The WE Immigration Justice Committee is proud to announce that all School District of Philadelphia personnel will be trained to support the needs and rights of immigrant students and families.
The mandatory training was a central demand made by WE committee members during our spring organizing initiative. The District has committed to offering a 90-minute immigrant rights training to all teachers, principals, and support staff. School police officers and secretaries will also be trained at District Headquarters.
The District is looking for teachers willing to conduct the training at their schools or assist at other schools. If you care about making this program successful at your school, sign up for the training by logging on to www.PhilaSD.org and going into PD planner.
Here's how WE advocated for this program to happen:
During the fall, the WE immigration justice committee met with students, teachers, administrators, community members, and leaders from immigrant groups and immigrant rights organizations about how schools can support and protect immigrant students and families.
The committee then consolidated five policy recommendations in the following areas to be made to the School District: limiting Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to schools; protecting the confidentiality around immigration status of immigrant students and families; providing language access; teaching educators awareness of immigration induced trauma; and creating hate-free schools.
The committee decided the best way for the District to implement these recommendations would be through a series of District-wide trainings.
In collaboration with students from the Newcomer Lerner Center, along with representatives from the Education Law Center, Juntos, the African Diaspora Global Initiative, and La Puerta Abierta organization, WE members and supporters testified before the School Reform Commission on May 18, 2017 asking that all School District personnel be trained in the five identified areas before the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
After the testimony, WE committee members met with School District leadership from the offices of Multilingual Family Support and Family and Community Engagement to understand how the District intends to implement the trainings.
The District has decided to host four train-the-trainer sessions in the middle of August to train educators to conduct the mandatory training in their schools. With the support of PFT and School District administrators, we are committed to disseminating the information for the train-the-trainer sessions and to recruiting educators to lead these important workshops in our schools.
Please sign up today!
Trainers Wanted: Creating Safe and Welcoming Schools for Immigrant and Refugee Students
Please sign-up for a training AND speak to your building principal or administrator to let them know that you would like to help facilitate the training at your school. All school principals are required to provide this professional development session for all school-based staff. School principals can either deliver the session by themselves, or have a trained co-facilitator who is interested, willing, and available to assist them. The session will take 1.5 hours to complete and will be offered during the mandatory August school level professional development days (August 28, 29, 30).
PFT members with teaching experience are invited to receive training on a voluntary basis, should their school or another school leader seek a co-facilitator.
We encourage PFT members to take advantage of this opportunity to learn new ways to make sure our schools are safe spaces for EVERY child.
The 1.5-hour train-the-trainer sessions will be held at 440 North Broad Street on the following dates:
August 14: 1:00 - 3:00 pm - Café 440
August 16: 9:00 - 11:00 am - Room 1071
August 21: 9:00 - 11:00 am - Room 1182
August 25: 9:00 - 11:00 am - Room 1080
At the end of each train-the-trainer session, the District will notify principals of who has successfully completed the training, so that principals know whom is available should they need assistance with the training.
Act 48 credits will be offered. Interested members should register using PD Planner.