By Yesenia Robles, Chalkbeat Colorado
Some Aurora students are aging out of local schools — often because of an incorrect birthdate on their immigration documents.
“I had several students who were about to age out and they had no idea,” Kati Van Sicklen, a teacher at Aurora Central High School, told Chalkbeat. “Specifically for the refugee population, they don’t know their age. A lot of them have a January 1st birthday. Age just has never truly been a part of their life.”
She is asking the school board to consider a simple solution: accept students’ baptismal records to verify their age.
School board members took an interest in the issue when Van Sicklen brought it to their attention last month, and pressed district officials to look at whether they could make that change. The district, for its part, has acknowledged the problem.
Aurora Public Schools, one of the state’s most diverse districts, had 1,551 refugee students enrolled during the 2018-19 school year — making the issue particularly resonant in this community.