Austin has historically been a leading site of resettlement in Texas. Austin Independent School District (AISD) serves some 81,650 students, of whom some 27 percent are English language learners (ELLs). After Spanish, Arabic is the most common home language, and there were some 75 Arabic-speaking students from conflict-affected countries enrolled in 13 of AISD’s 14 high schools in 2018.
Due to unexpected challenges in recruiting adolescents for inclusion in the quantitative arm of the study, the quantitative survey was only administered to 13 students. As such, this page summarizes findings from the qualitative research activities only.
Qualitative research activities were conducted to explore the lived experiences of newcomer students and their families, especially as they related to educational experiences and processes of integration. The tools used during these activities sought to explore their personal experiences and experience working with Arabic-speaking populations.
Participatory Ranking Method Results
The focus group discussions with students included a participatory ranking exercise in which they were asked to list and prioritize ideas related to what it means to feel supported by a school. Below are the top results for the three FGDs held with students across AISD: