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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Nationality, Immigration & ELD

Image of handprints illustrating diversityThe District seeks to ensure that its programs and practices are welcoming to all students regardless of their nationality and/or immigration status. By law, children have a constitutional right to have equal access to a free and appropriate K-12 public education regardless of their immigration status. Further, consistent with Pennsylvania school code, the District's enrollment policy and practices do not require information regarding immigration status for purposes of registering a student for enrollment in the District.

The District is also proud to serve families from around the world with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Currently, nearly 30 different languages are spoken by LMSD students. Whether you come to the District speaking little English or with more advanced skills, services are offered to English learners of all levels. In addition to offering those services, we are committed to ensuring that students whose dominant language is not English feel part of the school community.

District Policies

The following Policies, together with their applicable Administrative Regulations, are relevant to the District’s commitment to ensuring that all students are provided equal opportunity and access to programs, services, and activities, and that no student or employee is discriminated against on the basis of their nationality, immigration status, or English language development status. Please note that this list is intended to serve as a summary of the Board-approved Policies and Administrative Regulations and should not be cited as official guidance. In addition, this list is not intended to be exhaustive of all policies or procedures that may be applicable to a particular situation.

Policy  Title Summary
006 Civility This Policy and Administrative Regulation codify the District's commitment to establish and enhance an atmosphere where people are encouraged and expected to exhibit language, attitudes and behavior that foster sound educational practices and allow people to grow socially and academically. A process for redress of concerns is also included.

103

104

Equal Opportunity Program for School & Classroom/Employment Practices Policy  103 reflects the District's intent to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to reach their potential through the educational program and not be subject to discrimination. Similarly, Policy 104 ensures that all persons have equal access to all categories of employment in the District and not be subject to discrimination. Both policies also prohibit retaliation. 
119 Controversial and Value Issues This Policy and Administrative Regulation affirm the Board's commitment to the incorporation into the ongoing curriculum ideas that may transcend traditional curricular  topics  and raise questions about current social, political, technical, philosophical, religious and other challenges, regardless of the controversial nature of the topic as long as, on divided issues, differing views are carefully presented.
138 English Language Development Program Policy and Administrative Regulation 138 outlines our program for facilitating a student's achievement of English proficiency and relevant academic standards for that student's grade level through a multi-pronged approach. This comprehensive policy includes parent/guardian involvement strategies, including communicating with parents/guardians in the mode and language of communication preferred by the parents/guardians.
235 Students Rights and Responsibilities Policy and Administrative Regulation 235 comprehensively address student behavior expectations (and consequences) as well as student rights. Among other topics, it covers school rules, student discipline, searches, freedom of expression, etc.

246

Harassment, Bullying, and Hazing The purpose of this Policy is to promote and maintain a safe, positive and respectful environment that is free from bullying, hazing, and harassment. In particular, the Policy and Administrative Regulation sets forth the District's prohibition of bullying, hazing, and harassment based upon disability, race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or national origin. It also articulates reporting and investigation protocols as well as prohibits retaliation. See also LMSD Policy Notification regarding Prohibited Harassment, Bullying and Other Behavior.

Any concerns or complaints should be reported to a building administrator as soon as possible. Please note the District's policies prohibit retaliation for bringing forward a complaint or concern. 

Contact Person:  Megan  Shafer, Assistant to the Superintendent for District Administration  (shaferm@lmsd.org or 610-645-1928).

District Programs/Resources

The list below reflects a sampling of relevant District-sponsored programs, activities, and resources for students, staff, and families seeking further information regarding nationality, immigration status, and ELD programming.

English Language Development (ELD)

LMSD is proud to serve families from around the world with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Currently, 29 languages are spoken by Lower Merion students. Whether you come to us speaking little English or have more advanced skills, services are offered to English learners of all levels. All of these students and families enrich our community. We are happy that you have chosen Lower Merion Schools for your children and for allowing us to serve them. For more information about the ELD program, click here. 

Cultural Clubs

French: The goal of the French Club is to encourage an appreciation and interest in French culture. Membership is not restricted to French Language students. Club members    enjoy French cooking, music, cinema, art  and language. French Club meets monthly for officers and monthly for general membership.

Israel: The Israel Culture Club gives students the opportunity to learn about and explore the culture of Israel. Guest speakers, field trips to Israeli restaurants, movies and discussions  are some of the activities this group plans throughout the year. Students of all cultures are welcome. This student-run group meets about once every three weeks.

Latin: The Latin Club promotes and expands understanding of the ancient Greco-Roman world and Latin language. Membership is not restricted to Latin language students. Club members  play games, celebrate festivals  and interact to share our knowledge and enjoyment of ancient culture. Latin Club offers a service component where members are invited to tutor Latin students at Bala Cynwyd Middle School. Club meets roughly twice a month.

Spanish: The goal of the Spanish club is to promote the language and culture of Spanish to all students, even those who do not speak Spanish. The club hopes to increase the knowledge of and love for Spanish by exposing them to activities such as eating in authentic restaurants, learning Spanish dances, making piñatas, watching Spanish movies and taking trips to Hispanic neighborhoods in Philadelphia to interact with native speakers. This club meets twice a month.

World Language Clubs

World Language Clubs    work to  promote the understanding and acceptance of foreign cultures. Activities include visits to museums, drama and dance exhibitions, guest speakers, movie reviews, and French cuisine.

Additional Resources/Support

Information coming soon!