Who is a newcomer?
A “newcomer” refers to any foreign-born student and their family who has recently arrived in the United States. Throughout our country’s history, people from around the world have immigrated to the United States to start a new life, bringing their customs, religions, and languages with them. The United States is, to a great extent, a nation of immigrants. Newcomers play an important role in weaving our nation’s social and economic fabric, and U.S. schools play an important role in helping newcomers adapt and contribute as they integrate into American society.
--- US Department of Education Newcomer Toolkit
Why address newcomers?
Newcomers are immigrant students in their first three years of education in the United States. It is highly valuable to the school district and to the student for us to be aware of their background and educational needs and goals. We also recognize that families of these students have specific questions and needs related to adjusting to the American culture, adapting to school in the US, and obtaining resources for success. Helping students become proficient in English and make contributions to the society in which they live is our goal.
Can a fluent English speaker be a newcomer?
Of course! Any student new to the US (first three years) who was born outside the US is a newcomer. Even if a student does not meet testing requirements for our ESL or Bilingual programs, the student may need social emotional support, help navigating the school system, and family resources. We will always advocate for any student or family who needs this support.