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The Changing Face of Migrant Education

November 17, 2011

The Changing Face of Migrant Education

How are you managing the trend?

Fort Morgan Migrant Students having fun at Migrant Youth Leadership Institute - Metro State, Denver.

Over the past five to seven years there has been a dramatic shift in the faces of the children served in migrant education programs nationally. Traditionally, students served in migrant programs were of Latino or Mexican descent. In my little part of the world, in a rural community in Northeast Colorado you will find, Fort Morgan. In Fort Morgan, we have experienced a large increase of secondary resettlement here with refugee families from East and Central Africa. The majority of the families coming in are from Somalia; however we do have a very diverse student population.

Ten percent of the population in the city of Fort Morgan is identified as East African refugees according to the latest report from Lutheran Family Services in an October meeting with the school and community leaders. The school district, made up of 3,000 students, is comprised of approximately 35% ELL students representing 24 birth countries other than the United States.

The secondary resettlement to our rural community is based on employment opportunities at Cargil Meat Solutions. At Cargil individuals, are able to make a decent wage while they are in the process of learning English. As stated in my earlier blog, many of our newcomer migrant students are coming to us with little formal or extremely disrupted formal education.

Students at MYLI Metro State College Denver

A strategy that the Morgan County RE-3 School District has instituted to address the needs of our Newcomer Migrant students is the creation of (MENA) The Migrant Education Newcomer Academy.

I am very interested to hear about the trends that you are seeing within your school district and/or your community and how are they being addressed. Please share your comment below.

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