they travel alone

In 2021, we are experiencing another large wave of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the Southern border. These youth are in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and then reunify with family members and other sponsors in our communities. What brings these youth to the U.S., what happens when they get here, and how do they end up in our classrooms? What type of education, if any, do they receive while in ORR custody and how can we support these students when they enroll in our schools?

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We need this to be compulsory for all teachers in our county. Because I work with ESOL I have been doing extensive reading about their situation but those students go to general ed classes with teachers who may not have even thought about what's behind the stories of these children, apart from the fact that "they just don't speak the language".

-High School ESOL Teacher, Maryland

To best support our students social, emotional and academic needs, we must

first understand their stories

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During this 5 hour training with Laura you will:

describe who unaccompanied immigrant youth are, including basic demographic characteristics and their reasons for coming to the U.S.;

examine the Flores agreement and the role of Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the lives of unaccompanied immigrant youth;

analyze what happens to children between the border and your classroom, including what is involved in locating a sponsor;

explore the social-emotional, educational, and legal experiences of these youth as they reunify with family members, enroll in and adjust to school, and await their immigration hearings; and

develop strategies for supporting unaccompanied immigrant students in your classroom and school.

"Thank you! This course was great. This was quality and up-to-date information." -Family Program Coordinator, Washington DC


the cultural proficiency & equity pathway

This course is part of the Cultural Proficiency & Equity Pathway which includes:

Trauma Informed Teaching & Social Emotional Learning

Understanding the Background of Refugee Students & Families

Supporting Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth in U.S. Schools

Enroll in the complete Pathway and save!

"I loved learning from you. You have a very warm and grounding presentation style. Though you are an expert at what you're talking about, you share what you know with humility."

Introducing Laura Gardner

Laura has nearly 20 years of experience working in education, refugee resettlement, and social work. While in education, she worked as a district level manager for immigrant family and community engagement as well as a school social worker. Laura also worked for Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) managing their national technical assistance initiative to federal Refugee School Impact Grantees.

Laura has facilitated professional development on building the capacity of teachers and school systems to engage immigrant families in their children’s education, language access, cultural competency, equity, unaccompanied immigrant children, immigrant family reunification, and refugee resettlement. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education.

Savanna Flakes

"The course on unaccompanied minors was so well organized and I learned a lot, even though I feel I was pretty knowledgeable of the subject before the course. I really wanted to know more about what was happening at the border and you explained that so well, with lots of details and data. Thanks again for all the work you put into this course. Great job!" – Brenda Custodio, Co-author of Supporting the Journey of English Learners after Trauma - https://www.press.umich.edu/11988220/supporting_the_journey_of_english_learners_after_trauma

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Thinking Verbs Placemats - Spanish

Focus on academic language with consistent icons and definitions.

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Engaging Immigrant and English Learner Families in a Virtual World

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