The Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter to Chief State School Officers, confirming school districts’ responsibilities to serve immigrant students. The DOE also announced a recently updated Newcomer Toolkit, and shared federal resources that may support such students.
The Newcomer Toolkit, originally published in September 2016 but re-released this year, is a resource for state, local, and school leaders in supporting multilingual leaders and educators who directly serve immigrant and refugee students. Each chapter includes (1) discussion of topics relevant to understanding, supporting, and engaging newcomer students and their families or guardians; (2) tools, research-based strategies, and examples of classroom and school-wide practices in action; (3) professional learning activities for use in staff meetings or professional learning communities; and (4) resources for further information and assistance. The toolkit also encourages asset-based and trauma-informed approaches and a focus on equity and inclusivity.
In addition, DOE “Lessons from the Field” webinar focused on supporting newcomer students, with lessons learned and best practices from faculty, staff, schools, districts, postsecondary institutions, and other places of instruction.
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