TEXAS MEP QUARTERLY FAMILY EDITION
December 2022 - February 2023
Welcome parents and families to the Texas Migrant Education Program quarterly newsletter! This issue will highlight resources and events.
If you missed the September-November 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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Applications for scholarship opportunities will soon be available for graduating high school seniors. The Recognition and Scholarship Opportunities for Migratory Students page on the Texas Migrant Education Program portal provides a list of scholarships offered specifically to assist migratory students preparing for post-secondary education. Visit today to learn more.
Being in a state of anxiety, depression, and loneliness that can lead to feelings of crisis is not something that has to be suffered alone; there is help available.
The Crisis Text Line offers help to those that need it, just by texting “741741.” The way it works is that after texting, the user will receive an automated message to confirm that help is available, while also getting information from the user. The user is then set up with a Crisis Counselor, a trained volunteer, who will text or talk with the user until they are at a calmer state of mind. This interaction can happen anywhere at any time, and the counselor can help with a variety of topics, such as anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders, depression, and many more. The service is free and completely anonymous.
The priority deadline for the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) as well as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are both January 15, 2023. This is the recommended date that many institutions in Texas suggest to turn in the TASFA and FAFSA paperwork in order for students to maximize their financial aid funding.
Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA)
Not dependent on a student’s immigration status
Web page is only available in English, but instructions and the application are also available in Spanish
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Dependent upon a student’s immigration status
Be sure to double-check with your college, as each college may have its own deadline. Get more information on TASFA and FAFSA as well as other scholarship opportunities for migrant students.
The deadline to complete the National HEP/CAMP Association Scholarship is January 15, 2023. This deadline is for the rolling application period that began on November 15, 2022.
For students to be eligible for this scholarship, they:
Must have earned a high school equivalency diploma within three years of the application date
Must be enrolled in an institution of higher education (IHE) or other post-secondary education or training program and provide proof of enrollment
Keep in mind that only three applicants per HEP Program will be accepted per calendar year. Get more information about the HEP/CAMP scholarship, along with other important information about college degrees, from the Texas Migrant Education Program Web Portal’s college resource page.
Did you Know?
What are the best ways to advocate for your child in school?
Parents are often the best advocates for their children when it comes to supporting their efforts in school. However, it can be a difficult task to navigate the services that schools provide and to speak up for your child when they are struggling. Luckily, there are resources and guides available to help from the Texas Migrant Education Program Web Portal.
There, you can find ways to participate and volunteer at your child’s school and find information about parenting skills and activities to do with your child. Remember, as an advocate, you support your child and speak on their behalf in situations where they may not be prepared to speak for themselves.
The school year is close to the halfway point, and by now, you may be wondering about the progress of your child. Parent-teacher conferences are a way to meet and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your child.
A parent-teacher conference should include:
Information from both parents and teachers about your child.
Positives your child displays in class.
Ways to improve, in areas like behavior, attendance, or grades.
Samples of your child’s assignments and information about how the teacher grades your child’s work.
Time where you as the parent can ask the teacher about what can be done at home to improve their child’s performance in school.
Consider having your child attend the parent-teacher conference as well. Your child will have a better understanding of what is expected of them and how the parent and teacher can help them.
Child Care Assistance
Workforce Solutions provides eligible families with financial assistance with child care costs, which allows the parent or parents to attend school, work, or participate in job training programs.
This program allows families to select which child care provider their child will attend. There are certain eligibility criteria, such as an income requirement of 85% or less of the State Income Median level. For more information, visit their website.
Head Start is a federal program that provides child care for children from birth to five years of age and helps to prepare them for school. Head Start promotes learning early on in areas like literacy, language development, and social-emotional development.
The program is intended for low-income families as well as children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income. More information can be found on their website.
COVID-19 and Flu Shots
It’s never too late to get your vaccines for the winter season. You can find vaccine locations near you and even book an appointment for your immunization by visiting the National Vaccine website. The cost for a COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, while the flu vaccine costs around $25 out-of-pocket for those that are not insured. Check with your doctor to see if you should get your vaccine.
Free Education Resources for Parents
Please visit the Education Resources for Parents of K-12 Migratory Children portal. This portal contains:
games and apps, and
interactive course modules
The portal supports students in grades K-12, and also provides information and links to resources for out-of-school youth. All resources on this portal are available free of charge and can be downloaded or printed right at home. Creating an account is quick, simple, and allows immediate access to the resources.
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.
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.
Date: December 8 - 10, 2022
Location: Frisco, TX
Texas Migrant Interstate Program Workshop
Participants for this conference will be able to attend workshop sessions on best practices within MEP programs and services. It also includes a variety of sessions dedicated for parents and delivered in Spanish. The conference is currently working on holding this event sometime in February. Be sure to check the website for more details.
Date: February 2023
Traveling for the holidays?
If your family is traveling for an extended period of time during the holidays, make sure your child will not miss more than the allowable absent days to maintain credit. In Texas, students must attend school 90% of the time, even if they have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a Section 504 plan.
Since most school districts schedule 180 days in a school year, that means your student should not miss more than 18 school days.
Absences can lead to your child falling behind in school, and it can also impact their credits. Before you leave:
Be sure to check that your child’s fall semester credits are complete, especially for high school students. For students in elementary and middle school, be aware of the attendance requirements necessary for your child to pass.
Communicate with your child’s school and let them know that you will be taking an extended leave and see if there is any work your child can do to not fall behind.
Stay in touch with your student’s counselor to make sure your child’s grades and attendance are where they need to be for your child to earn credit.
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 have made recently. 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.
Family Literacy During the Holidays
Making reading a part of your family routine is a wonderful way to keep students engaged while they are away from school during the holiday season. Try activities, like reading, writing, or listening to reading, at least an hour a day. Think about working the following activities into your family's holiday traditions:
Listen to audiobooks while you wrap presents or travel to see family.
Share stories of past holiday gatherings. Have your child write them down and retell them in their own words.
Visit your local library to browse what type of books your children are interested in. This gives them a chance to read the newest titles available, and might even give you an idea of what they might like as a holiday gift.
Have your child write thank you notes for any gifts they received to help them practice writing.
Give the gift of reading to your family. Gifting books promotes the importance of reading for all the members of your family. Even better: Spend part of your holiday reading together on the couch as a family.
TXMIGRANT.net, also known as TMEP, is a web portal that provides information and
resources for parents and families of migratory children who are in grades K–12,
to include out-of-school youth (OSY).