Not only is it difficult for older students because school systems have different requirements for graduation, but students of all ages are affected socially if they hop from school to school, Pack said.
"A lot of times, the only stability these kids have is at school. So much of their life is unstable. If you're changing schools all the time, it's hard to establish friendships because you're scared you'll lose them again," she said.
Teachers can play a powerful role in the lives of homeless students, Pack said.
She suggests that teachers encourage a buddy system and pair a new student up with someone who advises all school faculty and staff to be aware of the child's life outside of school when it comes to homework and other projects.
"There may be 10 people in one small home that share two bedrooms. When you're sharing residence with someone else, you may stay away from the home as long as possible -- then your chance of allowing them to stay there is better," Pack said. "These kids don't have a lot of time to sit down with a parent and do homework.
"Teachers need to be aware that there are challenges. Some families might not come forward with their struggles because it's embarrassing for them."
The stories that Pack has heard during her nine years in the position are sometimes difficult to take, but she focuses on her job and in giving the students a chance at a future.
"It's a very sad thing. You realize the ramifications of what might happen to the children in these situations and how difficult life is for them when their residence is compromised. I see families that cycle through a lot. They'll start in a shelter, then find permanent housing, [and] then before I know it they're back in a shelter again. It can be hard to take," she said.
For more information, visit wvde.state.wv.us then click the "community" tab and the "homeless children" tab to find a list of attendance directors and homeless liaisons across the state.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.