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Learning Conditions of Vulnerable Students

**United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. (2021). Education in a pandemic: The disparate impacts of COVID-19 on America’s students (pp. iii–21).

The Office for Civil Rights reports on the ways COVID-19 appears to be deepening divides in educational opportunity for students who began the pandemic with the greatest needs and fewest resources, including students of color and English learners. We have placed the first 21 pages of the report in the Dropbox folder but encourage those who are interested to read the full report using the link above.

Haider, A. (2021). The basic facts about children in poverty. Center for American Progress.

The COVID-19 pandemic increased the barriers to quality education for low-income children. In this context, the authors assert that it is especially important to understand child poverty because without serious intervention, low-income students and their families will have even fewer opportunities to escape poverty. This primer presents basic statistics about children in poverty, an analysis on the causes of child poverty, and concludes with recommendations on how to end child poverty in America.

Gándara, P. (2018). Immigration enforcement in California: Impact on schools [Unpublished slides from presentation to UCLA Civil Rights Project, September 17, 2018]. Available at

The study described in these slides was conducted in 2018 and analyzed the effects of immigration policies on both immigrant and non-immigrant students, educators, and parents. Over 42% of the respondents to the online survey were teachers, counselors, and principals from California and 92% came from Title I schools. We are including this piece on the results from California because understanding the impact of the pandemic on the lived experiences of immigrant students necessitates understanding their conditions prior to the pandemic as well.

Nguyen, V. (2021, August 19). OC school district expands mental health program to address student needs. Spectrum News 1.

This article profiles a recent Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) graduate’s commitments and challenges during the pandemic. 18-year-old Krystal Soberanis had to balance a part-time job and providing childcare for her younger siblings while she finished her senior year online during the 2020-21 school year. Her story was one of many that GGUSD staff and leaders noticed of their student population being over-burdened. In response, the district bolstered their student supports by hiring more school psychologists and mental health interns. (Note: We will hear directly from Krystal during Session I, and you can learn more about GGUSD’s mental health supports for students in the section of readings “A Tiered Approach to SEL in Garden Grove.”)

**This document is considered a priority reading.