a mentor at your school
- Your cultural and community connections to your school
- If you are suspected of having a disability or have begun receiving interventions (or extra help) for a suspected disability;
- If you have an evaluation being done for special education services;
- If you are a student with a disability, if special services are available to you at another school;
- If English is not your first language and you are an English Language Learner (“ELL”) student getting language services, if those services are available at another school;
- The impact a change would have on your school credits and your progress towards going onto the next grade;
- If there are extracurricular activities that are important to you at your current school;
- Your medical and behavioral health needs;
- Your permanency goal and timeframe for getting to permanency;
- How many times you have transferred schools and how those transfers have impacted you;
- The amount of time it would take you to get to school and how that would impact you; and
- How long you have attended your school
The cost of transportation to your school cannot affect the decision on if it is in your best interest to remain in your school.
How will I get to my school?
If it is in your best interest to stay in your school, you have the right to free transportation to and from your school. Transportation must be set up as soon as possible but may some time to set up. Your case manager must contact the school district and the district will set up the transportation to your school.
What happens if I change schools?
If staying in your school is not in your best interest, then your move to a new school should be made during a “logical juncture”.
SCRAPPY TIP: You must be able to start school right away when you’re in foster care.
When is a “logical juncture” for me to change schools?
“Logical junctures” include school breaks and the end of a grading period, a time when it is easiest for you to move schools. Once it is decided it is in your best interest to move to a new school and the time to move is identified, you should be enrolled in the new school immediately so that you do not have any absences.
20 U.S.C. Sec 6311, Fla. Admin. Code 65C-28.018.