Dear Colleague Letter 18-01
October 5, 2017
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 email@example.com. 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
FY 2018 Refugee School Impact Social Services Set-Aside Formula Allocations
|State, Wilson-Fish Program, Replacement Designee||FY 2016 Arrivals (35> arrivals)
|FY 2018 Funding|
|District of Columbia||38||$50,000|