March 2018 IDRA Newsletter
This month's focus: Duty to Educate
"The United States is still uniquely committed to one education system that prepares us all for living in a great democracy. We must preserve this commitment."
  - Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO
In this issue:
  • School Leaders Create Culture of Equity and Success
  • Addressing "Ecological Shock" - Supporting Refugee Students in School
  • Schools' Duty to Educate English Learner Immigrant and Migrant Students
  • Latest IDRA Parent Involvement Tool Focuses on Keeping Public Money in Public Schoolss
Plus online tools
  • New Infographic - Immigrant Students' Rights to Attend Public Schools
  • Public Money for Public Schooling - Training Kit 
  • Related Classnotes Podcast episodes
Duty to Educate
School Leaders Create Culture of Equity and Success
 Nilka Avilés, Ed.D.

Nilka Avil_s_ Ed.D.
Transforming schools requires looking at the context of the system and its policies. But how do we accelerate schools' transformation? This article highlights the culture of equity and success created by two school leaders who demonstrate patterns of thinking, feeling, acting and speaking to cause success in their campuses. 

Ms. Vanessa Fox-Norton, the principal of Smith Elementary school, maintains a climate and culture of collaboration where stakeholders have their own part to play in bringing about innovative solutions. 

Dr. Julio García, principal of Highlands High School, uses collaborative planning to meet his school's goals and vision. 

Both are  participating in IDRA's School Turnaround and Reenergizing for Success (STAARS) Leaders project. These leaders inspire others, hold all stakeholders to high expectations, and help their students succeed to create sustainable, equitable learning communities.  -  See Article
Addressing "Ecological Shock" - Supporting Refugee Students in School
by Kristin Grayson, Ph.D., and Hannah Sung 
Dr Kristin Grayson and Hannah Sung_
Dr. Kristin Grayson and Hanna Sung address in this article how schools can support refugee students through building connections and fostering understanding. Educators and school stakeholders must understand the effects of trauma and the unique aspects that refugee students bring to the classroom. 

Schools can pro-actively create a welcoming and positive learning environment to help these students cope with stress and fear by fostering community - bringing students in fully as members of their schools rather than isolating them. Building this positive learning environment requires a commitment to equity.  -  See Article
New Infographic - Immigrant Students' Rights to Attend Public Schools
Infographic _ Immigrant Students_ Rights to Attend Public Schools
As schools are registering students for the next school year, IDRA is releasing this new infographic as a reminder that public schools, by law, must serve all children.
Not only should undocumented students not be discouraged from attending, they are required to attend school under the state's compulsory education laws.
And parents should be assured that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act restricts schools from sharing information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
At IDRA, we are working to strengthen schools to work for all children, families and communities. Help us make this goal a reality for every child; we simply cannot afford the alternatives.
Denying children of undocumented workers access to an education is unconstitutional and against the law.
This infographic in full color and bilingual is available on IDRA's website along with many other resources for schools and advocates. We encourage you to share them across your networks.

Latest IDRA Parent Involvement Tool Focuses on Keeping Public Money in Public Schools

by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.
Training Kit
Last year, three grandmothers whose children graduated from public high schools and whose grandchildren are now in public schools spoke at the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute. They discussed the importance of keeping public money in public schools. The session, led by Velma Ybarra, Diana Herrera and Jesusita Rios, was designed to inform parents about vouchers and similar schemes and to encourage advocacy for children in public schools. They gave an overview of how funding systems affect classrooms and how the state can identify necessary support mechanisms for neighborhood public schools. Given the urgency of this issue across the country, a session on equitable school funding will again be presented at this year's parent institute.

The 20th Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute will be held on April 6, in San Antonio. It will be bilingual (English-Spanish), with some sessions live-streamed, and offer an array of concurrent presentations of interest to families, with many of the presentations led by parents. For information about the event, see .

IDRA app
March 2018
The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. Our mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every child through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college. IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs.

We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.