Student and Family Engagement Resources for Schools
Keeping the Promise


Education and Afghan Newcomers: Keeping the Promise Webinar: The Office of English Language Acquisition in partnership with the Office for Civil Rights, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement hosted a webinar on January 24, 2022, to support Afghan newcomers in K-12 schools. During this webinar, the presenters shared an overview of the resettlement process, information about the rights of students, and resources about funding and other supports available to the K-12 community as we work to ensure access to equitable and excellent education for Afghan newcomers.

U.S. Department of Education Newcomer Toolkit
This resource provides information on topics relevant to understanding, supporting, and engaging newcomer students and their families. The toolkit provides tools, strategies, examples of classroom and school wide practices, and professional learning tools that will help educators create a welcoming and supportive environment for newcomer students. The Newcomer Toolkit will be updated in the near future.

U.S. Department of Education English Learner Family Toolkit
This resource provides e families of ELs with important information about attending schools in the U.S. The toolkit also outlines family and students rights, and provides guidance on what information EL families should seek in order to be able to support their children in U.S. schools.. Currently, only the first two chapters of the toolkit are available. Chapters 3–6 will be published in the near future.

How Schools Can Partner with Afghan Refugee Families. Colorín Colorado, 2021.
The resources compiled on this page provide recommendations to educators on how schools can partner with Afghan refugee families who will be arriving to the U.S. in the coming months. The resource provides links to information about Afghan refugees and communities as well as to refugee support resources from school districts.

Supporting Newcomer Afghan Students and Families. Refugee Educator Academy, 2021.
This Padlet, produced by the Refugee Educator Academy at the Center for Learning in Practice, contains information on the resettlement process, creating welcoming schools, language and culture resources, and news. In addition, there are links to upcoming trainings offered through the Refugee Educator Academy.

Welcoming, Registering, and Supporting Newcomer Students: A Toolkit for Educators of Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools. February 2021
This resource is intended to help educators identify and use research-based practices, policies, and procedures for welcoming, registering, and supporting newcomer immigrant and refugee students who are attending secondary schools in the United States, as well as their families (grades 6–12).

Successfully Communicating with Multilingual Families
The National Association of Secondary School Principals describes three success stories from districts that have successfully built partnerships between schools and families to support English learners. The Brockton Public School District created strong networks to provide multilingual health services and support. Douglas County, Colorado uses Talking Points, a translation texting app that facilitates communication with multilingual families. In Roseville, Minnesota, the English Learner Program Administrator created a series of multilingual and cultural Facebook pages as well as hosted Facebook Live sessions. Finally, in Austin, Texas, the school district is relying on refugee family liaisons to build relationships with Afghans.

Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students: Fostering a Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment in California’s PreK-12 Schools
This curriculum developed by Californians Together provides teachers with resources to support their undocumented students and students experiencing emotional distress due to their families’ immigration status. The lessons focus on building empathy and include literature-based discussions centered on key socio-emotional themes experienced by this community.

Starting School in the United States: A Guide for Newcomer Students' Families
This resource from REL Northwest provides answers to many questions newcomer families typically have about the U.S. school system. Specifically, the guide (which is available in four languages) offers research-based guidance on the registration process, how families can get involved in their children's education, the rights every student has under U.S. law, and more.

Creating a Welcoming and Healing Environment for Newly Arriving Afghan Children and Families
This recorded webinar was produced by the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. It details strategies for school personnel to welcome Afghan children and youth.

Welcoming Afghan Students and Families: A Workshop for U.S. Educators:
This recorded webinar produced by the Refugee Educator Academy contains tools and strategies that educators can use to reach and teach Afghan students and families.

Best Practices and Resources for Welcoming Afghan Students and their Families
The Virginia Department of Education released this set of best practices to help schools support and welcome Afghan newcomers to their communities.

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CIPR) is funded to create products and services that increase Parent Center’s knowledge and capacity. It is the central HUB of information and products created for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities.

The Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) works to improve the capacity of state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and schools to establish, scale-up, and sustain the PBIS framework to scale up for students at risk of disabilities; to enhance school climate and school safety; and to improve conditions for learning to promote well-being of all students. This resource includes considerations for supporting English learners and students who have immigrated to the U.S.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) was designated the HUB for early childhood (birth to 5) for all resources for COVID-19. They have resources on disaster planning and trauma response, remote service delivery and distance learning, family resources and COVID-19 resources. Included on this site is a resource on Trauma and Stress provided by ZERO to THREE.

The IRIS Center develops and disseminates free, engaging online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities.

Multitiered System of Supports for English Learners (MTSS for Els): This is a Model Demonstration Research Project sponsored by the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) provides technical assistance to improve and support the capacity of state systems and local programs to implement an early childhood multi-tiered system of support to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children with and at risk for developmental disabilities or delays. This resource is entitled “Emergencies and National Disasters: Helping Children and Families Cope.”

The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) provides strategic technical assistance to help state education agencies (SEAs) refine infrastructure and engage stakeholders to transform systems in or to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and their families. This resource identifies key considerations for meeting students’ needs and the evidence behind those ideas. Some of the evidence specifically discusses topics including culturally responsive teaching, English learners, and family engagement.

National Center on Intensive Interventions (NCII) provides technical assistance to build state and district capacity to train interventionists to effectively implement intensive interventions in ready, mathematics, and behavior in Grades k-12. NCII compiled a Resource List for supporting English Learners, a brief and a webinar on RTI for English Language Learners, and many more resources.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has resources related to psychological first aid and supporting displaced children and families as well as many resources on refugee trauma.

Social Emotional Needs of Afghan Refugees:  Prepared by the Office of Student Services at the Virginia Department of Education, this presentation explores the effects of trauma on Afghan newcomers as well as offers resources to support students as they enter U.S. schools.

Last Modified: 01/27/2022