Resources for Charter Schools


Charter Schools are safe spaces for all students. This toolkit helps California public charter schools ensure that they remain so.

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CCSA is working with charter schools across California to ensure that all students, regardless of immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, class, faith, or disability may access high quality public school options.

Charter schools offer a welcoming, safe space for all students where diverse perspectives are respected and student safety--both physically and emotionally--remains the top priority.

The following resources are provided to help schools address the needs of their communities related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, protections for LGBTQ youth, and any policies that specifically affect Muslim families.

These resources do not indicate an endorsement of a particular political viewpoint; they are meant to help charter schools address questions and concerns within their respective school communities. This list will be updated as more resources become available.

Visit CCSA Families for more information.

Additionally, check out "Know Your Rights" resources from the ACLU of California tailored to K-12 students on topics from immigrant to LGBTQ student rights, foster youth to pregnant and parenting student rights, and more.

What Do I Need to Know if DACA Ends?
This resource, created by the Immigrant Legal Resources Center, addresses concerns around President Trump's potential withdrawal of DACA and what that scenario would look like for immigrant families.

Protecting Undocumented and Vulnerable Students
This guide, created in partnership between Stanford Law School and CCSA, addresses increasing student absences and decreasing parental participation in California's public charter schools among immigrant families in the wake of recent federal policy changes.

California Equity Leadership Alliance Toolkit for Educators to Support Undocumented Students and Families
Members of the California Equity Leadership Alliance, comprised of eight organizations, have created this toolkit designed for educators to better support undocumented students and their families.

A free, online platform in English and Spanish developed by the Immigration Advocates Network that confidentially screens for immigration options, know your rights and community education resources, and connects users to over 1,000 free and low-cost non-profit immigration legal service providers.

CSBA Resources
The California School Boards Association (CSBA) offers a variety of resources on their website that can help districts better serve all students, regardless of immigration status.

Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation Manual
Manual to help immigrant families develop plans in advance to deal with child custody and related children's issues, personal finances, assets and personal property, remittance payments, wages and benefits, business issues, and taxes. It includes special guidance for family and children's issues, including professional advice for parents to help their families deal with painful psychological issues, and for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Questions and Answers About DACA Now That Trump is President
FAQ providing information and recommendations that may help individuals decide what to do with respect to DACA, given current circumstances.

Know Your Rights! Booklet
In light of the recent arrest and deportation actions against parents in Los Angeles and Southern California, CCSA has received multiple inquiries from charter school leaders and parents regarding how best to prepare for such a worst case scenario. This Family Preparedness Information Bulletin includes suggestions from Child Welfare Services, Child Protective Services, and Legal Aid offices in 58 California counties. In addition, this Know Your Rights! Booklet provides information on how families can protect themselves in the event of an immigration raid.

Immigration Law Briefing for Schools
Immigration Law Briefing for Schools (presentation by Gabriel Sandoval and Elizabeth Zamora-Mejia, partners at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo) which aims to help those who work at school sites with students, including administrators and principals, understand the law, what some of the emerging issues are because of a change in policy, and to provide clarity regarding the rights of students and parents.

California Child Protective Services/Child Welfare Services Contact Information
CCSA has compiled the contact information for the Child Protective Services/Child Welfare Services office in each of the 58 California counties for easy reference. This is because, in the majority of cases, children whose guardians unexpectedly become impacted by a deportation action, would initially be placed in the care of a county's Child Protective Services/Child Welfare Services department.

Americans for Immigrant Justice
Non-profit law firm that champions the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocates for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serves as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speaks for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.

"Immigrant Rights Under a Trump Presidency: FAQs for Students, Educators, and Social Service Providers"
Answers to common questions about what a Trump presidency might mean for immigrants.

"Help for Immigrant Families Post-Election: Guidance for Schools"
Advisory as to how schools can play a critical role in ensuring immigrant families have access to important information and resources.

"Advisory Regarding DACA Program After Presidential Election"
Answers to FAQs about what a Trump presidency might mean for DACA.

Undocumented Students and Families: The Facts
Answers to common questions about the rights of undocumented students and their families, and the potential consequences of sanctuary status for schools.

California Alliance of Child and Family Services A list of service providers that schools can use for mental and other family services referrals relative to immigration crises.

California School Boards Association: Resources for Students Impacted by Immigration Status
A list of resources put together by the California School Boards Association to help school districts better serve all students, no matter their immigration status.

Public Policy Institute of California Facts on Immigration
Statistics on immigrants in the State of California.

Immigrants' Rights FAQ - MALDEF
The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) offers an FAQ on immigrant rights for students, educators and social service providers.

Immigrants' Rights FAQ - ILRC
The Immigration Legal Resource Center (ILRC) offers an FAQ on immigrant rights for families.

Know Your Rights - NILC
The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) outlines individuals' rights in immigration-related situations.

Article: CCSA Files Amicus Briefs in Support of San Francisco and Santa Clara County's Motion Against Executive Order Stripping Funding From the Counties

Alliance for a Better Community Post-Election Immigration Watch and Resource Hub
Resource hub to help keep individuals and communities across Los Angeles informed of important immigration-related information, tools and resources provided by local officials, community based organizations, schools and the media.

California Dream Act
Information about the California Dream Act which allows students enrolled in eligible California colleges, universities, and career technical programs, to apply for financial aid.

RESOURCE​ ​GUIDE:​ ​Defending​ ​Immigrant​ ​Youth​ ​Post​ ​DACA
Resource Guide covering information on the key policy issues impacting the lives of DACA grantees, including 1. drivers' licenses, employment and travel abroad; 2. upcoming events, rallies and actions to join the movement to prevent the deportation of grantees; and 3. mental health and other resources available to current grantees.

ICE Sensitive Locations Memorandum
Memorandum setting forth ICE policy regarding certain enforcement actions by ICE agents at or focused on sensitive locations.

5 Financial Moves DREAMers Should Make Now
In February 2018, the Supreme Court made the decision to defer the DACA appeal. While this was a major sigh of relief, Congress still has yet to find a permanent solution to protect DREAMers, which leaves many unanswered questions about their future, including their finances. To help with this issue, created a resource that provides five financial moves DREAMers should make to help protect themselves and their future, and includes a printable financial checklist.

Promoting Compassion and Acceptance in Crisis
Tips for Teachers and Parents to help children understand the importance of treating all people with dignity and not judging entire groups of people for the actions of a few, when a crisis occurs.

Teaching Tolerance (
Dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children by providing free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and Canada

"Managing The Challenges of the Political Season Bullying Prevention & Response Guide"

"Supporting Marginalized Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Educators"

"Framework for Safe and Successful Schools from National Association of School Psychologists"

Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.

Summary of Supportive Federal Laws and Constitutional Rights of Transgender Students
One-page summary of supportive federal laws and constitutional rights for transgender students.

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network
Works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment.

Be Prepared for Questions and Put-Downs on Gender
Questions and responses related to gender or interrupting hurtful teasing based on gender to practice for teachers to use in the classroom and share with students so they have simple responses to gender exclusion or put-downs.

LGBTQ Definitions for Students
Definition of LGBTQ terms for answering elementary school student questions.

Definitions to Help Educators and Parents Understand Gender and Sexual Orientation
Glossary written to give adults the words and meanings to help make conversations around gender and sexual orientation easier and more comfortable.

What Does Gay Mean?
Sample lesson to help teachers explain what the terms "gay" and lesbian" mean to elementary students.

Helps protect young people's right to express themselves, start gay-straight alliance clubs, have their gender identity respected, and be taught in a safe environment.

Lambda Legal
A national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

National Center for Lesbian Rights: Youth
A non-profit, public interest law firm that litigates precedent-setting cases at the trial and appellate court levels; advocates for equitable public policies affecting the LGBT community; provides free legal assistance to LGBT people, including youth, and their legal advocates; and conducts community education on LGBT issues.
Muslim Public Affairs Council: Looks to improve public understanding and policies that impact American Muslims; encourages engagement through meetings with politicians, celebrities and other decision-makers
Muslim Advocates: A national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the front lines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths
Council on American Islamic Relations: Civil rights department counsels, mediates and advocates on behalf of Muslims and others who have experienced religious discrimination, defamation or hate crimes
Muslim Legal Fund of America: Funds legal work and programs to defend Muslims against injustice in American courtrooms, prisons, and communities.

Resources for Teaching Religious Literacy

Religious Diversity in the Classroom, a free webinar series produced by Teaching Tolerance and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, examines how teaching about religion across grade levels and subject areas can help meet academic standards.

Unity Productions Foundation offers films and accompanying educational materials "aimed at increasing understanding ... especially among Muslims and other faiths."

The Bridge Initiative offers a wealth of research about the forces that perpetuate Islamophobia and practical suggestions for how to counter them.

"Dismantling Islamophobia," an article published by Harvard Graduate School of Education's online resource Usable Knowledge, offers six concrete ways to combat anti-Muslim bullying in schools.

"Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity," Sample regulations and procedures to help ensure that students have the right to express their religious beliefs and practices, free from discrimination, bullying or harassment.

Safe School Resolutions
In a December 21, 2016 letter, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson publicly called for all California public schools to remain safe havens for students and their parents, and to remind families about existing laws that protect them and their students' records from questions about immigration status.

Several school boards across California, as well as the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, the California State University, and the University of California, have passed resolutions designating their campuses as safe zones and resource centers for students and families threatened by immigration enforcement, including:

Acalanes Union High School District
Alameda Unified School District
Berkeley Unified School District
California Community Colleges
California School Boards Association
Contra Costa Community College District
Culver City Unified School District
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District
Kipp Bay Area Schools
Los Angeles Unified School District
Mt. Diablo Unified School District
Oakland Unified School District
Palo Alto Unified School District
Pittsburg Unified School District
Pittsburg Unified School District (Spanish)
Riverside Unified School District
Sacramento City Unified School District
San Diego County Board of Education
San Diego Unified School District
San Francisco Board of Education
San Luis Coastal Unified School District
Santa Barbara Unified School District
Solano County Board of Education
The California State University
University of California
Voices College-Bound Language Academies

The goal of these resolutions is to provide assurance that public education institutions will continue to make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming campus environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community and to emphasize that diversity and inclusivity are highly valued.

Schools that have not yet passed a resolution may pattern their interim communication with families after the Davis Joint Unified School District Message to Parents or the Statement from Superintendent Dr. David Hansen to Riverside Union School District parents. A list of California school districts that call themselves Safe Havens is available here.

In addition, SB 54: Law Enforcement: Sharing Data, a new bill proposed by Senate Leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) would create "safe zones" prohibiting immigration enforcement throughout California on public school, hospital and courthouse grounds.

Additional model board policies are available here.

The California Department of Education has created a Safe Havens web page with more information and resources for schools here.

Student Information
Although the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits student information from being released without permission from the student's parent or guardian, it is important for schools to remember that law enforcement is exempt. This loophole has led Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach) to author Assembly Bill 699 which would prohibit school districts from collecting a student's immigration status in order to prevent immigration agents from looking at student files that could in some way lead them to the immigration status of students or their parents.

It is important for charter schools to remember the following when responding to walkouts:

  • [X charter school] is here to serve students. For quality learning to unfold, students need to be in attendance.

  • Generally, students have the right to freedom of speech and assembly on school grounds if it does not disrupt the educational environment or is otherwise not offensive to others on campus.

  • Students do not have a free speech right to leave school to participate in protests, and any absence for this reason should be considered an unexcused absence.

  • If students leave their school campus during the school day without permission, a school official should supervise the students until they return to the school campus or are dismissed for the school day.

Facilitating Thoughtful Forums
For parents and teachers, Teaching for Change has provided a basic, but powerful, agenda for facilitating meetings with parents and educators to hold thoughtful forums in a safe space on post-election fears.

A Guide for Educators in a Community's Most Difficult Moments
Range of resources to assist educators in implementing strategies to build both communications skills and student connectivity in difficult times.

Toolkit for Promoting Empathy
A living set of tools, developed via interviews with over 60 educators and social entrepreneurs to help create a classroom where kids' social and emotional needs are met and to help cultivate the kinds of skills that are critical for success in today's
(and tomorrow's) world.

Addressing Racism and Stereotyping
Lesson plans, activities and classroom resources to help students grapple with and discuss their feelings about the causes of racism, stereotyping and racial profiling.

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