Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166


SEL Supports for New Students from Central America and Mexico

By Doug Judge, Director of SEL

A large number of students and families are migrating to the U.S. from Central America and Mexico, many fleeing violence and trauma. Often they experience additional difficulties--including family separation--during their journey and/or in U.S. immigration detention facilities.

These experiences may influence student learning, behavior, and wellness. As we welcome these families into our Highline community, it is important to provide effective supports. 

When faced with adversity, all of us respond differently based on a complex set of protective skills that we develop throughout our lives. Here are some resources for building healthy resiliency skills in ourselves and our students.

1. Helping Immigrant Children Heal (American Psychiatric Association, 2015)

Psychologists are working to help undocumented immigrant children recover from trauma and deal with the uncertainties of their lives.

2. Complex Trauma: Facts for Educators (National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2014)

This article provides an overview of traumatic stress symptoms, recommendations for educators, tips for self-care, and additional resources.

3. The Future of Healing: Shifting from Trauma-Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement (Ginwright, 2018)

This article takes a strengths-based approach to build on student and community assets as an alternative to trauma-informed care, including specific strategies for teachers.

If you are in need of additional resources for students and families, please reach out directly to HPS Health and Social Services district social workers at 206-631-3011. Special thanks to Hilltop Elementary teacher intern Alma Medrano Perez, and teacher Caitlyn McGuire.