Superintendent's Memo #217-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

September 10, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Identification of Migratory Children

The purpose of this memo is to provide additional information regarding the identification of migratory children beginning school during the 2010 - 2011 school year, due to the retirement of the Migrant Status Code as outlined in Superintendent’s Memo No. 135-10. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has developed the Migrant Student Data Collection (MSDC) Web application via the Single Sign-on for Web Systems (SSWS) for the purpose of maintaining and reporting accurate migratory student records. The VDOE is required to document every migrant child's eligibility for the Migrant Education Program (MEP) on the national Certificate of Eligibility (COE) created by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The COE serves as the official record of the state's eligibility determination for each individual child.

Program services are provided to migratory students around the state through seven local and regional programs as outlined in Attachment A. Priority for services goes to migratory children who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets for the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments, and whose education has been interrupted during the regular school year.

According to Sections 1115(b)(1)(A) (incorporated into the MEP program by virtue of Sections 1304(c)(2)) and 1309(2) and §§ 200.81(e) and 200.103(a) of the regulations for Title I, Part C, Education of Migratory Children, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a child is a "migratory child" and is eligible for MEP services if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The child is not older than 21 years of age; and
  2. The child is entitled to a free public education (through grade 12) under state law or is below the age of compulsory school attendance; and
  3. The child is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher, or the child has a parent, spouse, or guardian who is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher; and
  4. The child moved within the preceding 36 months in order to seek or obtain qualifying work, or to accompany or join the migratory agricultural worker or migratory fisher identified in paragraph 3, above, in order to seek or obtain qualifying work; and
  5. With regard to the move identified in paragraph 4, above, the child:
    1. Has moved from one school district to another; or
    2. In a state that is comprised of a single school district, has moved from one administrative area to another within such district; or
    3. Resides in a school district of more than 15,000 square miles and migrates a distance of 20 miles or more to a temporary residence to engage in or to accompany or join a parent, spouse, or guardian who engages in a fishing activity. (This provision currently applies only to Alaska.)

Attachment A provides the contact information and the school divisions served by the seven local and regional MEPs across the state. Questions regarding child eligibility for the MEP should be directed to the contact person outlined in Attachment A.

Guidance regarding Child Eligibility under Title I, Part C, of the ESEA can be found on the VDOE Web site at: (PDF)

If you have questions, please contact Patience Scott, education specialist, at or at (804) 786-9935.



  1. Virginia Migrant Education Program Contact Information (PDF)