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Academy Enrolls Undocumented Immigrants as 'School-Within-A-School'

Academy Enrolls Undocumented Immigrants as 'School-Within-A-School'

In Washington D.C's Cardozo Education campus, the International Academy for English-language Learners has enrolled 200 students to address the struggles that come with recently arriving as an immigrant in the United States, according to Education Week.

Last year, the United States saw an increase of unaccompanied youths coming over the U.S. Mexico-Border and entering American classrooms.

"The students, many with yearlong gaps in their formal education and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, represent a significant new challenge for schools. Many are still in legal limbo as they wait for immigration judges to decide whether they can stay or will be deported. Language barriers can complicate every step of the process," the article said.

Some districts adjust well in addressing the needs of these students to adapt, others struggle. "'Some [districts] have taken it in stride, but others had a very difficult time. There's no universal experience here,' said Ms. McHugh of the Migration Policy Institute," according to the article.

The academy attempts to help facilitate the process of arriving and integrating for these students. It places each student in a "25-member cohort that has all the same classes together and the same instructors" so that each student can establish deep connections and meaningful relationships as they learn.

Early reports suggest that the influx of unaccompanied minors won't stop this year, but will continue on and will force classrooms to adjust. One concern is that this year's expected 39,000 unaccompanied minors will hamper the efforts that have been made for currently enrolled immigrant children.

"The influx could further tax the resources of school systems welcoming new students who have entered the United States illegally, many of them English-language learners," the article said.

Read the full article here and comment below. Please note that Education Week's articles are available through a tiered subscription model.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/06/2015

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