Raytown C-2 School District (RQS) Receives $384,000 Grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Raytown C-2 School District (RQS) recently received a grant for $384,000 from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Homeless Children and Youth Grant Program (MO DESE) to provide services that ensure students currently experiencing homelessness have equal access to education without barriers including academic support which will lead to academic achievement, removal of enrollment obstacles, and assurance that policies and procedures are fair and do not negatively impact them because of their homelessness.

RQS will primarily use these grant funds to support a case worker for the homeless program. This will allow for greater time to be spent working with students and families, identifying needs, communicating about commonly requested district resources, and connecting families to district and community resources in a timely manner. Funding from this grant will increase identification of students and families currently experiencing homelessness, provide transportation assistance for students and families, fund academic supports for students, facilitate connections to district and community resources, and heighten awareness and sensitivity to the unique needs of this population.

Conversations with families and students over the last year have highlighted the following major family needs: 1) more communication about the services offered by the district so they can access greater available resources; 2) someone to connect them directly to district services and help them through warm handoffs to appropriate community services; and 3) greater resources to participate in normal school activities. Minor needs identified by school staff through student and family conversations include 1) better communication, facilitation, and transportation for tutoring and remedial programs; 2) proactive counseling support, including regular check-ins and small groups; 3) communication of support for supplies not needed at time of enrollment like supplies for sewing or science projects; and 4) communication of financial and transportation support activities and parent teacher conferences.

Raytown C-2 School District (Raytown Quality Schools, RQS) currently serves 8,710 K-12 students living in the cities of Raytown, Kansas City, and Independence, Missouri.