Resources for Supporting Immigrant Students and Families
For information in various languages, please visit the "By Language" page or click the following links for resources in languages including Arabic (العربية), Cape Verdean Creole (Kriolu di Kabu Verdi), Chinese (中文), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Portuguese (Português), Somali (Soomaali), Spanish (Español), Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) and more.
For DREAMers and Educators
Updated January 31, 2018
Special Circle: “To Immigrants with Love”
Jessica Madden-Fuoco, the Director of Teaching and Learning at Boston Green Academy, wrote a restorative justice circle plan "To Immigrants with Love" to affirm and embrace our students, staff, families, and neighbors who are immigrants. It's the first circle in the Boston Green Academy Circle Plan document. Please note: some parts will require modification for early elementary students because of sensitive content/language.
The Unafraid Scholarship for BPS Graduates
The Unafraid Scholarship was founded by the BTU's Unafraid Educators in order to provide financial support for students who are not eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government due to their immigration status. It is a one-time grant made payable to the student. The amount of the scholarship will depend on the particular financial need of the student, the number of qualified applicants, and the funds raised in a given year.
In order to qualify for the Unafraid Scholarship students must:
- Be undocumented
- Be a BPS graduate of a class of 2013 - 2018
There is no GPA requirement. Students must submit all materials by June 1st toUnafraidscholarship@gmail.com
Students who qualify must email: Unafraidscholarship@gmail.com to request an application. Please include the following information in the email:
- Full name
- BPS high school
- Year of graduation from BPS high school
- Years of college attended (if applicable)
Planning for a Family Emergency Packet
In a time of increased immigration enforcement, many immigrant families are looking for resources to proactively prepare in the event that they are detained and thereby separated from their children. The Planning for a Family Emergency Packet provides an overview of an immigrant’s constitutional rights when confronted by law enforcement as well as introduce key legal tools including how to assist immigrant parents in filling out specific forms to temporarily authorize someone to care for their children including accessing school, medical and other needs in case they are detained or separated.
Materials produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute in collaboration with the following organizations: ACLU of Massachusetts, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston, Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts, Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, Greater Boston Legal Services, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, Kids in Need of Defense, Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Northeast Justice Center, and the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project
Boston Medical Center Pediatric Family Preparedness Plan
- Family Preparedness Plan - Document where parents and caregivers can list important information about themselves, their families and their children in case they have to be absent, like in the event of detention or deportation.
- Family Preparedness Plan Facilitators Guide – Guide for providers helping families to complete the Family Preparedness Plan
- Applying for a Passport for Children Under 16-years Old – Guide with information on how to apply and documents needed when applying for a passport for a child or youth younger than 16 years old.
Know Your Rights Workshops
The Office of English Language Learners is working with the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement and the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project to provide Know Your Rights workshops for BPS schools. This workshop will inform families and staff of information regarding basic immigrants rights. If you are interested in hosting a Know Your Rights workshop at your school, please contact Melody Feng (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
You may download the presentations in the following languages:
Partnered with MIRA Coalition, BTU Unafraid Educator groups created the Unafraid Scholarship for Boston’s High School Students. BTU also has useful Resources for Undocumented Students Applying to College.
Please also visit the BTU Unafraid Educators website to learn more.
The National Education Association compiled a list of resources and information that is important for educators and students to know. Please click the following link to view the file: The End of DACA—What This Means for Educators and Students
Rethinking Schools put together resources for explaining the DACA Program to Elementary School Students. 800,000 REASONS TO TEACH ABOUT DACA: Resources for Explaining the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program to Elementary School Students
Superintendent Circular: Educational Access for All
Updated February, 2018
Boston Public Schools has recently updated and made some changes to the Superintendent Circular regarding Educational Access for all Students. We want all families to know that will continue to welcome them and support them, and honor their constitutional right to a free and uninterrupted public school education.
Follow the links below to access the circular in its entirety.
For English, please click here.
Arabic: .لقراءة باللغة العربية، يرجى الضغط هنا
Cape Verdean Creole: Pa Criolu di Cabo Verde, karka li.
French: Pour français, cliquez ici.
Haitian Creole: Pou Kreyòl Ayisyen, klike isi a.
Portuguese: Para Português, pressiona aquí.
Somali: Af Soomaali, halkan riix.
Spanish: Para español, haga clic aquí.
Vietnamese: Muốn xem bằng tiếng Việt, xin bấm vào đây.
Letter to the BPS Community
Dear Boston Public Schools Community,
As we get ready to welcome back our families, students and staff for the start of another exciting school year, the Boston School Committee and Boston Public Schools would like to affirm our deep and unwavering commitment to providing all of our young people, regardless of their immigration status, a high-quality education. As new developments arise nationally, one thing remains constant here at BPS, and that is our continued focus on creating a “Culture of We” in which we celebrate the diversity that makes our city and district truly great.
Today, we received news that the Trump administration is formally ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. Since former President Obama signed the executive order in 2012, DACA has greatly benefited those we call “DREAMers” by allowing them to secure in-state college tuition and work permits, as well as obtain social security numbers. While this action will greatly impact these 800,000 individuals, our entire city will feel the consequences of this change, particularly in our schools.
Today, Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang and I partnered together in releasing the following joint statement urging Congress to pass legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who arrived in the United States as children:
We stand shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting for the continued protection of all DREAMers, those law-abiding young people who have come to this country — often through no choice of their own — and have grown up and been educated here. These are hardworking students, employees, and even members of the military who enrich and strengthen our communities. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reflects our values as a country by offering 800,000 of these people the opportunity to gain a new freedom and security to work toward achieving their dreams, including getting an education and going to college, and to contribute to the country they call home. Eliminating DACA would drive them into the shadows, depleting our schools and our workforce of productive members of our society who simply yearn to pursue their dreams and fulfill their full potential. Boston’s educators remain as committed today as ever in continuing our work to protect and uplift all students, families, and communities. We remain steadfast in our efforts to ensure that we welcome and meet the needs of all children who walk through our doors, regardless of their race or immigration status. Day in and day out the principals, teachers and staff of the Boston Public Schools strive to create safe, welcoming and sustaining learning environments for all of our students.
While no current DACA beneficiaries will be immediately affected until March, the government is no longer granting any new requests until Congress takes action.
In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to provide support and learning opportunities for our educators and families so that the entire BPS community can stay informed. Please visit the BPS We Dream Together or the BTU Unafraid Educators websites for a complete list of resources, including updated information regarding DACA and the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship. People can also log onto the city’s website at boston.gov/immigrants and call the Mayor’s 24-hour hotline, “311,” to be directed to the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement for additional resources and information to help immigrants and their families.
Boston is a proud city of immigrants and BPS is a reflection of that diversity. As a district, our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students. We appreciate the trust that you put in us, and we will do everything we can to protect the rights of our BPS community, including those of our immigrant families and students.
Tommy Chang, Ed.D.
The BPS We Dream Together website contains a variety of resources:
Educational Resources: useful links for school leaders, teachers, and support staff to support students and families when conversations arise about immigration and diversity
Family Resources: resources to assist families in understanding their rights, information about BPS, City of Boston, and other community resources, and useful tips to help families discuss current events with their children
Student Resources: resources to assist students with understanding their rights and how to navigate their everyday lives as immigrant or refugee students
Learning Opportunities: upcoming learning opportunities provided for educators and support staff to understand stress and its impact on teaching and learning; learning opportunities for parents to learn more about issues related to immigration and refugee status
Additional Resources: resources to assist families and students identify non-profit organizations and legal assistance that can help them understand their status and immigration options
We at Boston Public Schools (BPS) are aware of and empathetic to the concerns of our immigrant families who are facing uncertain times. BPS continues to work closely with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Advancement and numerous community partners on providing helpful information and services to immigrant families, including students and educators. BPS is committed to fostering a safe, welcoming environment for all students regardless of their immigration status. There has been, and will continue to be, a clear focus on sustaining the personal, cultural, and linguistic identities of our students and families.
Boston Public Schools Superintendent
A Message from Dr. Tommy Chang
"We will continue to stand up for all of our students and families, regardless of their immigration statuses,” said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. “We will welcome and teach every single student who enters our classrooms. Diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values as a school system and as a city. We are a 'Culture of We,' and we are one BPS family."
—— Superintendent Tommy Chang, January 28, 2017
Boston Public Schools Vision
As the birthplace of public education in this nation, the Boston Public Schools is committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools. We partner with the community, families, and students to develop in every learner the knowledge, skill, and character to excel in college, career, and life.
BPS educators, staff and members of the BTU joined United We Dream and many other educators across the United States to support our DACA, refugee, and immigrant students. #HereToSay
Dr. Esparza meets with Chris Lovett at BNN News
A Glimpse at American Immigrants
Albert Einstein1 Isabel Allende2 Citizenship Oath Ceremony3 Ieoh Ming Pei4 Farah Pandith5
Mayor Walsh Press Conference on Immigration
If you or any family need additional information or technical support please contact Melody Feng in the Office of English Language Learners at (617)635-9435 or email email@example.com.
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- Image of Albert Einstein on Viewfoo.com (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.viewfoo.com/uploads/images/702_1433440833_alberteinsteinb.jpg
- Image of Isabel Allende on Wikipedia.org (n.d.). Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Isabel_Allende_-_001.jpg/220px-Isabel_Allende_-_001.jpg
- Image of Naturalization Ceremony on Standard Times News. (2010). Retrieved from http://media.jrn.com/images/20100317-201940-pic-700324642_6117213_ver1.0_640_480.jpg
- Image of Leon Ming Pei on EduBilla.com (2010). Retrieved from http://uploads.edubilla.com/awards-winners/d3/ba/ieoh-ming-pei.jpg
- Image of Farah Pandith (2014). Retrieved from http://media.linkmedia.rs/2014/05/farahpandith.jpg