Frequently Asked Questions for Immigrant and Refugee Communities
Creating a Welcoming Environment for All MNPS Students
The start of 2017 has raised many questions about what effect federal policies will have on the families MNPS serves. This document of frequently asked questions and answers serves as a beginning point for families and staff who want to have accurate information. MNPS is proud of its students and families.
Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) welcomes anyone from any nation, culture, religion and ethnic background. MNPS has a diverse and wonderful group of students, families and employees, which enhances the educational environment for all students. MNPS has the incredible responsibility to educate every child who comes to the school doors.
Teachers, principals, and other staff also want to know how they can support students from other countries. Conexión Américas has put together a toolkit for educators: www.conexionamericas.org/immigration-faqs-by-educators.
The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) has created a hub for resources and information about services available to immigrant and refugee families affected by policy changes: www.tnimmigrant.org/immigration-resources.
Download this document: English | Spanish | Arabic | Kurdish | Somali | Nepali | Burmese | Vietnamese | Amharic
Concerns of Immigrants and Refugees in Schools
If I or my child immigrated (with or without documents) or came to Nashville under refugee status, can my child go to school at MNPS?
Yes and you are welcome at MNPS schools! MNPS does not ask the immigration status of its students, and MNPS is legally required and happy to educate all students.
Who do I talk to if my child or I am harassed about being from another country?
Talk to your teacher or principal. Additionally, any MNPS employee must report any harassment he or she observes immediately to the principal as required by MNPS policy (SP 6.110). MNPS will not tolerate acts of bullying, discrimination, or harassment toward students, by other students, staff, or third parties.
Who do I talk to if I feel like a teacher, principal, or other staff member is not treating me fairly because I am from another country?
Talk with the principal to see if it can be resolved. If the principal/designee is involved in the incident or if the parent/student is uncomfortable reporting the incident to the principal/designee of the school, the MNPS Title VI Coordinator may be contacted. 615-259-8634 firstname.lastname@example.org (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes race, color, national origin.)
Have immigration officials ever raided an MNPS school?
No and MNPS is an educational institution that does not participate in any immigration enforcement activities.
Will MNPS give information about my child’s or my immigration status to law enforcement?
No. MNPS does not collect information about immigration status and does not participate in any immigration enforcement activities.
New to MNPS
Where can I enroll in school?
If English is not the first language for you and your family, your child should be enrolled in the MNPS English Learners (EL) Office. To register your child for school, contact our International Student Registration Center at (615) 259-8608 and make an appointment. The International Student Registration Center is inside our English Learners office at 615 Fessey Park Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37204. Additionally, families may register at the enrollment center at any of the zoned high schools. Here is a link for more information http://www.mnps.org/register-for-school
How do I get involved as a family member in my student’s education?
The easiest and most direct way is to work with your student’s teacher and school. Parent Ambassadors can also help connect you to tools. You are essential to helping ensure your student gets an excellent education! Contact Ruben de Peña (615) 259-3282 ext. 858256
If my student, has concerns about what is happening in the schools, community or nation, should I keep him or her from attending school?
No, your student needs a great, safe education and should be in school every day possible.
MNPS Services for Immigrant and Refugee Families
What services do you have for families who do not speak English or are learning English?
MNPS has translators and interpreters covering more than 24 languages and access to other languages through a telephone service, which provides direct support to families and school. Additionally, MNPS offers English classes in person or from a remote location, legal assistance, parent ambassadors to guide families through the new school experience, refugee parent orientations, and many others in collaboration with partners that can be found here: www.mnps.org/english-learner-family-programs
Do you provide translation services?
Yes! Call the Family Information Center at 615.259.INFO or the EL Office at 615.259.8608
Who do I talk to if I need counseling?
You can talk to your school counselor, school psychologist, or call 615.259.INFO if you need a connection to additional resources outside of the school.
Are there agencies that help people from other countries?
Yes, there are many in Nashville. Mayor Barry’s Office of New Americans put together this list with contact information: www.nashville.gov/Mayors-Office/Neighborhoods/New-Americans
Who do I call to ask for information about MNPS?
You can ask any question at the Family Information Center either on the phone 615.259.INFO, in person at 2601 Bransford Ave., Nashville TN or in an online chat at www.mnps.org They will help you get connected to the right information. We have access to interpreters in various languages and telephonic interpreting.