TPS helping homeless students succeed

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - There are about 2,600 Toledo public school students going into the school year without a home. Many of those kids were displaced by fire or foster care.

TPS received a $400,000 gr ant for the 2017-2018 school year, after going without it the last two years. That money will help kids without a home this year.

A portion of that will go to transportation, to help displaced students stay in their school of origin, with the teachers and friends they are used to.

Part of that includes students having private transportation or extra bus tokens for older kids to get them to school.

"We will transport you all the way across town so that you can stay with your teacher, your friends," said Heather Baker, Executive Director of Pupil Placement for TPS. "So even though your home has changed, or it may be traumatic there, we want school to be a safe place."

The gr ant also covers school supplies and clothing for some students. TPS will also help to provide meals and outside counseling.

All of this is an effort to help those kids succeed beyond their education.

"It's not just about school," says Baker. "It's wrap-around services, and really wrapping support around those families to get what they need. And really, it boils down to the child, to get what they need."

TPS also partnered with area shelters like Family House and La Posada to help house children.

The district also created Trauma-Informed Care Training to help teachers and staff recognize trauma and support these students. Teachers came on their own time, and were not paid for it.

Baker says that's critical to help these students succeed and not feel singled out in the classroom.

"Being displaced from your home, either taken into foster care or being displaced by a fire," Baker said. "So empowering our teachers with the tools they need in order to deal with those traumas as they're coming out."

If you need these services for your students, you are urged to call 419-671-1500  or email Heather Baker.

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