Superintendent Builds Bridges to New Immigrant Communities





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Published on Feb 21, 2017

With his “teach them all” ethos, Superintendent Jim Rollins is on the leading edge of helping immigrant students and their families find a foothold in Arkansas’ Springdale Public Schools and the broader community. Springdale’s student body, which swelled from about 5,000 mostly-white students when Rollins arrived in 1980 to 21,500 students in the 2016-17 school year, now educates thousands of Hispanic immigrants, many of them recent arrivals to the United States. Springdale has also become home to one of the largest populations of Marshallese people outside the Marshall Islands, a Micronesian country that was the site of U.S. nuclear tests during the Cold War.

“There were years when we would have hundreds of immigrant children and their families come into the district,” Rollins says. “You begin to think about initiatives that will help you connect with families.”

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