How Are School Systems Responding to the Needs of Immigrants, Refugees, and Unaccompanied Minors?
Marguerite Lukes, Director of Research and Innovation, Internationals Network for Public Schools, Inc
Nicole Mitchell, Coordinator, School Enrollment Placement & Assessment (S.E.P.A.) Center, Student Health and Human Services Division, Los Angeles Unified School District
Julie Sugarman, Policy Analyst, MPI
Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI
Over the last four years, U.S. schools have invested considerable resources to respond to a dramatic increase in the number of unaccompanied minors from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and the arrival of other immigrant and refugee students. Many of the unaccompanied youth arrived with limited or interrupted formal education and considerable challenges due to poverty and trauma from violence experienced in their home country or while in transit.
This webinar marks the release of an Migration Policy Institute report that explores some of the responses made by school districts to bring newcomer students up to speed in English and basic academic skills, all while focused on the educational system’s ultimate goal of high school completion with the skills necessary for today’s college and career demands. During the webinar, the author, Julie Sugarman, summarizes findings based on insights from interviews and activities conducted for MPI’s Learning Network for Newcomer Youth Success, a private network that brings together administrators and practitioners in the education, social services, and health and mental health fields who are engaged in providing services to immigrant and refugee newcomers ages 12 to 21. The discussion focuses on how schools create and expand systems around the identification of students’ immediate and ongoing academic and socioemotional needs, and how they design programs and curricular pathways to balance these needs with state policy constraints.
Also in this webinar, two practitioners illustrate specific responses to serving newcomer youth. Nicole Mitchell discusses the efforts of the School Enrollment Placement & Assessment Center of the Los Angeles Unified School District to address the academic and socioemotional needs of incoming newcomer students. Marguerite Lukes discusses how educators in schools supported by the Internationals Network for Public Schools create systemic supports, such as team teaching, to ensure quality instruction for ELs.