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Headshot Young Girl

Jaime Jaques


United States

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The challenge we are currently experiencing has to do with our newcomer program. Right now our community is overwhelmed with an influx of newcomer students that range from grades K-12. The challenge is not only finding a classroom to place them into, but making sure that classroom is filling their needs as well as the state requirements for newcomer students. With our newcomer students we focus on speaking and listening functions, basic literacy for English and writing skills. In the elementary classrooms they are only seen in their ELD small groups for 30 minutes a day and it is a struggle to differentiate these students with the higher students. In our secondary schools, the newcomers are given a schedule the same as other students, but one of their classes is specific to the newcomer program. The challenge is that in their other classes, those teachers are specialized in their subject, not specialized in helping these students learn the basic literacy skills for English. These Teachers have never taught phonics, phonemic awareness and other reading skills. Therefore, they do not know how to help these students, so how do we go about teaching these teachers how to add this into their curriculum. Another challenge is finding a program that fits all the needs of our newcomer students K-12, and that meets the rigor these students need. A lot of these students are very fluent in their native language and are very smart. It has been a real challenge finding material that is at their learning level. We have to make sure that every program we use is only temporary so that we ensure there is no segregation occurring. We want to help these students at their level, but are not able to with our current resources.

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