How Schools Can Support Immigrant Students and Families

How to Build Relationships with Immigrant Families

A woman walking two kids to school.

Learn why getting to know ELL/immigrant students and families is so critical to building a strong partnership for the year, as well as how to get started with families who speak different languages. This strategy is part of our guide on how schools can support immigrant students and families.

Why This Matters for Schools

One of the most important steps schools can take is to get to know students and families in a personal relationship that establishes trust and rapport. It is much easier to address a difficult situation when you already have a solid relationship.

Tips for Getting Started

  • Learn more about family backgrounds and strengths by talking with families, cultural liaisons, and ELL/bilingual colleagues.
  • Invite members of the community or local organizations to share their insights.
  • Look for ways to increase the amount of interaction among staff and families.
  • Get into families’ neighborhoods by:

◦ planning events in neighborhood venues or around families’ schedule
◦ conducting home visits.

Recommended Resources

Strategies and Tips

Student Populations

Recommended Videos

Video Playlist: Home Visits with Immigrant Students

Video Playlist: Getting to Know Your ELL/Immigrant Students

More Recommended Videos


You are welcome to print copies or republish materials for non-commercial use as long as credit is given to Colorín Colorado and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact [email protected].

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