This study explored the issues around parental support for newcomer children’s transition to school in a smaller urban centre in Atlantic Canada where newcomer support is relatively limited. Data were drawn from semi-structured interviews with 11 newcomer parents, five children, and one settlement worker. The findings revealed newcomer parents’ difficulties in understanding the school system, limited engagement with the school community, isolation from other parents, and barriers to understanding and connecting with other parents. Among these newcomers, refugee parents are particularly challenged. We conclude that newcomer children’s parental involvement need to be viewed multi-dimensionally, and that the creation of a commonly comfortable “mediated space” may be hampered by both cultural miscommunication and inadequate support provided to newcomer parents and children as well as the teaching staff.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.