Texas MEP Quarterly
Family Edition: September/October/November 2022
Welcome parents and families to the Texas Migrant Education Program quarterly newsletter! This issue will highlight resources, events, and back-to-school information.
If you missed the June-August Quarterly Edition, you may access it here.
Don't forget to join the TMEP Listserv to continue receiving this newsletter each quarter and important updates about the Migrant Education Program.
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Join the State PAC
The nomination window is now open for the Texas Migrant Education Program to accept candidates for the State Parent Advisory Council (PAC). The State PAC advises the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in planning, implementing, and evaluating the state program designed to meet the educational needs of migrant children.
The State PAC is composed mostly of parents of migratory children. The work the PAC does helps TEA identify effective practices and advanced solutions to improve student outcomes for the state’s migrant students.
Parent nominees must:
Be a current migrant parent with a willingness to serve at least two years;
Have eligible migrant children enrolled in school;
Be recommended by their local school district or Education Service Center (ESC); and
Be willing and able to travel to attend two State PAC meetings during the school year
If you or a parent you know is interested in joining the State PAC, download the nomination form for membership. To get more information, download the nomination form for membership, or to get more information, visit the State PAC information page. For questions, contact TEA via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
With the first days of this school year now in the past, assignments and homework are beginning to be assigned by teachers. For many students, homework is one of the leading causes of stress, no matter what year in school they are in. Making a plan can help your student develop good study habits that will help them overcome stress from homework. Here are some tips to help with homework completion:
- Identify and remove distractions. If a child is unable to focus due to being in close proximity to distractions, like TV, video games, or cell phones, move them to a quiet, calm space away from the devices. The ability to complete work without having something or someone getting in the way will help your child concentrate on the work they need to complete.
Create a study space. Providing your child with a designated workspace that is free from clutter with the appropriate supplies to complete work is an important step in developing good study habits. It should be free of loud distractions and set in a quiet area of the house and secluded from other people that can disturb your child’s concentration.
Schedule time for homework. Help your child create strong study habits by helping them find a time that works for them to complete their homework. Start by scheduling a time when your child gets home to complete their work, and start by creating blocks of study time in 30 minute increments. During that block, have your child work or study for 25 minutes and then allow themselves a 5-minute brain break to refocus. A brain break is a short activity, usually physical, to help you re-energize and gives you a chance to reset. Some examples include jumping jacks, stretching, yoga, or a short dance break to music. After the brain break, if any work remains, complete another 30 minute block of study time in the same manner until their work for the day is complete.
- Make priorities. When establishing lasting study habits, utilizing a checklist helps to prioritize the most important assignments that should be completed first. Completing each assignment from the list gives a reason for you and your child to celebrate the accomplishment and feel the sense of satisfaction of crossing off another task off the list. Repeating this process each day will build your child’s confidence and their productivity levels will increase.
Free and Reduced Lunch
The National School Lunch Program provides lunches to school children for free or at a reduced cost. The program serves students nutritious lunches in both public and nonprofit private schools. Individual children qualify for the program if they are enrolled in Head Start, are homeless, or if they are a part of a migrant family.
Students can also qualify for the program if their household income is below 130 percent of the poverty level or if their families receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits. Check to see if you qualify. In order to apply for the program, you must contact your child’s school for an application. Use the Texas School District Locator to find your local district.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services
If your family is looking for legal assistance, or seeking access to medical, dental, or health care, RAICES can help. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. They provide legal services for immigrants throughout the state. RAICES provides legal services often at a low or no cost for immigrant families throughout the state of Texas.RAICES also helps by offering social programs to help families ensure that their basic necessities are met. For more information, visit their website.
Food Banks of Texas
Food banks across Texas can help families with food insecurity. Typically, area food banks collect food and distribute it locally to pantries and meal sites where families can pick up food. Food banks can also assist families in signing up for benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which provides food-purchasing assistance. Find a food bank and local distribution site in your area.
Register to Vote
Election day is coming! November 8, 2022 is when the next general election takes place in Texas. However, the last day to register to vote is October 11, 2022.
In order to be eligible to register to vote, you must be a United States citizen and 18 years of age at the time of the election. You must also be a citizen of the county where you submit your voter application and cannot be a convicted felon. If you have recently moved or had a name change, you will need to update your voter registration information by the October 11, 2022 deadline. Check your registration status anytime to see if you are currently eligible to vote
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as WIC, is a nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding women, and families with children younger than five. The program helps by providing information and classes on healthy eating habits for the whole family. WIC emphasizes healthy nutrition among pregnant mothers and their young children by providing funds to buy healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, whole grains like oatmeal, bread, and pasta, as well as baby formula and baby foods.
Participants are issued a WIC card, which works like a debit card, and can be used at most grocery stores. Qualifying for WIC depends on your household income, but If you or your children receive Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF, you already meet the income eligibility guidelines for WIC. To see if you qualify or to apply to WIC, visit this website.
Texas Migrant Family Helpline
The Texas Migrant Family Helpline assists families by providing information and support with school enrollment, educational resources, and community services. The helpline is a toll-free number for migratory families to call from anywhere in the country, not just in Texas.
Texas Migrant Family Helpline
The helpline is available from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST) and helps with providing service referrals to social services, such as legal aid, housing, and health care.
You and your student can soon begin to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available starting October 1, 2022 the year before you or your student plan to enroll in college. For example, if a student plans to enroll in college for the 2023–24 school year, the FAFSA will be available October 1, 2022.
For the upcoming 2022–23 academic year, the federal deadline to submit is June 30, 2023, while the Texas application deadline is January 15, 2023 although specific schools may have their own deadlines. The earlier you submit your application, the more financial aid you may be eligible to receive as some aid can be given on a first-come, first-served basis.
Students that are classified as a Texas resident who cannot apply for federal financial aid for college or for a career school education, are encouraged to complete the TASFA. Like the FAFSA, the TASFA is also available on October 1, 2022 and this year, for the first time, the TASFA will be available to complete online. Also, filling the application out online makes it easier for counselors to check their completion. Keep in mind that filling out the online application will be for students attending college during the 2023–24 school year.
It is important to note that students cannot fill out both FAFSA and TASFA. Only students who are not eligible for FAFSA can apply. If your student is not sure if they qualify, they can check their eligibility at studentaid.gov. Students unable to access the online TASFA will still have the option to complete a paper form.
Resources for School-Age Children
If you are looking for literacy resources to use at home to support your children in grades K – 12, visit the Education Resources for Parents of K–12 Migratory Children portal. This portal contains:
interactive games and course modules.
New content is also available to provide resources that support out-of-school youth. Creating an account is quick, simple, and allows immediate access to the resources. All resources on this portal are available free of charge and can be viewed, downloaded, or printed right at home. Visit this portal at txmigrantk12.net today!
Migrant Education Program Support for Parents and Families
The AIIMS Parents and Families portal shares resources and information to support parents of migratory children at any age.
Whether you are preparing your child for kindergarten or graduation, this portal provides useful information to help you through the process. You can access this free site by visiting txmigrant.net and clicking the Migrant Education Program Support for Parents and Families title located on the left side of the screen.
Association for Migrant Educators of Texas (AMET) Conference
San Marcos, TX
The AMET State Conference is an education conference that focuses on the needs of public, private, and public charter school districts in the areas of federal and state programs for migrant students and provides information and resources to our migrant parents.
Statewide Parental Involvement Conference
Parents will gain an insight on how the Federal ESSA legislation impacts their school and provides them resources and strategies to directly improve their family’s educational opportunities and relationships within the community.
Keep in Touch with your MEP Recruiter
As migratory parents and families, you should let your MEP recruiter know of any migratory move you or your family made over the summer. This will help ensure your children remain eligible for services and support for as long as possible.
In addition, if your family is considering making a migratory move during the school year, please reach out to your MEP recruiter. Your district MEP staff will send a move notification to the district you are moving to, which will assist with the enrollment process for your children and ensure they continue to receive MEP services at their new location.