Fort Wayne Schools Recieve English Language Learner Grant For Refugee Students
Fort Wayne Community Schools received the Refugee School Impact Grant this week from the Indiana Department of Education, totaling $17,243.55. The grant will be used for language support for students who have been in the country less than two years.
Emily Schwartz-Keirns is the English Language Learner program Manager for Fort Wayne Community Schools. She said the needs of ELL students throughout the school system vary, so the grant is typically used to help pay for specific additional resources for students, such as translators to help communicate with students’ families.
Schwartz-Keirns said the term “refugee” refers to a very specific student population at Fort Wayne Schools. She said there are currently 50 enrolled students who qualify to receive benefits from the grant.
“We also have the benefit of having that diversity in our schools,” she said, “We can learn from them. Many have gone through amazing trial and tribulations to get here.”
Schwartz-Keirns said standardized test data indicates that refugee students as well as ELL students, who become fluent in English, tend to outperform general population students.