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Creating New Futures for Newcomers: Lessons from Five Schools that Serve K–12 Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylees

By BethAnn Berliner, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC)


About 44.4 million immigrants resided in the United States in 2017. Today, immigrants account for 13.6 percent of the population.

As the immigrant population continues to grow, an increasing number of newcomer students are attending K–12 schools. These students arrive in classrooms as immigrants, refugees, and asylees who bring with them a wealth of culturally diverse experiences and knowledge.

Newcomer students want to be successful and productive community members while remaining linked to their cultures and native languages.

But these students face myriad challenges to adapt and succeed in their new home and schools — learning how to navigate socially within a new culture, mastering a new language, and adjusting to a new, and most likely different, educational system.

This report highlights “bright spots,” schools that are using promising and effective strategies for supporting newcomer students in K–12 classrooms.

The report, developed through a partnership between MAEC and WestEd, presents fresh ideas that can benefit all educators, especially those who work with immigrant and refugee students. It includes:

  • Eight promising practices that support newcomer students
  • Five profiles of schools that serve newcomer students in Kentucky, Maine, New York, and Vermont
  • A list of resources that inform promising practices for newcomer schools and students

The report also discusses curriculum and instruction, professional learning, school orientation, social-emotional and health support, and ways to partner with newcomer families and communities.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2019
Format: PDF
Pages: 78
Publisher: Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC)