Help Prepare and Support Olathe’s Vulnerable Students

This fall the Olathe Public Schools will help ensure that over 400 of  our district's most vulnerable students have what they need to start school. The Back to School Community Outreach event in early August will provide students with practical needs like school supplies and pillows. Equally important, the event helps students experience the same back to school excitement as their peers. 

Woman helping child with backpack

Help the district’s most vulnerable students start school with everything they need:

Throughout the year the Olathe School District works with families in transition as part of the federal mandate that public schools provide certain accommodations for students who don’t have a permanent residence. Approximately 28% of the nearly 30,000 Olathe students live in poverty. At any given time in the past several years, Olathe Public Schools has served more than 420 students in transition, or more commonly thought of as homeless.

Part of the federal mandate is that every child in transition will be provided a backpack and school supplies.  “Providing basic school supplies is not enough,” said Community Liaison Heather Schoonover. “We strive to give students the same opportunities we give our own children to start the school year ready to learn."

At the Back to School Community Outreach event, parents work with school district staff to make sure the students are signed up for transportation, meals, and other services provided by the Olathe School District. Volunteer professionals including dentists, doctors and hairdressers are on-hand to provide their services to students. Parents can pick up new socks and underwear for their kids and fresh pillows for the entire family. There are books, bags of groceries, shoe vouchers, winter coats, new toothbrushes and other toiletries available. Each student also receives a $25 gift card to a local store to be used to purchase new clothing or shoes.  All attendees also receive breakfast and lunch provided by local churches.

Students or parents with questions or needs related to homeless services can contact the district's Community Liaison Heather Schoonover at (913) 780-7002.