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August 22, 2019

Ensure Your Schools Are Welcoming with Welcoming Schools Survey, Toolkit

In 2017, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) launched the Welcoming Schools Campaign to ensure that immigrant students and parents had the tools they needed to advocate for welcoming policies at their schools. Last year, PICC members, partners, and allies worked together to pass Welcoming Schools Policies in Reading City, Allentown, Havertown and Upper Darby.

A key part of the campaign is PICC’s annual Welcoming Schools questionnaire, which gives students and parents an opportunity to share their experiences in schools across Pennsylvania. Through responses to the 2019 survey, PICC identified four key areas as essential for immigrant students to feel welcomed and supported in their schools: 1) Providing Language Access is Critical for Student Growth, 2) Teacher and School Staff Development is Essential, 3) Not ALL Students Feel Safe at School and 3) Students are Seeking More Academic Support. Read the full report for more details. This report is designated to help guide educators and school administrators in creating and evaluating policies and practices at their schools. School districts are encouraged to use this report and the Welcoming Schools Toolkit  as resources to ensure that they are creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students, regardless of immigration status.

PICC is launching the 2019 Welcoming Schools survey in September. Last year they partnered with PICC members, local groups and schools to host in community participatory sessions that trained students and families on how to advocate for their rights in school, speaking in school board meetings and passing school board resolutions. The presentations are designed to address the needs of each community, no matter what language the community speaks. Groups are able to choose a interactive training on Welcoming Schools Campaign, Access to College for Undocumented Students and Know Your Rights. Each session gives participants an opportunity to learn, ask questions, practice and voice their experience with the education system by taking our Welcoming Schools questionnaire.

Help is needed! Sign up today to host a session and help lift up the voices and experiences of immigrant students and parents. PICC will be organizing sessions September through December 2019. If you have any questions about the trainings and questionnaire please contact education@paimmigrant.org.

 

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