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    Seattle Public Schools is in its 8th year of participating in the federal Refugee School Impact Grant. The purpose of Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) funding is to support local school systems that are impacted by significant numbers of newly arrived refugee children, ages 5 to 21, in the country three years or less, by improving students’ academic performance and social adjustment to schools. In partnership with five community based organizations, we currently serve over 200 refugee students and their families.  Based on data reflecting student home language and their date of entry into the U.S., there are currently over 500 refugee and immigrant students in the Seattle Public School District.
    Our Partner Community Based Organizations Include:

    • Coalition for Refugees from Burma
    • Refugee Women’s Alliance.


    • To ensure refugee students’ high academic performance and successful school integration, and
    • To strengthen the skills, knowledge, and competence of refugee parents, schools, and community-based organizations for the benefit of refugee students.

    Goal Oriented Activities

    For Students:

    • Provide activities that increase English proficiency and literacy skills, offer tutorial support to help students understand and complete assignments, and provide additional content/academic support, implement services that orientate students to schools or promote school readiness (e.g. teaching soft skills, life skills, study skills or school navigation skills), offer services that encourage full participation in school activities, provide peer or adult mentors for new arrival refugee students, and develop services that meet holistic needs (e.g. cultural, socio-cultural, socio-emotional and mental health)
    • Directly support high school completion through credit retrieval programs or supports for Collection of Evidence, High School and Beyond Plans, and culminating projects, promote high school graduation through programs that develop vocational skills, promote career and post-secondary exploration, or offer internships, employ intervention strategies to monitor students’ academic and social integration progress, and implement services that increase understanding between refugee and mainstream students

      For Families:
    • Implement parent/family engagement activities, utilize parent/family expertise in classrooms and school activities, increase parent/family participation in schools with integrated social and cultural activities, offer interpreter services for parent/teacher meetings and conferences, teach parents how to navigate school system, develop materials to orientate families to school systems, and hire liaisons to facilitate home-school communication

      For Community Based Organizations:
    • Increase academic tutoring skills of community-based organization staff, train community-based organization staff on district curriculum, and increase access for community-based organization staff to attend school district trainings

      For Seattle Public Schools:
    • Offer opportunities for school staff to engage in authentic refugee experiences and events in the community, provide refugee cultural competency training for school staff, provide information about refugee groups to school personnel, and train school personnel on creating welcoming environments for refugee families

      For All:
    • Create mechanisms for problem-solving between parents and schools, facilitate communications between classroom teachers and community-based organization staff to align school and afterschool supports, and provide workshops for parents or community-based organization staff on topics such as: schools’ expectations of parents; school systems, policies and practices; or high school graduation requirements


    Contact Us

    Kai-Chin Chan
    Student and Family Advocate