Saber es poder: Understanding How School Leaders Engage and Communicate with Immigrant Parents




Veliz, Guadalupe R.

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Immigrant parents face serious obstacles in supporting their children's educational success due to low levels of formal education, limited English proficiency, poverty, and/or digital access barriers. While immigrant students are enrolled and benefit from English language acquisition through Bilingual Education programs, the data indicates they have much lower rates of participation in other school programs, such as special education or gifted and talented, than do native born students. However, school leaders have the positional authority to create school systems that can facilitate critical connections among personnel, and school resources that can lead to increased immigrant student achievement. The purpose of this study was to understand how school leaders communicate programs and services to immigrant families and how immigrant parents receive and act upon that information for program participation for their children. In order to achieve the purpose of this study, two core research questions guided the study: (1). What are the systems and practices of school leaders that foster communication of school programs and services for immigrant parents and students? (2). How do parents receive, use, and interpret that information when considering enrollment and participation in these programs? An interview study approach was used as the research method. The theoretical framework that guided this study was Yosso's Community Cultural Wealth. Participants included school leaders as well as immigrant parents. The following themes emerged from the school leader participants' data regarding the systems and processes that foster communication: (1) active and purposive relationships (2) cooperation and collaboration, and (3) empowered parents. The following themes emerged from the parent participants regarding how they receive, use and interpret school information when considering school program enrollment and participation: (1) classroom teacher, (2) social networks, and (3) cooperation and collaboration.


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Immigrant parents



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies