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District Services: Helping Migratory Students Succeed

Migratory Students are Eligible for the Following Services:

  • Free school lunch (categorically eligible for the school year and summer)
  • Access to Title I, Part A services on the same basis as other students
  • Support services that can be provided through use of Title I, Part A reserved funds
  • Migrant Education Program (MEP) summer programming, provided by local Regional Coordinators across the state where available   

All Districts Must Provide Needed Services

Districts must provide services to migratory students by coordinating the following activities simultaneously: 

  • Identify all eligible migratory children in the district. All LEAs must have a process for identifying migratory students and their needs. Please see the “Identifying Migratory Students: Confirming Migrant Status and Making Referrals” page for information regarding identifying currently eligible and potentially eligible migratory students, including screening questions to be used at enrollment, and the process for referring potentially eligible students and families to DPI.
  • Ensure migratory students have access to Title I, Part A services on the same basis as other students. This is a requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Section 1112(c)(1). See below for examples of district procedures for identifying the needs of students.
  • Use the Title I, Part A migrant reservation of funds to provide services to migratory students who are attending TI schools. This set aside is optional and may be used to support activities in TI schools such as:
    • Migrant family liaisons or paraprofessional staff providing support such as ensuring timely transfer of records (both interstate and intrastate); referrals to community resources; supporting families in navigating school systems; supporting student engagement; and referring families to the DPI for eligibility certification
    • Professional development/Coaching on topics such as effective instruction for migrant students who are English language learners; culturally responsive practices; and supporting students with interrupted formal education
    • Family engagement materials and outreach
  • Collaborate with Title III and other community-based services to address students’ specific needs. Information on partner agencies who work with migrant farmworker families can be found on the Resources page.
  • Use the national Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX) database to find migratory student’s academic history and to notify other states when students move. This federally administered information exchange system can be used to support educational continuity for migratory students. 
  • Connect eligible students to the MEP summer programming available in neighboring areas. More information about the MEP summer program can be found here.
  • Connect with DPI’s MEP staff, which include program consultants, data and grant specialists, and statewide recruiters, with any questions or requests for support. 

Identifying the Needs of Migratory Students

Under ESSA, eligible migratory children must receive services under Title I, Part A on the same basis as other children. For this reason every LEA must have procedures to identify the needs of migratory students. This is true whether or not the LEA has currently enrolled migratory students. As part of DPI’s fiscal oversight of Title I, this requirement is part of ESEA consolidated monitoring of LEAs.

Knowing the migratory students in your district will ensure you can gather the information necessary to support those students. This includes ensuring parents and families of migratory students are given adequate opportunities to be equal partners in decisions affecting their children’s educational needs and programming. These opportunities for family engagement should be communicated through multiple methods in a language with which the family is comfortable.

Guiding Questions for Developing Procedures

When developing procedures for identifying the needs of migratory students in a district, these guiding questions help promote culturally responsive approaches to instruction and support:

  • How might systems change if the assets of the community were brought to the center?
  • In the data typically used to assess needs, what kinds of information might be missing?
  • Is there a full enough understanding of the history and situation of student groups to avoid perpetuating stereotypes and reinforcing societal inequities?
  • Must stakeholders go through a hierarchical structure to get to the information they need? Is there transparency and broad access to plain language information?
  • Is communication honest, humble, courageous, authentic? 

These questions were adapted from the DPI Equity Mindset Cards.    

Sample Procedures

The following district procedures provide examples for identifying the needs of migratory students.

Identifying Migrant Students

Identifying needs begins by identifying currently eligible and potentially eligible migratory students. For more information on these processes please refer to the Identifying Migratory Students: Confirming Migrant Status and Making Referrals page.

Anyone can use the MEP referral form to refer students to the MEP Identification and Recruitment Team.


For questions about this information, contact Christina Thuli (608) 266-3625, Minch Samuel (608) 261-6324