5 ways to assist immigrant parents in helping their child integrate into a new school

Believe it or not, understanding how you can help your child integrate into their new school can help you integrate into the community. Here are 5 ways you can make this happen:

Tip 1: Understand your child’s rights

A clear understanding of your child’s educational rights can give you peace of mind and help you advocate for them when needed. At a federal level, school districts must ensure that they do not discriminate based on race, color, or national origin. Students are not barred from enrolling in public schools at the elementary and secondary level based on their citizenship or immigration status or that of their parents or guardians.

Regardless of the student’s or parent’s immigration status, every student has the right to a free, public K–12 education. This right includes having access to services and programs like free or reduced-cost meals, English-language tutoring, special education, and extracurricular activities. 

Tip 2: Identify and introduce your child to staff members that can offer support during school hours.

Different staff members can assist your child if they need help while at school. It would be best if you met with and introduced your child to the guidance counselors, ESOL teachers, and staff members who speak your primary language. 

Creating a support system for your child will help them feel safe and more comfortable when asking for help. 

Tip 3: Learn how stress, anxiety, and trauma may impact your child and how you can help.

Different situations can become stressors or cause your child to suffer from anxiety or trauma. The causes may vary depending on your child’s age, but you need to take the time to understand what your child is going through and how you can help them.

Depending on the severity of the situation, you may be able to handle it at home, or you can seek professional assistance if needed.

Tip 4: Connect with other immigrant families in your child’s class

Understanding that you are not the only immigrant family in your child’s class or school can help you and your child integrate into the school and the community. Making friends is essential to becoming part of a community and can help your child and your entire family.  

Hope CommUnity Center offers a variety of programs and support groups, such as the MOMs program and Youth Group, that allow you and your child to integrate into the community outside of school premises while enhancing your language skills, among other aspects of everyday life. 

Tip 5: Reach out to community organizations representing and serving your family. (Like Hope) 

Organizations such as Hope CommUnity Center offer programs and services that allow you and your child to integrate into the community. HCC strives to empower and transform children and families by providing parenting skills, leadership training, and community engagement practices. Hope also provides tutoring programs to help your child thrive in school! 

If you need assistance, please visit our website https://www.hcc-offm.org/ and do not hesitate to contact us.