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Refugee School Impact Grant

Refugee School Impact Grant

In 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) provided Refugee School Impact (RSI) discretionary grant funding made available through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services. A central goal of the RSI discretionary grant is to assist newly arrived refugee children in localities with fewer refugee resources and a higher concentration of newly arrived refugee children in the local school districts to improve refugee children’s academic performance and social adjustment in schools. This goal requires collaboration and an intentional preparation of teachers and school district staff to work with the social and academic needs of refugee students and to prepare their families for full participation in school activities. Success in schools, for these children, is measured by improved academic performance and English language proficiency; high classroom attendance rates; development of leadership skills; successful graduation rates; and increased involvement of refugee parents in school activities.

Refugee Status and Eligibility

Refugee students  are students between the ages of 5 and 18 who have been in the country less than five years at the beginning of the school year and have academic and social adjustment needs are eligible for services funded by the RSIG. Full-time high school students over the age of 18 may also be eligible. Services must be inclusive of all refugees, including LGBT populations that may be going through gender identification issues and thereby school adjustment issues.

“Newly arrived refugee” refers to an individual who was not born in this country or who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Individuals granted refugee status overseas by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are brought to the United States for resettlement by the U.S. Department of State. Voluntary agencies and ORR through their programs assist with their resettlement and integration into the U.S. Refugees are eligible to receive ORR benefits and services from the first day they arrive in the U.S.

The 2018 RSI Discretionary Grant Application, form PI-2975. Applications must be received by June 15, 2018 Close of Business (4:00 pm).

Entities seeking information about the RSIG for 2018 and prior years may contact For information about the 2019 RSIG, please contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement at

Refugee Resources:

For questions about this information, contact Audrey Lesondak (608) 266-7292