Case Study: Engaging Immigrant Families

At Family Friendly Schools, one of our core values is that all families want their children to succeed and each family contributes to the success of the whole school community.

A recent blog post focused on how to better engage immigrant families. Today’s post shows a real example from an EdCoaching session on how our 5 shifts were implemented.

Keep scrolling to read the real results…


Effectively working with immigrant families begins in the heart and in the head. Here are 5 shifts in perspective that we help our clients actively cultivate:

  1. Be curious

  2. Be brave

  3. Be willing to seek help

  4. Be excited

  5. Be patient

Here's a quick example. On a recent coaching call in December, Diana (not her real name) and I were talking about a large group of immigrants in their school community.

Diana had heard there was “something they celebrated with lots of food” at this time of year. She didn’t know what it was but wondered if there was a way to capitalize on it.

Our conversation turned to other cultural “nights” in the past and how they weren’t very well attended.

We wondered together if making the cultural night more focused might work better.

“You know, we say ‘Happy Holidays’ but we don’t really know the other holidays that are celebrated during this time of year. I should just ask someone,” Diana said.

She was beginning to be curious.

Through our coaching conversation, Diana decided that she wanted to tweak the upcoming cultural night to be a holiday food potluck.

She was willing to be brave and take a risk on a new idea.

I asked her if there was someone in the community she might reach out to.

“Maybe I could go to different religious leaders and invite them to give a 5 min explanation of the holiday they celebrate this time of year. That way they can invite their congregations.”

Diana was willing to seek help.

In an hour, we’d landed on a concrete activity that fit.

Because Diana was willing to see things with new perspectives, her school community would have a chance to learn about each other (in a very tasty way!). It would also help integrating the immigrant families without isolating anyone.


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