Welcome parents and families to the Texas Migrant Education Program quarterly newsletter! This issue will highlight resources, events, and important updates.
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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The National School Lunch Program
The National School Lunch Program provides free or reduced-cost lunches to students in public and nonprofit private schools. Eligible students include those enrolled in Head Start, homeless children, and those from migrant families. Additionally, students qualify if their families receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Parents or guardians must fill out the application for the program every year to ensure continued participation. To apply, contact your child's school, which can be found by using the Texas School District Locator. By participating in the National School Lunch Program, families can help support their children's well-being and academic success.
Navigating the world of higher education can be financially daunting, but there’s help! The Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) offers assistance to Texas residents who are not eligible for federal aid.
What is TASFA?
TASFA is a free application that students use to provide financial information to colleges, universities, and institutions of higher learning in Texas. It helps determine the amount of state financial aid students qualify for. Remember, TASFA itself doesn't decide the aid; the schools do. Applying early to multiple schools may increase financial opportunities.
Who is Eligible?
Texas residents not eligible for federal aid can apply for state aid through TASFA. You don't need to fill out both FAFSA and TASFA for the same school. The TASFA application opens on October 1.
How to Submit TASFA?
Get the TASFA Application at collegeforalltexans.com.
Gather Required Documents: W2's, Tax Returns, Verification Worksheet, and transcripts.
Mail or upload necessary items to each school where you applied or plan to apply.
TASFA is your pathway to state financial aid in Texas. By utilizing this opportunity, your child can access essential funds to pursue higher education.
Mental Health and Behavioral Health
The Texas Health and Human Services provides a wealth of resources to support individuals struggling with drug use as well as those in need of mental health assistance. The resources available are developed for children, youth, and adults. Hotlines offer immediate access to skilled professionals who can provide timely assistance, alongside valuable information for those seeking in-person support in their area of Texas. The website can help individuals get more information on their local mental health or behavioral health authority. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and there is help available. For more information, visit the Mental Health and Substance Use page.
According to the Texas School Mental Health and Behavioral Health website, approximately one in six school-aged youth experiences impairments in life functioning, including impacts on academic achievement, due to mental illness. Here, parents can find resources developed by the Texas Education Agency to help detect and address mental health and behavioral concerns. Parents can learn about the legislation behind mental health in education and what resources schools use to address mental health concerns. Parents also have the opportunity to utilize hotlines and links to mental and behavioral health support in Texas.
DID YOU KNOW?
What kind of support is there for my out-of-school youth who is not enrolled in school?
The Migrant Education Program offers resources to support out-of-school youth. Out-of-school youth include those who have dropped out of school, have not graduated from a U.S. high school, or are here to work only, and have no intention of enrolling in school. The free resources available, include options to complete a high school equivalency program or for workforce development, including job training and job search assistance. To learn about these resources and more, visit the Opportunities for Success for All Youth page on the Texas Migrant Education Program website.
When your child starts their journey in Texas public schools, they will encounter various school staff members besides their teacher. It's essential to understand the roles and responsibilities of each staff member, so you know who to approach when you have questions or need help. Each school might organize things differently and use various titles for staff, so the information below will give you a general idea. For specific details, it's best to contact your school or district directly.
Registering for School
It can be overwhelming for parents to know who to contact and what to do when a child begins school or transfers schools in Texas. Every school and district has its own enrollment process, so the first step is to know where your child should attend school. Using the Texas School District Locator can help you find which school district you live in. After this first step in the registration process is complete, follow the remaining steps to ensure your child is enrolled and ready for school:
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
Before starting the enrollment process, gather these documents to make completing the enrollment paperwork fast and easy:
Parent identification (e.g., driver's license or photo ID)
Student identification (e.g., birth certificate)
Need to order a birth certificate? Visit the Texas Department of Health Services.
Social Security number
If your child doesn't have one, the school will assign a state-approved identification number.
Proof of residency (e.g., utility bill, deed, or lease agreement)
Information about previous schooling (e.g., report card)
Step 3: Complete the Enrollment Packet
Access the district's enrollment website and create a free account OR visit your child's school office and fill it out there.
Fill out the forms and surveys in the packet, providing information such as:
Name, address, and phone number
Age and birth date
Emergency contact information
Home Language Survey
Step 4: Discover Additional Services for Your Child
Ask your school about the following services:
Bus schedules and routes
School nutrition and lunches
Interpretation and translation services
Information on how to get involved at school
Communication with teachers and the school
Adult education classes and parent support
What If You Don't Have All the Required Documents and Records?
Your child can still enroll and attend school, even if you don't have all the documents mentioned above. However, the enrollment will be considered temporary until you provide all necessary documentation. Remember, school staff are not legally allowed to inquire about your citizenship status.
The TMEP Portal provides free education resources to support your child at the Education Resources Web Portal. In addition to the reading and writing mini-lessons, tip sheets, and videos, check out the newly-added math resource for grades kindergarten through second grade. The math resources for grades K-2 are intended for you to use with your child and help support the development of math skills. Contact your local Migrant Recruiter if you need assistance acquiring any of the materials referenced within the mini-lessons or tip sheets.
The TMEP portal has recently been redesigned to help streamline access to many resources that are available there. Visit the portal today to find:
A direct link to the Frequently Used Resources on the home page, allowing fast access to these common resources.
Access to current and past editions of the MEP Quarterly Newsletters.
Simplified access to information for migratory parents and families.
Check back often to find what other new updates are available.
Keep in Touch with your MEP Recruiter
If your family is moving during the upcoming months, it is important to keep in touch with your Migrant Education Program recruiter. By keeping in touch with your recruiter, you can help ensure that your child's educational needs continue to be met, even if you are moving to a new area.
Stay in contact with your MEP recruiter during a move to:
Help facilitate the transfer of your child's educational records to the new school district.
Provide guidance on how to navigate the educational system in your new area.
Provide resources to help your child succeed in their new school.
Be sure to let them know about your move as soon as possible. They will be able to provide you with the information you need to ensure that your child's education is not interrupted during the transition. Remember, a move can be stressful for both you and your child, but staying in contact with your MEP recruiter can help ease the transition and ensure that your child's education remains a top priority.