Changing Suburbs Institute® 

Our communities and schools are changing. 

They’re more diverse than ever — culturally, linguistically, and economically — and the ways we need to educate our children are changing as a result.

How can we better educate students who are culturally and linguistically diverse? How can their parents get a better understanding of the U.S. educational system and become more involved in their children's academic careers? How can schools gain access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their changing student populations, and work together to respond to the challenges they face?

Join Our Next Event

Leading the Charge

Our focus on teacher and school-leadership development, parent education, and community collaboration has helped school districts respond to these demographic shifts.
For more than fifteen years, Manhattanville’s Changing Suburbs Institute® has led this charge.
Through partnerships with 19 schools in ten local school districts, our Changing Suburbs Institute® is preparing teacher candidates, providing faculty development, and giving students the best chance to succeed by helping their parents to become better advocates for their children’s education.



Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Committee on Global Diversity awarded Manhattanville College's School of Education's Changing Suburbs Institute® with the 2020 Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity. Read more here.

Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

The Changing Suburbs Institute® was recognized as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Bright Spots in Hispanic Education are programs, models, organizations, or initiatives that are involved in ongoing efforts to support Latinx educational attainment and excellence and help close the achievement gap.




Resource Clearinghouse

CSI maintains an online resource clearinghouse, which provides access to research, presentations and other information pertaining to education in the changing suburbs.

Topics in teacher education and professional development for educators who work with linguistically and culturally diverse student populations.

Hudson Valley Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN): Under the direction of the NYS Education Department Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (NYSED OBEWL), the HV RBERN provides support and technical assistance to English language learner (ELL) educators in 142 public school districts across the lower- and mid-Hudson region. ELL services and support are also provided to charter schools, non-public schools and other organizations (universities, regional educational organizations, etc.) as well as for world language (WL) students within the State’s P-16 initiative. 

How to Support Immigrant Students and Families: Strategies for Schools and Early Childhood Programs
This comprehensive guide by Colorín Colorado presents many strategies to help teachers in changing suburbs to meet the needs of their immigrant families in vulnerable situations. Topics include legal aspects of immigration, as well as how teachers and administration can collaborate to meet the concerns and needs of their students and their families.

Creating a Welcoming Classroom Environment
On a daily basis, ELLs are adjusting to new ways of saying and doing things. As their teacher, you are an important bridge to this unknown culture and school system. This article by Reading Rockets presents a number of ways teachers can help to make an ELLs transition as smooth as possible.

Educational Demographics: What Teachers Should Know (Harold Hodgkinson, Educational Leadership, December 2000/January 2001)
This ASCD article reviews key demographic shifts nationwide, how these shifts are affecting educational policy, and how teachers can make good use of this information in their daily practices.

How can we prepare teachers to work with culturally diverse students and their families? What skills should educators develop to do this successfully? (Harvard Family Research Project - 2016)
There are many ways for families to support their children’s education at home, regardless of background.  Teachers can learn from this family pedagogy as they strive to facilitate student success both inside and outside the classroom.

Preparing Teachers for Diverse Classrooms (University of Washington: College of Education - 2016)
This article seeks to prepare future teachers to work effectively in classrooms in which students may speak several different languages between them.

Online Preservice Teacher Education Programs:  Issues in the Preparation of Bilingual Education and ESL Teachers
This Texas Tech University paper examines perceptions of online courses for those preparing to become teachers of English language learners (ELLs). It looks at online course awareness, appeal, and efficacy and compares it with traditional instruction. Some of the demographics that have fueled the movement to accelerate online technology is also examined.

Instructional information and resources for teachers of English Language Learners.

Success in the Mainstream through Teaching Parents to Support Early Literacy Learning: The K-PASS Program (NYSTESOL Idiom, 2008)

The Kindergarten-Providing Academic Skills and Strategies (K-PASS) program was designed to teach parents the literacy skills necessary for child success in kindergarten and how best to ready children for further language development in an effort to cut off the existing achievement gap. 

Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades (U.S. Department of Education, 2007)
A practice guide providing “practical and coherent information on critical topics related to literacy instruction for English learners.”  The Institute of Education Sciences includes five fully detailed Recommendations concerning best practices in instruction for English language learners. (CRESPAR/Johns Hopkins University)

The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All (NABE Journal of Research and Practice, Winter 2004) 

Over the course of almost two decades, this study finds that the Dual Language educational model has proved itself valuable in seeking to close the achievement gap in childhood linguistic development.

A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students' Long-Term Academic Achievement (Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence, 2002)
It is estimated that language minority (LM) students will make up almost half of school-age population in the United States by 2030. This study brings together policy analyses from school districts nationwide as related to evaluation and reformation of LM student education.

Effective Reading Programs for English Language Learners (CRESPAR and John Hopkins University, 2003)
English language learners have been found to benefit from instruction in “comprehensive reform programs using systematic phonics, one-to-one or small group tutoring programs, cooperative learning programs, and programs emphasizing extensive reading.” This study elaborates on these and more strategies for school districts to implement in order to ensure opportunities for reading success for all students.

L2 Proficiency Development in a Two-Way and a Developmental Bilingual Program (NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 2:1, Winter 2004)
This study aims to weigh the short- and long-term effectiveness of bilingual education programs versus that of accelerated, English-only, structured-immersion programs for ELLs. Five state governments have introduced proposals which would completely replace one with the other.

Teaching English Language Learners (American Educator - Summer 2008)
Teaching students for whom English is not a primarily-used language is a difficult process, and any attempt to simplify the needs of this demographic is disrespectful to its students. We need to step up nationwide to improve our comprehensive ELL instruction, because “the costs of large-scale underachievement are very high.”

Academic Vocabulary: Engaging Activities for English Language Learners (and Others!) K-8 (CSI: Ed Forum Presentation, Mary Ellen Vogt - April 2014)
English learners need to be exposed to Academic Language early and often so as to best complement their development as readers and critical thinkers. This presentation offers a number of comprehensive activities to aide teachers in their instruction of this more complex set of vocabulary.

Inclusion for ELs: SIOP in Elementary Classrooms (Marina Moran - June 2007)
Inclusion for ELsThis CSI: Ed Forum presentation identifies the cultural and educational disparity in ELLs. It introduces Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) as a viable option to improve support networks for these students.

The SIOP Model: Providing Diverse Learners with Access to Content and Language (MaryEllen Vogt - April 2014)
By 2025, it is estimated that English learners will make up approximately 25% of the total K-12 student population. This CSI: Ed Forum presentation reviews the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol’s (SIOP) organizational framework, eight instructional components, and its model of academic language.

SIOP Model Research Methods (Pearson)
References for the published research on the SIOP instructional model.

The SIOP Model Self-Assessment (Pearson)
For teachers: A self-assessment to measure current teaching practices against the recommendations of the SIOP model.

Common Word Roots (Pearson)
A list of common English root words to aide instruction of ELLs.

Current research pertaining to policies, classifications and closing the achievement gap for English Language Learners.

English Language Learners: A Policy Research Brief produced by the National Council of Teachers of English (English Language Learners, 2008)
Produced by the National Council of Teachers of English, this brief provides a short, helpful summary of the statistics, policies, challenges and teaching strategies concerning the ever-growing population of English Language Learners in our country's schools.

Processes and challenges in identifying learning disabilities among students who are English language learners in three New York State districts (Institute of Education Sciences, February 2010)
Using interviews with district and school personnel, and documents from state and district websites in three districts in New York State, the study examines practices for identifying learning disabilities among students who are English Language Learners and the challenges that arise.

Reducing the Over-Referral of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students (CLD) for Language Disabilities  (NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 2:1 Winter 2004)
This paper presents a conceptual framework for preventing the inappropriate referral of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students for language disability related services. When general education teachers mistake second-language acquisition-associated phenomena (SLAAP) for language disabilities, it starts a referral process that can lead to inappropriate placement. This paper provides suggestions and strategies and advocates for teachers to be trained to accommodate CLD students appropriately.

Rethinking Policies and Procedures for Placing English Language Learners in Mathematics (NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 2:1 Winter 2004)
This study investigates the successes and challenges educators and parents encountered when placing ELLs in middle school mathematics, and also analyzes policies and procedures implemented by a school. It explores contradictions between school distric policies and procedures followed by the school.

Information on strengthening family involvement and improving outreach to Spanish-speaking parents.

Promoting ELL Parental Involvement: Challenges in Contested Times
While research shows that parent involvement can have a positive impact on ELL performance, many programs fail to promote it. Families can fall just as far behind as their students because of significant language gaps and cultural differences, if not appropriately worked with by the cooperating school district. (Education and the Public Interest Center and Arizona State University)

Success in the Mainstream through Teaching Parents to Support Early Literacy Learning: The K-PASS Program
The Kindergarten-Providing Academic Skills and Strategies (K-PASS) program was designed to teach parents the literacy skills necessary for child success in kindergarten and how best to ready children for further language development in an effort to cut off the existing achievement gap. ( Idiom - Fall 2008)

PIQE (Parent Institute for Quality Education) Brochure
In collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute, PIQE is a California-based organization which seeks to promote best practices for ELL parent involvement to educational professionals at all levels through instructional workshops.

PIQE Measures Student Success: A Proven and Tested Program 
Some evaluations from independent entities regarding effectiveness of the PIQE program. Various proven benefits from increased attention to promoting ELL parent involvement include: reduced dropout rates for Latino families in schools implementing PIQE; fewer disciplinary problems; greater emphasis on reading; markedly increased achievement in Math and English.

Ser Padre Latino en NY — PowerPoint Slides
Presentation by Ofelia García (

Strengthening Latino Parental Involvement Forming Community-Based Organizations/School Partnership
“Latino community-based organizations (CBOs) represent a natural, yet largely untapped, source of leadership and opportunities to encourage and strengthen Latino parental involvement in American schools.” While Latinos are the fastest growing segment in the U.S., their students remain severely undereducated and maintain some of the highest dropout rates nationwide. (NABE Journal of Research and Practice 2:1 Winter 2004)

Understanding Latino Parental Involvement in Education
While it is widely assumed and agreed that parental involvement will equal improved student performance, the exact definition of what constitutes “parental involvement” is still up for debate in school districts nationwide. This study examines: Parent perceptions of their role in the education of their children; district-wide expectations of parental involvement; initiatives addressing parental involvement, and; Latino students’ perspective on necessity of parental involvement in their own education. (Tomas Rivera Policy Institute)


Research on school-college partnerships, including professional development schools, and their effect on culturally and linguistically diverse student populations.

A Full-Service School Fulfills Its Promise (Poverty and Learning, April 2008)
Learn how an elementary school in Westchester became a full service community school, providing resources to families suffering the effects of poverty, and in turn improving the social, emotional, economic, and academic well-being of its students.

Snow Grant Final Report: “CSI-White Plains: Science, Literacy, and the Arts”  (Manhattanville College, August 2007)
This report highlights the outcome of a project implemented by Manhattanville College faculty and students, designed to develop literacy through storytelling, science through forensic exploration, and the arts through finger painting and poetry.

Mini Analysis of Hispanic ELL NAEP Scores 
This short excerpt from the book "The Impact of No Child Left Behind Policies on Bilingual Education: A Ten Year Retrospective" shows data claiming that the No Child Left Behind Act has not made any improvements in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores of English Language Learners.

Manhattanville College Publications Related to Work in Professional Development Schools
This is a useful list of published works by Manhattanville College faculty that relate to the work being done in Professional Development Schools to help teachers and administrators provide quality education for changing populations in suburban schools.

Developing a School-College Professional Learning Community to Promote Student Engagement (Excelsior: Leadership in Teaching and Learning, 2008)
This paper details a collaborative project implemented by Manhattanville College faculty and undergraduate students at George Washington Elementary School in White Plains, NY, which is a Professional Development School in partnership with Manhattanville College.


National and local statistics and information on the socio-economics, population growth, and changes in the achievement gap for students in changing suburbs.

Lower Hudson Valley Demographics

QuickFacts - Westchester County
National Demographics

Hispanics have accounted for more than half of total U.S. population growth since 2010 (Pew Hispanic Center, 2020)

Education levels of recent Latino immigrants in the U.S. reached new highs as of 2018 (Pew Hispanic Center, 2020)

A view of the nation’s future through kindergarten demographics (Pew Hispanic Center, 2019)

Many Minority Students go to Schools Where at Least Half of their Peers are their Race or Ethnicity (Pew Hispanic Center, 2017)

Facts about Latinos and Education (Pew Hispanic Center, 2015)

Hispanic College Enrollment Spikes, Narrowing Gaps with Other Groups​ (Pew Hispanic Center, 2011)
Rising educational attainment has been a major factor in the recent surge of Hispanic college enrollment.

Hispanics Account for More Than Half of Nation’s Growth in Past Decade​ (Pew Hispanic Center, 2011)
This article contains a comprehensive analysis of the dispersion of Hispanic population growth nationwide. From 2000 to 2010, there was a forty-five percent increase in Hispanics aged eighteen and older.

Hispanic Poverty Rate Highest In New Supplemental Census Measure (Pew Hispanic Center, 2011)
The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) is an alternative metric developed by the Census Bureau to better determine poverty status. It takes into account living expenses and disposable resources in order to more truly reflect a family’s financial situation.

The Rapid Growth and Changing Complexion of Suburban Public Schools (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009)
Suburban public school population has grown by 3.4 million students over the past fifteen years, due almost entirely to the enrollment of new Latino, black, and Asian students.

Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009)
A statistical analysis which takes into account student attitudes, college aspirations, performance, and circumstance in order to attempt to explain the Attainment Gap as it exists for Latino students.

Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009)
Hispanics are not only the largest, but the youngest minority group in United States history. This article analyzes the choices made by young adults in this community, and how those choices are often determined with American and Latin American cultural norms in the background.

The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths Into Adulthood (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009)
Examining the major increase in percentages of Hispanic school-age children completing high school or entering the workforce, through gendered as well as cultural lenses.

One-in-Five and Growing Fast: A Profile of Hispanic Public School Students (Pew Hispanic Center, 2008)
The U.S. Census Bureau projects that there will be more school-age Hispanic children than non-Hispanic white children by 2050. This report includes geographics, demographics, and language-skill dispersion in order to create a more rounded profile of the Hispanic student.

The Role of Schools in the English Language Learner Achievement Gap (Pew Hispanic Center, 2008)
The demographics and overall structures of a school have a significant impact in test performance of English Language Learners that can overshadow an individual student’s academic ability.

One-Fifth of America: A Comprehensive Guide to America’s First Suburbs (The Brookings Institution, 2006)
The Brookings Institution has singled out sixty-four counties as America’s “first” suburbs. In the 1950s, these suburbs accounted for almost forty percent of population growth nationwide. Today, they lag far behind the growth of newer suburbs and are faced with unique challenges.






Upcoming Events


Contact Us

  • Changing Suburbs Institute

    Susan Bretti
    Director of Changing Suburbs Institute
    Benziger Hall, 17