"BPS: We Dream Together" provides broad range of information in multiple languages
BOSTON - Friday, February 23, 2017 - In an effort to reaffirm support for immigrants and embrace students of all cultural backgrounds, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) has launched a comprehensive website that provides a wealth of resources and educational tools to support immigrant students and their families.
The website, titled, "BPS: We Dream Together," (http://bpswedreamtogether.org) offers information in 15 languages on a range of immigration issues, including understanding one's rights, scholarship information for undocumented immigrant students, a hate crime hotline, supporting Muslim families, and educational tools for teachers on how to engage in civic conversations in the classroom.
"The City of Boston and the Boston Public Schools will never turn their backs on families who are seeking a better life," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "We are committed to making sure students and families of all cultural backgrounds succeed, and feel safe and welcome in their schools and neighborhoods."
The BPS Office of English Language Learners worked closely with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Advancement to provide dozens of resources and information for the immigrant community and educators in a centralized, online location. The district's protocols for immigrant students are also listed on the website, which expressly state that BPS does not and will not require families to provide information pertaining to their immigration statuses during school enrollment.
"We must ensure that our schools remain safe and secure spaces for our immigrant students and their families," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael O'Neill. "We commend BPS for its broad outreach to inform immigrant families of their legal rights."
Boston Public Schools is proud to be one of the most diverse school districts in the nation - with nearly half of all students speaking a language other than English at home, representing 139 different native countries.
"We will continue to stand up for all of our students and families, regardless of their immigration statuses," said BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang. "We will welcome and teach every single student who enters our classrooms. Diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values as a school system and as a city. We are a 'Culture of We,' and we are one BPS family."
The BPS: We Dream Together website is unique in that it acts as a resource for both families and educators, and provides links to professional development for teachers to deepen their knowledge on immigration and increase the understanding of how it affects our students.
Included as links or points of information on the website are:
"In uncertain times, having these valuable resources culminated in an easily accessible, multilingual format is crucial for families who want to feel safe sending their children to school," said Frances Esparza, Assistant Superintendent of the Office of English Language Learners. "We want to make sure that all of our students and staff know that everyone is supported in the Boston Public Schools regardless of their immigration status, race, sexual orientation or gender identity."