As the days grow warmer in western Washington, the Northwest Educational Service District (NWESD) Migrant Education Department is hard at work preparing to roll out summer programming. Reading that, you might ask: “But what about summer vacation?!” You see, with the return of the sunshine comes the busiest growing and harvesting season for our region’s farmers and, likewise, one of the busiest times of the year for our migrant students and Migrant Education Program staff. Many of our local migrant families begin moving across district and county lines as they search for work across our communities—and some even arrive from places as far away as Mexico, Central America, Texas, and California.
What we know about the nature of migrant farm work is that, sometimes, moving simply cannot wait until the end of the school year, especially during spring and summer, when farmworkers’ earnings can be enough to help sustain their families throughout the rest of the year. Knowing that seasonal moving can pose hardships to students’ learning, the NWESD’s Migrant Education program is here to support our region’s district in their service to migrant students.
In fact, the team is happy to report that they’re supporting 13 districts across western Washington in preparation for the migrant-inclusive summer schools, from assisting with iGrants and culturally-responsive program design to supporting professional development and implementation.
What’s even more exciting is that the NWESD team is boldly stepping into their own pilot project. They’re looking forward to delivering three weeks of literacy and science programming directly in two Whatcom County migrant camps this July. At the NWESD, we’re dedicated to supporting equitable access to learning for all students at every opportunity, and our Migrant team is thrilled to offer a resource that’s actively removing barriers for migrant students this summer—with hopes to expand the project to other sites in years to come! Also, if you read across those words and thought to yourself “That’s so cool! I want in!,” know that the project is still searching for bilingual paraeducators and certificated teachers! Visit the jobs page of our website to learn more about the positions.
I would like to give three cheers for our Migrant Education Department’s great work, and I can’t wait to report back on the fruits of their labor!