The "city migrant" dilemma: Building community at high-mobility urban schools

Kathryn Nakagawa, Mary E. Stafford, Teresa A. Fisher, Linda Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


At many urban schools, city migrants - students who move numerous times throughout the year from school to school within the same district or between neighboring districts - are a growing problem. Little is known about schools that experience the city migrant challenge; in particular, the kinds of programs and practices these schools use to build stronger community links with families have not been examined. Using data from a survey of 174 elementary school principals from a southwestern urban area and through interviews and observations at three high-mobility schools, this study compares schools with different levels of student mobility and examines how schools with higher levels of mobility attempt to "build community." Schools with high levels of mobility implemented many programs and practices that would help families, such as access to counseling services and adult education classes; they also provided many opportunities for parent involvement. However, although schools with higher levels of mobility make many attempts to build community, these attempts do not translate into greater involvement from families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-125
Number of pages30
JournalUrban Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


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