The political, economic, and civil unrest in the world impacts the United States as it embraces refugees and asylees by opening its doors to provide a safe heaven and opportunities for a better life. A large number of Cubans have entered the United States as a result of the Cuban revolution. Also a great number of Haitians have been arriving though the years and especially after the earthquake that recently devastated Haiti. Other countries have equally been impacted by terrorism, dictatorships, civil wars, human trafficking, and famine. As countries are negatively impacted by these events, refugees and asylees seek protection and opportunities in the United States. Due to the geographic location of the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County, the majority of the refugees, asylees resettle in South Florida and Miami-Dade. As a result, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) has been and continues to be heavily impacted. The M-DCPS Skills for Academic, Vocational and English Studies (SAVES) program first established in April 1996 became a critical support for these refugees.

The SAVES) program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement and administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families. SAVES was established to address the specific English language, academics and vocational training needs of this refugee/asylee/entrant population. To this end, English for Speakers of other languages (ESOL) and English Literacy for Career and Technical Education (ELCATE) curricula, as well as other high priority Vocational/Technical courses were developed.

Students are identified and interviewed using program-specific intake forms. Once legal eligibility requirements are identified for program participation, instructional needs and individual client vocational goals are established. English language instruction is emphasized. SAVES classes are offered through 16 adult and vocational education technical centers strategically located throughout Miami-Dade County to better serve our clients.

 

Many adults are able to walk to their ESOL or vocational classes located within a short distance of their residences. In-service training was designed and is delivered on an on-going basis to instruct SAVES teachers, administrators and support staff on the program's changes, contract requirement,s goals and funding model.

Each eligible student develops an individualized education plan with a counselor or designee. The plan details his/her English language/ vocational course of study and specific career path.

There are over 6,500 SAVES participants a year. Since February 2001, SAVES has extended its services to include all refugees or asylees. Clients include students from Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Niger, Cuba, Haiti, and more. M-DCPS studies indicate that SAVES students have a better retention and promotion rate than the general adult population in the school district. As SAVES grows, it continues to prioritize ESOL and vocational/technical classes/training as its main goals.

 

SAVES Client Enrollment
Year
2012
3
3,750
2012
2
3,719
2012
1
3,863
2011
3
3,467
2011
2
3,221
2011
1
3,390
2010
3
2,991
2010
2
4,001
2010
1
3,502
2009
3
3,466
2009
2
4,524
2009
1
5,526
 
 
     
 
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Miami-Dade County Public Schools | 750 NW 20th Street, Miami,FL, 33127, Room G- 162
Phone: (305) 548 3046 | ©Copyright 2009
 

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response
to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

The project is sponsored by the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families, Refugee Services Program, with grants from the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement