Record number of immigrant and refugee students in newcomer programs

August 21, 2017

By CBC News |

A record number of teenagers new to Canada are spending the week learning about what life is like as a student in Windsor.

More than 60 people from six countries took part in the Newcomer Orientation Week program at Catholic Central High School on Monday.

The four-day program aims to get students comfortable with their new environment, culminating with a graduation ceremony at the end of the week.

“I was worried and scared because I was new in the school, but they are helping us,” said Rama Jawish, who’s a peer support student new to the school system after moving to Canada from Syria last year.

More immigrant and refugee students than ever have signed up for the program, according to officials from the Windsor Catholic District School Board. The public school board has about 60 students enrolled in its newcomer orientation week events.

Natalia Uros, who’s an English as a Second Language department head at Catholic Central, said the school districts have to be prepared following an influx of student enrolment.

“We have all the supports in place from the assessment piece to translation support and settlement support,” she said. “Also all of our teachers are trained in English as a Second Language courses and English literacy development courses.”

After completing the orientation programs, the young Canadians will have a graduation ceremony at the end of the week.

The new students will continue to receive peer support from students who were newcomers last year.

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