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States Accepting Syrian Refugees Help Integrate Children into School Systems

States Accepting Syrian Refugees Help Integrate Children into School Systems

As more than half of the country’s governors say that their states will not be accepting Syrian refugees in light of the recent escalated terror attacks occurring at a global level, states that are still doing so are making positive strides for refugees in education.

One of these states is Connecticut, where it will be accepting 1,500 Syrian refugees and is making plans to integrate them into the state’s public school system.

Hartford Schools Superintendent Beth-Schiavino-Narvaez announced yesterday that she will be creating "a high-level team combining staff from Hartford Public Schools and Catholic Charities of Hartford to coordinate assistance for Syrian refugee families to enroll their children in Hartford Public Schools,” according to WTNH.

This staff will include various team members will all skill levels to help the refugees integrate, including English language acquisition specialists and those who specialize in support services for the families.

“It is our obligation and responsibility to assure that all children under our care receive a quality education and this planning effort will help us make sure that the transition into our schools is as smooth as possible for these children and their families,” Dr. Narvaez said according to WTNH.

Hartford is well-trained in accepting refugees into its school system as over the past five years it has accepted over 1,000 refugees from all around the world.

In Canada, where various parts of the country are also accepting an influx of Syrian refugees, The Star says that providing education services to refugee children is a crucial part of the accepting process.

Aid worker Caroline Kennan of Save the Children is working with Canadian schools to help better prepare them for accepting refugee children, and told The Star that at least 15 to 20 percent of refugee children need serious psychological support.

She says support without isolating the child as The Syrian Refugee is crucial to helping refugee children feel at home and to continue their educations.

Beginning education again in a new home country is certainly a difficult feat for refugees. In Syria, as little as six percent of children in the harder-hit cities attend primary school. In 2013-14, enrollment of Syrian primary children was at an average of 38 percent, down from 91 percent in 2011 when the war began, The Star said.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

11/20/2015

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