H.A.N.D.S. (Homeless/Displaced/Mobile Students)

BPS H.A.N.D.S. (Helping Address the Needs of Displaced Students, formerly known as Homeless Services) provides referrals to social services in a safe and stress-free environment. Through comprehensive case management, we work to remove barriers, provide opportunities, and promote academic success.

Definition of Homeless Children & Youth (from the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)The term "homeless" refers to children, youth, and individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes:

  • Children and youth sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;

  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

  • Abandoned in hospitals; or awaiting foster care placement;

  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters;

  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public space, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;

  • Migratory children (as defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitles because they are living in circumstances described above.

The BPSD H.A.N.D.S. program offers the following:

  • free breakfast and lunch

  • assistance with obtaining school supplies and clothing needed for school

  • health referrals

  • assistance with available community resources

  • transportation to the school of origin

  • assistance with testing fees

  • BPS extracurricular activities

  • tutoring for remediation and credit recovery

  • training available to all BPS district sites and area school administrations regarding

    • McKinney-Vento laws

    • Homeless Education

H.A.N.D.S Logo

Sarah Rowe

Sarah Rowe

Family Support - Homeless Education Coordinator


918-336-3311 ext. 1061

Mailing Address:

Bartlesville Public School District
P.O. Box 1357
Bartlesville, OK 74005-1357

Educational Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

  • Go to school, including public preschool, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there

  • Continue in the school of origin (the school attended when permanently housed or the school in which last enrolled) if that is the parent's or youths' choice and is feasible

  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin

  • Enroll in school immediately even if missing records and documents normally required for enrollment

  • Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment

  • Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other students served in this program

  • Receive transportation to and from school and school programs, comparable to that of housed students

Information provided by the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)

Barriers to Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

  • Children experiencing homelessness face many barriers to education, such as:

    • Delayed enrollment

    • High numbers of school transfers

    • Losing 4-6 months of academic progress with each school transfer

    • Lack of school supplies and clothing

    • Poor health, fatigue, and hunger

    • Prejudice and misunderstanding

  • The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act promotes:

    • School stability and continuity

    • Access to school, classes, and programs

    • Academic progress

    • Child-centered, best-interest decision making

The National Center for Homeless Education is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center that assists schools and communities in helping children in homeless situations enroll and succeed in school.  For further information, visit Serve.