A case study of immigrant Latino parents who use a Newcomer Placement Center in an urban district
This qualitative study examined a Newcomer Placement Center as a promising model for effectively meeting the unique needs of immigrant families to connect with schools and other programs and agencies in the community. Latino immigrant families, particularly where English is not the primary language used in the home, may be unsure of the education and support services available to their children. Latino immigrant parents naturally use their accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills so they can successfully navigate the U.S. public education system. Newcomer Placement Centers allow immigrant families to demonstrate their knowledge because they know their children and what is best for them. Documents collected during the intake and placement of students and in-depth interviews with six immigrant parents who used the district's Newcomer Placement Center between July and December 2008 were analyzed. Documents and interviews indicated families who used the Center made positive associations with the bilingual staff who assisted them as a result of building and using social capital. Immigrant families looked for assurances they made the right decision in their move to a new community. Parents were cooperative, forthcoming, and honest with sharing often-sensitive information about themselves and their children in order to meet the challenges of going to U.S. schools. Latino immigrant families were determined to make life better for themselves and their children in spite of tremendous barriers they encountered. Their resiliency in addition to their funds of knowledge allowed parents to help get their children to begin their education in a new community through the use of the Newcomer Placement Center which may serve as an effective model to other school districts that serve and communicate with parents of Latino immigrant families as well as immigrants from other countries.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Educational Leadership