Educational background, placement and assessment: Additional resources
Newcomer toolkit, U.S. Department of Education
This 2016 report includes chapters on “Who are our newcomers?”, welcoming newcomers, instructional elements, social-emotional needs, and partnerships with families.
Refugee Children with Low Literacy Skills or Interrupted Education: Identifying Challenges and Strategies
Published by the Spring Institute, and written by Dr. Dina Birman, this an invaluable resource (you may even want a printed copy on hand in your classroom) describing scenarios and challenges, as well as practical steps for helping teachers understand and create scaffolding for their students. Three appendices include the stages of cultural adaptation, sheltered instruction observation protocol, and classroom activities.
How to Support ELL Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFEs)
A must-read for all educators and administrators with refugee students in their schools, this article by Kristina Robertson and Susan Lafond (2008) includes in-depth summaries of SIFE backgrounds and specific needs, as well as ten ideas for school-wide support, ten ideas for teachers, and a host of links on the topic.
Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Migration Policy Institute, 2015
This report explores the educational histories of young refugee children in first-asylum countries and identifies four key aspects of educational experiences that are particularly salient for U.S. teachers and schools.
QTEL by WestEd
Models, certifications and professional development trainings for schools and teachers.
BRYCS Information about the Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG)
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) created the Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG) in 1998. The purpose of the grant is to provide support to local school systems that are affected by significant numbers of refugee children.
Legal issues for school districts related to the education of undocumented children
Frequently asked questions about enrolling and educating undocumented children, according to legal and federal laws and precedents, are explained in this 2009 National School Boards Association and National Education Association. The book provides tentative answers to common questions from administrators and school board members.
Share with your administrators or school counselor to help them place students at appropriate grade levels:
- To help schools place students appropriately, BRYCS has developed a workbook entitled Refugee Children in US Schools: The birth dates of refugee children and the impact on grade placement.
- The Minnesota Department of Education developed a comprehensive handbook to help school counselors place ELs and evaluate their transcripts. While it is specific to Minnesota, the tips and section on transcript evaluation are relevant to many districts.
- The District School Board of Pasco County, Florida, developed a reference guide to help counselors interpret foreign transcripts.
- Slideshow on how to assess ELs in Math and Science: Research-based ideas on how to assess newcomer students in math and science.
- Slideshow on how to assess ELs on statewide assessments- Ideas for how to include newcomer students in statewide testing.