The children of immigrants are today a stable reality in Italian schools. They are around 9% of the student body at the national level, with higher percent-ages in Northern Italy. Between 2007 and 2012, a local longitudinal study has followed a student cohort in their high school experience. In the last wave, a special module, containing four sociograms, has been administered to the whole sample. The data collected improve our understanding of the well-known educational disadvantages of the children of immigrants. The analyses show the importance of taking into account, beside individual competencies and the family educational background, also the school climate, and the specific sociability pattern of the surveyed classrooms. The analyses document the importance of the relational dimension: the peer effect, measured through a status index, play a role in diminishing the likelihood of scholastic failure. Such effect, however, similarly to what is recorded for native students, is not strong enough to compensate for the strength of non-school factors.
Keywords: Second generations, immigrants, interpersonal relationships, performance, educational attainment, network.