Successful Strategies for Immigrant Students
Immigrant children attend schools that are not just racially and ethnically segregated but also linguistically isolated. Undocumented children have had the right to attend public school since 1982, when the US Supreme Court made their ruling in Plyler vs. Doe. Newcomers are typically defined as students who have been in the US less than a year, and who demonstrate limited English proficiency. While the duration of newcomer programs varies, continuing them for a minimum of a semester is advisable, with a year being preferable. The family circumstances of immigrant students vary greatly. Schools can ease the transition by connecting with families in a variety of ways over time. In addition to home visits, schools can host monthly topical meetings with immigrant parents and offer translation. Immigrants face unique challenges in completing school. District and school leaders can pave the way for their success by offering a variety of learning pathways.