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Refugee Education Program

Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG)


2014-2016 Refugee School Impact Grant Invitation to Apply  (Word) Application Period Has Closed

The Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) is a competitive grant for federal funding. The primary goal of Pennsylvania's Refugee Education Program is to assist recently arrived refugee students and their families demonstrate a greater assimilation and integration into the school and community in a culturally and linguistically competent manner.

Pennsylvania's youth are the future success of the state. This grant addresses the unmet and emergent needs of recently arrived school-age refugee students (5 - 18 years of age) and the refugee families. The grant promotes out-of-school academic time and enrichment programs that will improve English fluency, support social adjustment, announce and disseminate information about/for refugees, and provides parent/family education and engagement.

The Pennsylvania Refugee grantee recipients will strive for a culturally competent transition that is comfortable for all serviced 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 2014-16 grants will range in size depending on the scope of the program, extent of services, number of participants to be served and the special needs demonstrated by the refugee student population. Demonstrated collaboration will be a priority requirement of the potential grantee recipients: school districts, LEAs, refugee resettlement agencies and other community based and nonprofit organizations. Refugee grant recipients must create a comprehensive, holistic approach to meeting the academic and social needs of refugee students and refugee families.

Technical Assistance

The Pennsylvania Department of Education aims to integrate and assimilate refugee students into school districts. The Refugee Education Program offers advocacy for a special population of students and parents who otherwise may not have supports. The Department provides technical assistance and facilitates districts' capacity to:

  • Refugee Education
    Program Definitions


    Connect school districts to the appropriate refugee resettlement agency in the surrounding areas
  • Identify refugee students at enrollment
  • Record the achievement of refugee students to contribute in increasing the overall achievement of the district
  • Provide a free and appropriate education for refugee students in the least restrictive environment
  • Facilitate school districts' policy, requirements, procedures and activities by providing translators and interpreters in the native languages for refugee families
  • Link refugee students to supportive programs within the district to help them achieve academic and social-emotional integration
  • Work with community-based organizations to support refugee youth
  • Encourage refugee parents to engage in the education of their children
  • Help schools value and use the diversity that exists within the refugee community to prepare all students for global service and leadership
Contact Information


For additional information, please contact:

Pamela M. Kolega | Refugee Program Officer
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.265.8964 | Fax: 717.783.4392
pkolega@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us