Real Help for Washington State s Most At-Risk Students

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1 Washington State Migrant Education Program Real Help for Washington State s Most At-Risk Students Print Date: 01/06 Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program

2 Table of Contents Introduction... 3 What are the Special Educational Needs of Migrant Students?... 4 How do Washington Schools Help Migrant Students?... 5 Supplemental Educational Assistance... 6 Binational Support... 7 Parental Involvement... 7 Migrant Student Information System... 8 Summer School... 8 Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS)... 8 Health Services... 9 Preschool Programs... 9 Migrant Education Program Accident Insurance... 9 Migrant Education News... 9 The Organization of Washington Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program Is the Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program Effective? Funding for Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program How do School Districts and Other Agencies Implement Programs? How to Participate in the Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program Helpful Addresses and Telephone Numbers of State and Regional Offices Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -2-

3 Introduction They have been called children of the harvest and children of the road. These children face more obstacles in the pursuit of education than any other identifiable population and their dropout rate is higher than that of the average population. They are migrant children. The children of itinerant farmworkers who stream each year into Washington s fields and orchards planting, hoeing, pruning, picking and packing the crops that bolster the state s economy and help feed America. Each year thousands of migrant families pour into Washington to perform the vital tasks necessary to reap the state s rich agricultural bounty. More out-of-state workers come to Washington than to any other state with the exception of California. The migrant student typically reports for school in the late spring, just when other students are counting down the days until summer vacation. Many are here for the opening of school in the fall. By November, most have left Washington to return to their homes in Texas, California, Arizona, or México. How do Washington schools respond to the influx of these mobile students, many of whom speak only limited English? Thanks in part to Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program, a special federally funded and state managed program, the migrant students receive an array of supplemental services tailored to their needs. As a result, their chances for success in school are greatly improved. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -3-

4 What are the Special Educational Needs of Migrant Students? Migrant students suffer the wrenching effects of dislocation and immersion of new surroundings. Their education is constantly disrupted at critical stages, and school standards and curriculum do not match well across state lines. Many migrant students are Hispanic, first and second generation Mexican-Americans, and Spanish is often the only language spoken in their homes. When schools provide instruction in English only, these students frequently are unable to benefit. Additionally, migrant students are affected by the cumulative effects of poverty, economic pressures, and continuing exposure to health hazards. Many migrant children frequently help parents work, and older children are often compelled to choose between the long-term promise of education and the immediate needs of the family. More than half of all migrant students at the second grade level and higher are one or more years older than the norm for their grade. Large numbers of migrant students are retained in kindergarten and first grade, because of the perception that their limited English is impeding their acquisition of basic skills in a language other than English. Being an over-age child is a leading statistical indicator for potential dropouts. In the migrant population, the average student stands a 50/50 chance of graduating from high school. Despite these enormous barriers, migrant students can and do succeed in school. Partially compensating for the burdens they endure, migrant students usually benefit from strong family ties with strong work ethics. With proper measures of directed assistance along the way, they realize their unlimited potential for success in school and life. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -4-

5 How do Washington Schools Help Migrant Students? The doors of every Washington public school are open to all migrant students as long as the student resides in the district. Washington educators are committed to treating all students equitably and providing them with quality education. However, most schools would be unable to cope with the full range of special challenges presented by migrant students if it were not for the far-reaching supplemental services of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program (MEP). Specially trained district staff makes an effort to identify migrant students as soon as they arrive in the state and enroll them in school as soon as possible. The program uses a statewide computer network system to get the student s educational and health records to the new school. If the student needs additional tutoring in academic areas such as reading or math, the MEP may be able to provide just what the student needs, or advocate getting the student into appropriate programs. The program also offers guidance and counseling to help migrant students match their educational program in Washington with what they have been pursuing in another state. Summer programs provide migrant students the opportunity to close gaps in their educational achievement and make up missing credits. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -5-

6 Supplemental Educational Assistance Migrant Education-supported tutors, paraeducators, and teachers provide migrant students supplemental assistance in their studies when needed. For those students learning the English language, bilingual staff and research based English acquisition courses should help students make the transition from one language to another. When mobility has hindered the migrant student s growth in reading, math and language arts, MEP personnel work closely with regular classroom teachers to help the students overcome gaps and breaks in their educational progress. These gaps which occur during the school year make the migrant student a priority for MEP to focus assistance on. The MEP supports night schools, alternative schools, high school credit exchange programs and specially designed correspondence programs that provide the means by which students may accrue credits. The program also sponsors career fairs and the Student Leadership Conference which reinforces students ability to set and reach educational goals and strengthens the network of people serving secondary migrant students. In addition to providing alternative support to secondary students, the program also sponsors interstate visitations of school personnel to share curriculum information, compare course work, and facilitate credit consolidation for students whose families travel to/from other states. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -6-

7 Binational Support The Migrant Student Data and Recruitment (MSDR) office also provides support to the Binational Migrant Education Program. This program serves as the main point of contact on all binational educational matters between Washington State and states in Mexico. There is also a teacher/administrator exchange which is coordinated by the bilingual program at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Parental Involvement The MEP works hard to make education a family affair. Home visitors that identify and enroll migrant students form a bridge between the parents and the schools. Working closely together, home visitors and parents help migrant students overcome educational barriers that may otherwise go unchallenged. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in supporting the education of their children. Parents are provided awareness to learn about all aspects of their children s education and become involved in Parent Advisory Councils (PACs). Parent Coordinators from MEP regional offices work closely with PACs, attending their local meetings and offering regional conferences aimed at meeting the needs of migrant parents and students, both in school and at home, MEP staff also work to facilitate school district staff to appropriately meet the needs of migrant students and their families. Migrant parents comprise at least 51 percent of the Washington State Migrant Education Program State Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC assists in the development of the Title I Part C Migrant Education Program State Plan, which addresses the education and support needs of migrant students in Washington State. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -7-

8 Migrant Student Information System The Migrant Student Information System (MSIS), records migrant students academic data and basic health profile. These records are expeditiously updated as students move from school to school. A leader in application of technology, Washington State uses the MSIS to promptly enroll students and update educational and health records. The MSIS is a multi-state webbased data system. Current student information is shared between schools and some states where migrant students are enrolled and served. Summer School MEP supported Summer schools are offered throughout the state and provide migrant students the opportunity to catch up or keep up with their studies. The wide range of courses offered, help broaden horizons for students whose lives have been limited by the harshness of a migratory lifestyle, and for whom summer is an opportunity for education while their parents are busy in their work. Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) The Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) program offers high school students a chance to earn full or partial credit for missed courses, allowing them to stay on track for graduation. Learning packages are available for most required subjects and a variety of elective courses. Some courses are offered in both English and Spanish. PASS courses offer great flexibility to students who work at their own pace and schedule with appropriate supportive counseling and tutoring. Some courses are available for grades 8 & 9 to ease the transition into high school. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -8-

9 Health Services The health information transferred through the MSIS prevents duplication of immunizations and provides quick information about health problems that require special attention. The MEP provides physical examinations and some dental screenings for qualified students and makes appropriate referrals for needed health services. Funds to provide health services may also be available through districts or the statewide health project. Preschool Programs The MEP encourages migrant families to start their children s education early as the best insurance for success. Appropriate developmental preschool services for migrant children are offered by a number of school districts and private nonprofit agencies. Not only do the children receive quality care, but because this service is available, older siblings can attend school rather than stay home and care for younger brothers and sisters. The Migrant Education Program serves the needs of migrant students ages 3 through age 21. Younger children may receive services also. Migrant Education Program Accident Insurance The MEP provides accident insurance to all migrant students who are enrolled in and attending a bona fide Washington State education program and are enrolled in the MSIS. The accident insurance covers a portion of hospital and doctor costs resulting from accidents sustained by students at home or school, 24 hours a day. This coverage is also available for interscholastic sport participation. Migrant Education News The MEP funds a quarterly bilingual (English and Spanish) newspaper. The newspaper reports on issues relevant to migrant parents and educators. The editor gathers articles about students, family, community, and MEP which are of interest to migrant families. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -9-

10 The Organization of Washington Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program The MEP state director at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is responsible for managing and ensuring coverage of the needs of migrant students while they are in Washington State. The state director and MEP staff is responsible for developing a plan based on the comprehensive needs of migrant students residing in Washington. They are counseled by the MEP State Advisory Committee (SAC), a majority of whose members are migrant parents. The Promising Practices State Conference is hosted by OSPI in October for teachers and educational staff working with at-risk children. New and proven methods of teaching are shared at this multi-program conference. Three Migrant Education Regional Offices (MEROs) provide program design, curriculum, teacher and paraeducator professional development. Health and parent training support to local school districts is also provided. The western MERO is located in Anacortes and is operated by the Northwest Educational Service District 189. Yakima is the site of the eastern MERO, operated by Educational Service District 105. The north central MERO, operated by the North Central Educational Service District 171, is located in Wenatchee. The entire state is divided among these three offices. The Migrant Student Data and Recruitment (MSDR) office, operates within the Sunnyside School District in Sunnyside. MSDR has a statewide responsibility for MSIS functions, identification and recruitment of migrant families and students; provides training for district staff and data gathering for many reports. The Office of Secondary Education for Migrant Youth (SEMY) also operates within the Sunnyside School District. SEMY offers regional and statewide leadership development opportunities and provides support for migrant students and staff at the middle school and secondary level. SEMY administers the PASS Program offering alternative or additional secondary credit course opportunities across the state. More than 75 local educational agencies (LEAs) are responsible for delivering direct and support services to migrant students. Each LEA has a Parent Advisory Council (PAC) who works in conjunction with program staff in addressing the needs of migrant students. Each LEA must develop a plan based on the needs of migrant students in their district, and submit an application to the state MEP Office. MEP staff review and approve each plan before funding is granted. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -10-

11 Is the Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program Effective? Washington s MEP makes an effort to identify every migrant family that moves into the state and assures that school aged children between the ages of 3 and 22 are placed in school. Many benefit from the supplemental services of the MEP, such as preschool programs; tutoring in reading, math and language arts; instruction in ESL or bilingual support; health and dental screenings and referrals; summer school; PASS courses for high school credit; credit transfer; Student Leadership Conferences; and educational and health records transfer. Many students are helped in ways that are impossible to witness. Students who might have otherwise dropped out are in school because the MEP gave them the motivation, academic boost they needed and advocated for them. Many are regularly receiving instruction in English who previously needed a translator or bilingual support and have improved their attendance records. Many outstanding migrant students gained the self-confidence and assurance they needed to become active in clubs, sports, and other school activities. The Washington State Exemplary Migrant Student Yearbook is published yearly and features migrant secondary students who have been successful in their academic endeavors. Funding for Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program A grant from the United States Department of Education funds the MEP. Congress created the Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program in 1966 and has appropriated funds for it in each successive year. The allocated funds are distributed by the United States Department of Education to state education agencies, which then determine how best to address the needs of migrant students attending schools in their state. The state of Washington received a portion of the total amount of money appropriated by Congress. Most of the funds allocated to Washington State are distributed to local school districts and private non-profit agencies to conduct supplemental educational programs for migrant students based on the needs of the migrants in their district. Like other states, Washington State uses some funds for necessary state and regional level administrative and support services as well as other state-wide services. Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -11-

12 How do School Districts and Other Agencies Implement Programs? Program funding is based on documentation of an identifiable eligible population and its needs. OSPI, the MSDR office and a Practitioner s Committee provide assistance in collecting data which they agree on are the needs across the state for the migrant student population. The Migrant Education Regional Offices can provide assistance in implementing a needs assessment of the identified migrant population, especially with the priority students who have an interruption of their regular school year. Once data is presented to support the need for a project within a given area, the applicant must design an appropriate program of supplemental education services addressing identified needs, first for priority students, then all migrant students, prepare a budget, and submit to the state MEP Office. State and regional staff give support by providing technical assistance in the preparation of applications. How To Participate In The Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program? Students are eligible to participate in the Migrant Education Program when they have moved across school district boundaries with their parent(s), guardian or on their own within past three years. The purpose of the move must have been to enable a family member to seek or obtain seasonal or temporary work in an agricultural or fishing activity as a principle means of livelihood. This includes seasonal forestry activities. If you think your children or other children you know may be eligible for MEP services, contact the nearest school or call the MSDR office at (800) Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -12-

13 Washington State MEP Addresses and Telephone Numbers of State and Regional Offices Domicilios y Números de Teléfono de Oficinas Regionales y Estatales del MEP del Estado de Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Migrant Student Data and Recruitment (MSDR) Oficina del Superintendente de Instrucción Pública Oficina de Data y Registros Para Estudiantes Migrantes PO Box 47200, Olympia, WA B East Custer Avenue, Sunnyside, WA (360) (509) / (800) Office of Secondary Education for Migrant Youth (SEMY)/PASS Migrant Education Regional Office (MERO 189) Oficina de Educación Secundaria para Juventud Migratoria Oficina Regional de Educación Migrante 1601 R Avenue, Anacortes, WA A Custer Avenue, Sunnyside, WA (360) (509) / (888) Migrant Education Regional Office (MERO 105) Migrant Education Regional Office (MERO 171) Oficina Regional de Educación Migrante Oficina Regional de Educacion Migrante (MERO 171) 33 South Second Street, Yakima, WA PO Box 1847, 430 Olds Station Road, Wenatchee, WA (509) (509) Migrant Education News Migrant Education Health Program Noticias Educación Migrante Programa de Salud para Educación Migrante 842 S. Elm, Kennewick, WA PO Box 2424, Chelan, WA (888) / (509) (509) Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program -13-

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