Educator Practices in Immigrant-serving Schools: Responses to Shifting Immigration Policies across Contexts of Reception

How do public school educators respond to rapidly-changing immigration policies to better serve immigrant-origin students?

Ongoing changes to federal, state, and local immigration policies risk exacerbating inequalities in socioemotional wellbeing between immigrant-origin students and their peers. Educators find themselves challenged to navigate shifting policy contexts as they strive to equitably serve students from immigrant families. Lowenhaupt and colleagues will identify promising practices for serving immigrant-origin children and their families across six urban, suburban, and rural school districts that range from welcoming to restrictive. The longitudinal, mixed-methods study includes three phases. Phase 1, funded previously, explored how current immigration policies shaped the everyday realities and practices of educators in schools. In Phase 2, the team will use a Design-Based Implementation Research (DBIR) approach to identify and examine promising practices in each district through semi-structured interviews, observation of practices, and artifact analysis. In Phase 3, the team will build a network across the six districts to improve upon and scale up two practices. They will hold in-person and online meetings to facilitate collaboration and data collection as the researchers and practitioners co-design and collect data on these practices. Each phase also includes a survey of all staff across the districts, comprising a sample of 6,300 individuals, to understand how educators interpret and respond to immigration policies, as well as how they respond to the scaled-up practices. The team will integrate analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to generate findings about how educators strengthen and adapt practices to support immigrant-origin students. In collaboration with the six school districts, the team will also develop resources for educators to use in other districts.

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