Welcoming School Resources Available

At the commencement of a new school year, wouldn’t it be great to focus on making¬† your district a welcoming school to all students?¬† Resources, including a tool kit, are available online to assist you. Working with your school board and community, join other districts in Pennsylvania to officially welcome and support all students.

In January, 2017, the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC) released the Welcoming Schools Toolkit to provide students, parents, and community members with the information and tools they need to work with their schools to enact policies to ensure that all students, regardless of immigration status, are welcome, safe, and protected in the school environment. Several district communities have been organizing, and making changes in their local schools:

Upper Darby School District: On August 14, 2018 the Upper Darby School District passed a Welcoming Schools resolution. This resolution officially declares that the school district will welcome and support immigrant families and students.

Haverford School District: Members of the local group, H-CAN, have been educating their school board of about the importance of passing a Welcoming Schools resolution. These conversations have led to the school district updating online resources regarding immigration questions and clarifying language that all students are welcome regardless of immigration status. H-CAN members are now working with the School Board to pass a Welcoming Schools policy.

PICC encourages other school districts in Pennsylvania to take action. They will continue to host trainings with parents and students who are organizing to ensure their local schools are welcoming and safe places for immigrant and refugee students and families.

This fall, PICC is launching student and parent surveys across Pennsylvania to better understand the needs of immigrant and refugee families in the education and immigration system. The surveys will help PICC continue to respond to the needs of students and parents, and develop resources like the Welcoming Schools Toolkit. The survey will be distributed across schools in PA during information sessions; back to school nights and other school events, to partners, parent and student groups, and will be available online. At the end of the year, PICC will create a report with policy recommendations about how to best support the immigrant and refugee community in schools.

For more information about organizing a local campaign to pass a Welcoming Schools Policy, or to be included in the fall survey, click here.

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