Schools and Undocumented Students and Parents

This practicum focuses on helping public school districts, charter schools, and non-public schools devise policies and practices with respect to their rights and obligations for protecting the rights and needs of undocumented students. Our client is Seneca Schools, a not-for-profit organization that runs non-public schools in the Bay Area and Los Angeles serving children with special needs. The practicum will help Seneca develop a set of procedures for protecting the needs of students who are undocumented or who live with undocumented caretakers. Activities will include legal research on the rights and obligations of public school districts, charter schools, and non-public schools in working with these children and families, gathering and analyzing the procedures being developed by school districts throughout the country to address these issues. Research includes interviewing parents, students, teachers, and administrators about their concerns and practices, developing training materials, and examining the educational benefits of various approaches.

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Client & Deliverables

Client: Seneca Schools


This guidance provides member schools with information about their legal obligations in providing education to undocumented students and actions that schools can take to fully protect the right to education of both undocumented children and children with undocumented parents. It addresses four areas: policies to facilitate enrollment of undocumented children and children living with caretakers who might be undocumented; practices to ensure proper compliance with federal privacy laws to protect all students’ sensitive data; policies for regulating law enforcement access to students at schools; and practices that schools can adopt to help parents and students in the event that a caretaker is arrested, detained, or otherwise unavailable.

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