Serving Unaccompanied Minors in Montgomery County Public Schools

August 28, 2014
Throughout the summer, there have been numerous reports of children and young adults fleeing their homes in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras due to the heightened violence in those countries. Some have sought safe haven in the United States and have entered the country as unaccompanied minors.
The federal
Office of Refugee Resettlement has been working to place some of the unaccompanied minors in locations throughout the country, including Montgomery County. As of the beginning of the school year, the Office of Refugee Resettlement had located 57 students in Montgomery County, who were enrolled in MCPS for this school year.

Other international students who are enrolling in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) may be joining families that reside in Montgomery County, or may be moving to the county with their own families.  Regardless of how children arrive in our county, MCPS has a legal and moral obligation to ensure they receive an education and have access to the services they need.

MCPS has been working with the
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships, as well as other agencies and non-profits to plan for the arrival of unaccompanied minors. We will continue to collaborate and share resources.

On July 24, Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr sent a memo that updated the Montgomery County Board of Education on how MCPS is preparing for an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors and how these youth will be served. The memo, which is linked below, was sent in advance of a July 29, 2014 Montgomery County Council meeting, during which councilmembers received a briefing on this topic.
Video of the briefing can be seen on the Montgomery County Council website (it is the final item on the agenda).

Memo from Dr. Starr to the Board of Education on Unaccompanied Youth

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