In 2018, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative engaged the Gardner Center to partner with public school districts in San Mateo County to examine the barriers to educational success faced by youth experiencing housing instability, and identify factors that may promote academic achievement among this vulnerable population. The first of three planned stages of research addressed three key questions:
- What is the size and distribution of the homeless and highly mobile student population in Sequoia area school districts during the last three to five years?
- To what degree do circumstances vary for this student population (e.g., in terms of chronicity of homelessness, instability of current living arrangements, placement in foster care, newcomer immigrant background, family structure)?
- How does being homeless or highly mobile affect students’ educational outcomes?
This report presents findings from the first phase of research and implications based on variation and distribution of housing instability and the relationship between housing instability and educational outcomes.