This week Jeffco Public Schools joined other area school districts in reassuring immigrant students and families in the wake of fears based on the Trump administration statements regarding immigration. Student Engagement, Student Services, ESL/Dual Language, Communications and other departments in the district worked together to provide numerous resources for immigrant families.
In a letter to families, Acting Superintendent Terry Elliott stated, “Over the past few months, we have received inquiries and concerns from our communities related to national conversations connected to political issues. We have heard concerns specifically from our immigrant students and families. We would like to take a minute to reach out and assure families that the core values of Jeffco Public Schools have not changed – a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment for ALL students is a priority.” In the letter Elliott also reminded students and families that Jeffco Schools does not collect residency status on students and families.
Jeffco Schools also created a web page which lists various resources for school teachers and staff. As immigration discussions are complicated and political, teachers and school staff were provided with a helpful list of dos and don’ts in regards to conversations around these topics.
Here are some examples of the dos listed by the district:
- Do be supportive. Let students know you care about their safety, respect their views, and value their presence.
- Do tell them facts. As Jeffco staff, we do not collect or maintain any information about immigration status. We do not give out student/family information (unless required by law or a court order). Direct requests for student information to our District Department of Student Records. Our schools remain a safe and welcoming space for all students.
- Do provide resources. There is an internal web page to look up resources for students and families, school resources and community resources.
- Do encourage families to have their emergency information updated with the school office and in Campus. https://jeffcoconnect.jeffco.k12.co.us/
For immigrant students and families, the district provided numerous resources in English and Spanish including a Family Preparedness Plan and links to other organizations who work with immigrants.