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Grand Forks Public Schools Receives Refugee School Impact Grant

News Release                                                  

For Immediate Release                                                               

October 16, 2020

Grand Forks Public Schools Receives Refugee School Impact Grant

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Grand Forks Public Schools has received a $15,000 grant award from Lutheran Social Services to support English Learner (EL) students. 

The goal of the grant is to strengthen academic performance and facilitate social adjustment of school-age refugees. The grant will provide transportation support for newly arrived refugee students to participate in summer school.

Refugees are defined and protected in international law as individuals moving outside their country of origin who have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion.

Grand Forks Public Schools currently has 282 EL students in the school system who speak over 28 native languages. Nepali and Somali are the predominant native languages spoken.

The percentage of EL students who are growing at the expected trajectory to successfully exit the EL program was 45% in 2018-2019 compared to the North Dakota state average of 41%.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Lutheran Social Services. This partnership better helps us support the needs of our newly arrived refugees by helping them overcome barriers such as transportation,” said Travis Thorvilson, EL coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools and principal at Winship Elementary School.