Connectivity and Creativity in the Time of COVID-19: Immigrant Serving Districts Respond to the Pandemic

Rebecca Lowenhaupt, Julie Yammine, Melita Morales, Paulette Andrade, Ariana Mangual Figueroa, Jennifer Queenan, Dafney Blanca Dabach, Roberto G. Gonzales, Edom Tesfa
Date of Publication: 
August, 2020
Source Organization: 

In recent years, educational institutions have sought ways to support immigrant students and their communities as they cope with heightened anti-immigrant policies and discourse. Schools serve as key points of contact for immigrant communities for academic and language learning, social integration, and access to a range of social services. These crucial supports have been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures. The United States has seen important differences in how these school closures have played out across local contexts.

Since 2018, the PIECE research team has worked in partnership with six immigrant-serving school districts across the country to identify promising practices to support immigrant-origin youth and work toward reducing the inequalities they face. They recently engaged their partners in conversations about their experiences to understand how educators in immigrant communities were experiencing and responding to the crisis. Based on two meetings in mid-May of 2020, this issue brief presents some initial findings from this research in progress. 

It addresses the following

  • How local contexts are influenced by and also shape COVID-19 trends;
  • The impacts of COVID-19 on immigrant-serving districts;
  • The innovative, creative ways six school districts are adapting and connecting with communities despite the pandemic and school closures.


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Lowenhaupt, R., Yammine, J., Morales, M., Andrade, P., Mangual Figueroa, A., Queenan, P., Dabach, D. B., Gonzales, R. G., Tesfa, E. (2020). Connectivity and Creativity in the Time of COVID-19: Immigrant Serving Districts Respond to the Pandemic. Immigration Initiative at Harvard.