Ongoing Project:

Refugee Youth and Interrupted Schooling in Small Centres

Researchers: Ray Silvius
Affiliation: University of Winnipeg
Research Partner: Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) and Newcomer Education Coalition (NEC)
Keywords: refugee youth, interrupted schooling, Manitoba, small centres, supports


Objective: This study aims to address the needs of refugee youth with interrupted schooling in smaller cities in Manitoba.

Justification: This project builds on a previous CYRRC project and partnerships with IPW and NEC which focused on refugee students with interrupted schooling in Winnipeg. That project produced valuable insight into the experiences and refugee students, teachers and the school system, as well as ‘promising practices’ for better addressing refugee students’ needs. As immigration to small centres grows rapidly, this same insight is needed for smaller cities.

Practical goal: This study will articulate existing school and school division practices and develop a blueprint for promising practices in supporting refugee youth in Manitoban small centres, as well as educate teachers and principals in how to keep students attached to the classroom in small centres and consider how communities can go beyond the formal classroom to support the education of refugee youth.

Primary audience: Educators, school boards, service providers in small centres, refugee youth and families, and policy makers


This study will deploy a community-engaged methodology to conduct a literature review, synthesize information from IPW and NEC with relevant provincial-level statistics, and conduct interviews and focus groups with education system personnel (superintendents, principals, resource teachers, etc.), and with refugee youth and their families.

This study asks the following questions:

  1. What existing practices and models exist within Manitoban small centres’ schools to address interrupted schooling for refugee youth?

  2. How can small centre schools and educators be better supported to connect older refugee youth to classrooms so as to prevent further interrupted schooling?

  3. How can refugee families be better supported to combat interrupted schooling for refugee youth in small centres?

  4. What is the relationship between the formal education system and the wider resettlement environment in small centres?

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