Creating Systems of Supports for Newcomers

The U.S. Department of Education uses the term “newcomers” to refer to any foreign-born students and their families who have recently arrived in the United States. The challenge of familiarizing themselves with their new home is compounded for newcomers who attend school. They must learn not only how to navigate a new culture socially, but also how to function effectively within an education system that may use an instructional language different from their own.
Underlying Principles
To ensure that newcomers thrive in the school community, educators should develop strong connections with newcomers and build relationships by implementing best practices and creating systems of support in six key areas:
• Gaining knowledge about students.
• Providing program structures to support students’ learning.
• Communicating with students and their families.
• Engaging parents and family in the school community.
• Providing opportunities for cultural and language integration.
• Community integration.
When educators implement systems of support for newcomers to aid academic achievement and language acquisition, students will feel more comfortable in their experience and thrive both socially and academically.

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