Newcomer Programs are an educational service specifically designed for newly arrived immigrant students and may come in various configurations. Most Newcomer Programs serve secondary students because these students come with the most serious gaps in academic achievement. There are many possible configurations for serving these students: partial day or all day, separate site or school-within-a-school, short term or long term programming, and bilingual with ESL or ESL only.
Newcomer programs operate on the premise that English language development by itself is not enough to ensure the successful adjustment and academic achievement of newcomers. Additional supplemental services are usually provided because of the many social needs of these new arrivals.
Who are newcomer students? Some are new arrivals with a grade level education in their home country who need to learn English, some have good English skills but come late in the year or are overage for a typical secondary school program, and many are students with limited native language literacy and often interrupted or limited educational backgrounds. Many of the students in this last category are refugee students or students who have had to move several times before their arrival in the newcomer school. Each type of student has unique needs that may best be served in a newcomer program.
There is no one single format for Newcomer programs. Each school or school district must create a program that fits their population and their resources. Possibe design variations include:
- Initial placement possibilities: Assessment of native language proficiency, English proficiency, math knowledge, and/or health screenings
- Program placement: Site selection runs on a continuum from a single classroom in a district to a whole school run as a separate site
- Language delivery system: The language of instruction varies from native language instruction, bilingual combined with English as a Second Language (ESL), to ESL only
- Length of program: Some programs are as short as a summer only, one semester, or one school year, to multiple years
- Curriculum can include: English development only, native literacy and ESL, bilingual and/or ESL combined with content area instruction, literacy and numeracy development for students with limited educational experiences, or a full multi-course curriculum
- Support services available: health services, academic counseling, mental health services, college and career preparation, and connection to family / community services
Our newcomer experts are available to provide assistance as you begin or work to improve your educational services for newcomers. Call or email us for more information or to schedule a consultation if you would like assistance in creating a newcomer program for your English language learners.