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  • May 31, 2024 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Optional Virtual Information Session.
  • June 4, 2024: Recording of the optional virtual information session made available.
    • Recording of the May 31 Information Session: Click here
    • PowerPoint slides from the May 31 Information Session: Click here
  • June 14, 2024 at 5:00 PM: Proposals are due. Click here to apply.
  • July 31, 2024: Tentative notification from SOWA to districts.
  • October 1, 2024 – September 30, 2025: Anticipated funding period for projects.

Program Priorities and Services

“The central goals of the Refugee School Impact (RSI) program are to strengthen academic performance and facilitate social adjustment of school-age refugees. Funding must be directed to localities with fewer resources and/or a high concentration of newly arrived [Office of Refugee Resettlement] ORR-served youth in the local schools. Services may be provided to ORR-served youth within the first five years of their arrival, but youth who have been in the United States for one year or less should be a priority.” -ORR Refugee School Impact Social Services Set-Aside

Allowable activities must be aligned with the intent and purpose of the RSI. The following approaches may be designed for services that meet the goals of the RSI program.

  • Broad partnerships focused on newly arriving ORR-served youth to ensure coordination for effective planning and successful program implementation while avoiding duplication of services, such as partnerships with state school officials, resettlement agencies, health and mental health providers, community- and faith-based organizations, and other local service providers.
  • Culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, such as special curricula or activities, translation services, and interpreter services.
  • Flexible scheduling during and outside school hours, such as after-school classes, weekend tutorials, and online assistance.
  • Specialized approaches suited for newly arriving ORR-served populations, such as cultural orientation, refugee parents/teacher meetings, and school orientation.
  • Programming that supports the integration of ORR-served youth into school systems, such as English Language Learner (ELL) sessions, mentoring, group activities, and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) youth.
  • Attention to measurable academic performance, such as high school graduation rates, accomplishment of required course work on a timely basis, and improved academic performance levels.

Sub-grant Goals

  1. To ensure refugee students’ high academic performance and successful school integration.
  2. To strengthen the skills, knowledge, and competence of refugee parents, schools, and community-based organizations to support refugee students.

Eligible Beneficiaries

In order to access programs, individuals must be in the country less than five years, a current K-12 student or enrolled in an equivalent GED program or will start kindergarten in the fall (hence is served the summer directly preceding the fall of kindergarten enrollment). Individuals must provide acceptable documentation of an eligible immigration status.

The following immigration statuses are eligible: 

  1. Refugees
  2. Asylees
  3. Certified victims of severe forms of trafficking
  4. Amerasians
  5. Cuban-Haitian entrants
  6. Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrants Visa (SIV) holders
  7. Afghan Humanitarian Parolees, Afghan parolees with “SI/SQ” coding, and other parolees deemed eligible by ORR
  8. Individuals eligible for Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations services
  9. Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees
  10. Individuals eligible for Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act services, and
  11. Other populations or individuals deemed eligible by ORR.

Sub-grant Applicants

Only school districts in Washington State may submit a proposal. If providing student services, districts are required to partner with at least one community-based organization.

Funding Priorities

Proposals should include student activities, parent engagement and/or professional development activities. School orientations for students and parents are also allowable.

In general, proposals should include direct student services. New or small districts are exempt from this requirement and may propose only professional development or only parent engagement activities. Each district proposing student activities must serve at least 20 unduplicated students or more. While the priority is to serve refugees in the U.S. less than one year, districts may serve students who have been in the U.S. less than five years.

Funding Requirements

Funded grantees will be required to collect data and submit reports to meet ORR Refugee School Impact requirements and comply with federal regulations. If proposing student services, grantees must provide individualized student demographic data, and submit English Language Proficiency Assessment data. If proposing student or parent activities, grantees must collect and submit copies of immigration documentation verifying that participants are eligible for refugee services.

Funding Restrictions

Grant funds cannot be used for native language instruction, participant stipends, college application fees, driver’s license or permit fees, parents’ English classes or job search activities, case management and resource/referral services related to families’ basic needs, construction and renovation, or to supplant other federal, state, local or private funds available to assist refugee students. Administrative costs are limited to 15% or your district’s federally approved UNRESTRICTED indirect rate.

Funding Availability

Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services’ Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (ORIA) anticipates the availability of approximately $3 million for 13-20 sub-grants with Refugee School Impact funds. Grant funding from School’s Out Washington (SOWA) is contingent upon SOWA receiving a 2024-2025 contract from ORIA for Program Administration of the Refugee School Impact Program.


Please contact Mandy Pierce at

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