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Collaborating With the Community: Lessons From a Rural School District



This article, based on case study research, highlights how a rural school district in the midwestern United States collaborated with local community organizations to meet the needs of English language learners after the district and community experienced rapid ethnic diversification. In particular, the district EL coordinator spearheaded the formation of a diversity committee composed of civic leaders and the heads of social service agencies; the diversity committee developed and supported collaborative projects aimed at meeting the social, academic, and health-related needs of immigrant youth and their families in a rural community with limited social service resources, and educating community residents about their new immigrant neighbors in order to relieve racial tensions and more easily integrate immigrant youth into the community. The article concludes with recommendations for how schools can maximize outcomes for English language learners through community collaboration.