Our Whole School Model

Re-Imagining Migration’s whole-school model provides a comprehensive approach for achieving equity and engagement. We work with schools and school systems to change the deficit narrative about immigrant students by promoting educators’ abilities to a develop school culture and curricula that enables all students to thrive. Our approach is grounded in our research-based, practice-informed framework and is aligned with best practices in social emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching, and trauma informed educational practice.

To help educators better understand their students & their perception of the school environment, our approach begins with a new survey designed by Re-Imagining Migration and Youth Truth. Using the survey results as a starting point, educators are offered resources & training to:

  • Develop a view of immigrant-origin youth in their broader ecological context;
  • Recognize the habits of mind that all students must develop to navigate a world of migration and demographic change,
  • Learn to view and teach about migration as a shared human experience,
  • Create inclusive learning environments, and
  • Create generative professional learning for all faculty.

Throughout the process, we model customized tools and teacher supports.

At the heart of our model are five foundational questions from our framework designed to help school teams develop culturally responsive curricula and school cultures. Recognizing that relationships between school faculty and students are central to success, we introduce educators to the latest scholarship on the academic and social lives of Immigrant-Origin youth. That introduction helps to ensure all faculty can identify the assets and challenges Immigrant-Origin learners bring to school. In addition, we introduce best practices for engaging the children of immigrants and their families. This knowledge helps faculty to strengthen their relationships with all learners.

Promoting Equity and Engagement

Positive school cultures are reinforced through curricula and pedagogy. Our research has identified key academic, social-emotional, and civic habits of the mind that help prepare youth for our rapidly changing world. To support instruction that promotes these dispositions, we provide thinking routines or malleable micro-teaching tools carefully designed to be used in a wide range of learning spaces as an integral part of a learning environment. These routines help create a culture where learners are engaged thoughtfully and their voices take center stage.

In addition, our learning arc, academic resources, and teacher supports recast the curriculum through a culturally responsive approach leading to increased knowledge and understanding of migration. Migration, in our model, is not just a topic or a unit, is a lens through which we prepare students to see the world, crossing academic disciplines.

In the next phase of the process, school teams use the results of the climate survey to develop action plans to address the challenges identified by the survey and consider ways to build upon practices that have been successful.

The final step of our whole school approach asks schools to rethink the education of educators so that they can develop the shifts in mindsets and the development of capacities necessary to support Immigrant-Origin learners and their peers effectively.