Transition Education Program (TEP)

The mission of the Transition Education Program, sponsored by the MMSD, is to provide homeless children and youth equitable access to educational opportunities afforded "housed" children. Services include but are not limited to:

  • Advocacy
  • Transportation
  • School supplies
  • Resource development
  • Staff development
  • Community education about homelessness and mobility
  • Coordination with community partners

Did you know that for 24 years, MMSD has had a program that supports homeless students in our schools? The Transition Education Program (TEP) was originally based in Emerson, Lapham, Marquette, and O’Keeffe. After moving to a district wide support model in the fall of 2008, our office relocated to Lowell Elementary on the east side, where we are currently housed.

There are currently 805 students experiencing homelessness in the MMSD.

TEP is responsible for implementing the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which was most recently reauthorized with NCLB. This law gives rights to families and students experiencing homelessness and responsibilities to school districts. TEP has trained a Point of Contact (POC) in each MMSD building. Our POCs (social workers, psychologists and some other key people in the schools) are the direct school support for students experiencing homelessness. Ask the social workers in your school or program about McKinney Vento.

TEP works closely with Sandra Mell in the transportation office. On a daily basis, she makes sure our TEP students who need transportation outside of the regular routes get to and from school. TEP has three staff members who focus on consultation with POCs and providers of homeless services in the community. Tara Wallace supports elementary schools, Amy Noble supports middle school and high schools, Jani Koester supports 4K, After School, and the schools that have shelters in their attendance areas. You can often find us in the schools and in the community building awareness, supporting students and families and providing professional development.

In the news:

Number of homeless children in Madison schools continues steep climb (from, 10/16/13)

TEP Staff (left to right, above):

Amy Noble:, 204-6826

Jani Koester:, 204-2063

Tara Wallace:, 204-3257