Press Releases

Monday, November 27, 2017 10:06 AM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced the availability of the 2017-2018 Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG). The RSIG grant is a competitive grant.  Request for Applications will be announced through this PENN*LINK and posted on the Department Refugee Program website http://www.education.pa.gov/K-12/Refugee%20Education/Pages/default.aspx#tab-1. The Invitation to Apply (ITA) refugee application for the 2017-18 RSIG grant should be created and submitted via U.S. Mail or hand delivered.

The Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) is a competitive federal grant. The primary goal of Pennsylvania’s Refugee Education Program is to assist recently arrived refugee students and their families in adjusting to their school and community in a culturally and linguistically comfortable assimilated manner through the funding of the Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG). Applicants must do the following:

  • Demonstrate creative and supportive activities to remove barriers for refugee students that will result in optimum progress in academic and social development.
  • Implement a holistic view of refugee students and their families with consideration of their past experiences/living conditions and current change of environment.
  • Focus services on new arrivals who are making initial adjustments and those who have been in the country for one year or less.
  • Strive for a culturally competent transition that is comfortable for all served refugee students and their families.  Thus, this guiding transition will enable the refugees to move forward and adapt to a new and different cultural and linguistic environment.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires program funds to be used to:

  • Provide before/afterschool, summer, evening, and/or weekend programs;
  • Attend one state consultation and quarterly regional collaborative meetings; and
  • Serve school-age refugee students (5-18 years of age) and their parents who have lived in the United States for one year or less. 

Refugee students who have been in the country less than three years at the beginning of the school year, and have academic and social adjustment needs are eligible for services funded by the RSIG. The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement recognizes that in some states, the age limit for high school education is older than 18 and, as such, may allow those eligible refugee students who are full-time high school students to be eligible for services under this announcement.

Due Date
Applications must be received by 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2017.  No extensions will be granted. Emailed and faxed applications will not be accepted.

Period of Availability: Jan. 2, 2018 – Sept. 30, 2018

Amount of Funding Available
Grant awards will not exceed $70,546. Applicants will apply for funding for the Jan. 2, 2018-Sept. 30, 2018 grant term.

Funding amounts may be lower than the stated possible maximum, and will be dependent on the following:

  • The range and extent of services to students and their families as described in the complete proposed application; and
  • The proposed number of newly arrived refugee students making major initial adjustments and those that continue to face persistent challenges in school.

Funding Authorization
Section 412 (c) (1) (A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. §1522 (c) (1) (A)), as amended, includes the use of funds to support local school systems that are impacted by significant numbers of newly arrived refugee children.

Eligibility
Eligible applicants must be an entity that operates in one of the seven counties in Pennsylvania where over 93 percent of refugees have resettled over the past three years: Allegheny, Dauphin, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Philadelphia. Applicants may be:

  • Local education agencies (LEA) including public school districts and intermediate units;
  • Community-based organizations; and
  • Nonprofit groups.

Application Requirements
Applicants can download the 2017-18 RSIG Invitation to Apply from PDE’s Refugee School Impact Grant webpage at http://www.education.pa.gov/K12/Refugee%20Education/Pages/default.aspx#tab-1 or by going to PDE’s website at http://www.education.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx#tab-1 and entering the key words: “Refugee School Impact 2017-18” into the search box.

Submission Process
Paper application: One signed original application plus two copies must be received by PDE by

3:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2017:

Application package mailing address:

Pennsylvania Department of Education

Attn: Pamela M. Kolega, Refugee School Impact Grant Program Officer

333 Market Street, 5th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

Note: No extensions will be granted

Please contact Pamela M. Kolega at pkolega@pa.gov or at 717-265-8964 with any questions related to the Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) program.

 
Monday, November 27, 2017 9:24 AM

Districts in and around Pittsburgh, including some whose first bell rings at 7 a.m., are evaluating daily schedules as research and day-to-day experience make it increasingly clear that later start times could benefit students' mental health and academic success.
Allentown Morning Call, Nov. 27, 2017
Full story

 
Monday, November 27, 2017 9:23 AM

As Gov. Tom Wolf works with the state Department of Education to adopt computer science standards for all Pennsylvania public schools, area officials say they already have a wide variety of computer and technology classes or programs at all levels.
Bucks County Courier Times, Nov. 26, 2017
Full story

 
Monday, November 27, 2017 9:21 AM

Pennsylvania recently outlawed the practice of denying lunch to public school students who don’t have money on hand to pay for it. The legislation, adopted as part of an omnibus school code bill, was spurred by a cafeteria worker in Western Pennsylvania who objected to a policy in the Canon-McMillan SD.
WHYY Keystone Crossroads, Nov. 24, 2017
Full story

 
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:12 AM

Leaders of the state House of Representatives have taken steps to defuse a looming fight over transgender services that could have imperiled health insurance coverage for tens of thousands of Pennsylvania children.
PennLive, Nov. 20, 2017
Full story

 
Monday, November 20, 2017 11:09 AM

For more than two decades, The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, has provided health coverage to millions of kids nationwide. But lawmakers have yet to reauthorize it, and that’s putting states whose funding expires soon in a bind. In Pennsylvania, that could jeopardize health care for upwards of 150,000 kids come February.
WHYY, Nov. 18, 2017
Full story

 
Monday, November 20, 2017 11:08 AM

Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education proposed Computer Science for All standards for schools in the state. During a State Board Education meeting, the Education Department highlighted the significance of making computer science available for all students.
USA Herald, Nov. 17, 2017
Full story

 
Monday, November 20, 2017 11:07 AM

While the state legislature considers how or whether to replace property tax, there’s another element to the tax that is creating controversy. Legislation in the state House would make it harder for school districts and other local taxing bodies to do “spot assessments” that seek to get an updated estimate of the value of a property after it’s been purchased.
Daily Item, Nov. 18, 2017
Full story

 
Friday, November 17, 2017 8:23 AM

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission is on its way to extinction. The state-devised panel, the ruler of the School District for 16 years, voted to dissolve itself Thursday night, declaring that the era of distress for the city’s schools was over.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 16, 2017
Full story

 
Friday, November 17, 2017 8:22 AM

When finalizing the state budget last month, Pennsylvania lawmakers inked yet another delay for a plan that would require students to pass standardized tests before graduating high school.
WHYY Keystone Crossroads, Nov. 16, 2017
Full story

 
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P.O. Box 39, 122 Valley Road, Summerdale, PA 17093 Phone: (717) 732-4999 Fax: (717) 732-4890
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