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VOICE Arlington demands school system provide more support for immigrant students

Seventy VOICE Arlington leaders turned out with allies on a night with torrential rain in late May to demand the Arlington school system provide greater support for immigrant and refugee students.

The size of the turnout made an impression. Reid Goldstein, now the School Board Chair, twice noted the number in his comments.

Several School Board members underscored the need to act now. School Board member Nancy Van Doren told the Superintendent she would look for changes to volunteer forms sooner rather than later to ensure APS is not discouraging parent participation by asking for unnecessary personally identifying information.

At the instigation of VOICE and its ally, The Dream Project, the Superintendent last year appointed a working group to study how well the school system has been meeting the needs of immigrant and refugee students.

The recommendations presented by the working group at the School Board meeting ranged from clarifying what documents the school system will need students' caretakers to present if their parents are detained to providing greater mental health support and  adapting the curriculum to better reflect the contributions of immigrants and refugees.

At the evaluation after the meeting, a Latina Mom broke down in tears as she tried to express her gratitude for VOICE's support.

Next Steps: We will continue to organize to hold APS accountable for making key changes early in the school year.

 

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Item Date: 
Friday, June 1, 2018
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