Fiscal Year 2018 Refugee School Impact Social Services Set-Aside

Dear Colleague Letter 18-01

Publication Date: October 5, 2017

October 5, 2017

Dear Colleague:

ORR will issue Refugee School Impact (RSI) funding to states as a “set-aside” within the fiscal year (FY) 20181 Refugee Social Services (RSS) formula allocation.  This letter specifies RSI FY 2018 allocation amounts, program priorities and services, as well as program reporting and monitoring activities.  Additionally, this letter also provides information for administering the RSI program.

FY 2018 Allocations
The FY 2018 allocations to states, Wilson/Fish programs, and replacement designees are based on the number of ORR-eligible individuals, aged 5-18, who arrived within the previous fiscal year (FY 20162), as reported in the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System (RADS).  States, Wilson/Fish programs, and replacement designees who received over 35 ORR-eligible individuals between the ages of 5-18 qualify for funding.  The chart below documents the number of eligible arrivals to each state in FY 2016 and the corresponding funding allocations for the RSI program for FY 2018.  The proposed allocations will be based on availability of federal funding and will be included in the quarterly FY 2018 Social Services allocation as a “set-aside.”

Program priorities and services
The central goals of the RSI program are to strengthen academic performance and facilitate social adjustment of school-age refugees and other populations served by ORR.  Funding recipients must provide services in accordance with 45 CFR 400.155.  ORR encourages grant recipients to use the following approaches to meet the goals of the RSI program:

  • Developing broad partnerships with state school officials, state departments of state, resettlement agencies, health and mental health service providers, community and faith-based organizations, and other local service providers to coordinate planning and implementation of effective programs focused on newly arrived ORR-served youth.  Coordination of efforts will decrease the duplication of services.     Creating culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, such as special curricula or activities, translation services, and interpreter services.
  • Offering services at a variety of times including during school hours, after school, during the weekend and online.
  • Implementing specialized approaches suited for newly arrived ORR-served youth such as cultural orientation, refugee parents/teacher meetings and school orientation.
  • Creating programming that supports the integration of ORR-served youth into school systems, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) sessions, mentoring and group activities.
  • Measuring academic performance, including high school graduation rates, accomplishment of required course work on a timely basis and improved academic performance levels.
  • Facilitating social integration activities that foster community building in schools between newcomer populations and American-born youth.

Funding must be directed to localities with fewer resources and/or a high concentration of newly arrived ORR-served youth in the local schools.  Services may be provided to ORR-served youth within the first five years of their arrival but youth who have been in the United States for one year or less should be a priority.  

Reporting and Monitoring
States, Wilson/Fish programs, and replacement designees must report all RSI activities, accomplishments and challenges in the ORR-6 Schedule A Program Narrative.  The ORR-6 forms, instructions and reporting schedule are available on the ORR Web site.  The narrative must include information related to the number of clients served, the type and frequency of services provided, challenges and accomplishments in administering the program and program initiatives.

ORR monitors the RSI program to ensure the services provided meet the needs of ORR-eligible populations.  ORR assesses how these services are provided and identify promising practices and trends for further analysis. 

Please direct any questions about this Dear Colleague Letter or the RSI program to Lauren Edwards, Program Analyst, Division of Refugee Assistance, at  We also encourage you to utilize ORR’s Technical Assistance providers for additional resources on serving refugees.  Visit the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) Clearinghouse and join the BRYCS listserv for resources and promising practices on refugee youth and schools.  

E. Scott Lloyd, Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement


1. October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.
2. October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

FY 2018 Refugee School Impact Social Services Set-Aside Formula Allocations

State, Wilson-Fish Program, Replacement Designee FY 2016 Arrivals (35> arrivals)
Aged 5-18
FY 2018 Funding
Alabama 48 $50,000
Alaska 54 $50,000
Arizona 1,765 $769,071
California 3,959 $1,000,000
Colorado 555 $241,832
Connecticut 335 $150,000
District of Columbia 38 $50,000
Florida 6,579 $1,000,000
Georgia 1,073 $467,543
Idaho 408 $177,780
Illinois 1,117 $486,715
Indiana 520 $226,582
Iowa 333 $150,000
Kansas 339 $150,000
Kentucky 1,038 $452,292
Louisiana 98 $75,000
Maine 282 $150,000
Maryland 799 $348,152
Massachusetts 608 $264,926
Michigan 1,684 $733,776
Minnesota 954 $415,690
Missouri 854 $372,117
Nebraska 539 $234,861
Nevada 417 $181,701
New Hampshire 173 $100,000
New Jersey 223 $100,000
New Mexico 159 $100,000
New York 2,045 $891,076
North Carolina 1,167 $508,502
North Dakota 189 $100,000
Ohio 1,465 $638,351
Oklahoma 135 $100,000
Oregon 526 $229,196
Pennsylvania 1,158 $504,580
Rhode Island 138 $100,000
South Carolina 131 $100,000
South Dakota 133 $100,000
Tennessee 693 $301,964
Texas 3,864 $1,000,000
Utah 453 $197,388
Vermont 118 $100,000
Virginia 895 $389,982
Washington  1,300 $566,454
Wisconsin 584 $254,469
Total 39,945 $14,580,000


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