Rochester City School District's
Refugee Assistance Program

Rochester City School District icon

The Refugee Assistance Program of the Rochester City School District has been in operation since 1975, serving both refugees and immigrants from more than 40 countries. Since 1975, over 21,000 refugees and immigrants have received various services through the Office of Adult and Career Education Services’ (OACES) programs, which are designed to meet the needs of those resettling in the Rochester area.

Specifically, refugees are assisted in attaining self-sufficiency in the OACES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, the C.A.R.E.E.R.S. program, and through Citizenship initiatives. At the OACES facility on Hart Street, up to 700 refugees and immigrants participate in educational classes and employment training activities each year:

  • English Language Instruction, Distance Learning, GED Preparation
  • Case Management, Counseling: The Refugee Assistance Program’s unique bilingual staff and case management team provides comprehensive services in aiding the refugee to resettle comfortably by assisting with housing, furniture, clothing, food, and child care. As necessary, this team also assists refugees and immigrants in accessing public benefits. In addition the staff helps these individuals and families attain mental health services. The Program counselors address the educational concerns for the entire family.
  • Citizenship Program
  • Family Literacy, Early Childhood Education and Child Care: Through the services mentioned above, and others, OACES supports the entire family through the Family Literacy program. OACES provides day care for refugee families for children 3-5 years of age. Family C.A.R.E.E.R.S. offers participants the opportunity of studying at their children’s school while actively participating in a DHHS mandated work experience.
  • Employment Placement: Employment Services Group has placed more than 9,000 refugees and immigrants into full time employment over its history.
  • Career & Technical Education, Job Readiness Training: The C.A.R.E.E.R.S program at OACES offers work experience and literacy study at one location, specifically for those individuals who are clients of DHS.
  • College Preparation: Preparation for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and advice on entering and succeeding in post-secondary education is covered by the OACES Staff. GED candidates also participate in "college prep."
  • Legal Counseling, Immigration Advising, Legal Assistance

The Office of Community Education is constantly looking for localized need for OACES’ services in the Rochester area, including clusters of resettled families where OACES services can be provided. GED candidates also participate in "college prep."

Rochester City School District • Office of Adult & Career Education Services • Family Learning Center 30 Hart Street • Rochester, New York 14605 • 585-262-8072 • 585-262-8078 fax •

Contact: Paul Burke, Rochester City School District