As more Afghan refugees flee from Taliban rule and resettle in Central Texas, Austin ISD’s Refugee Family Support Services Office will facilitate additional trainings to assist teachers in identifying mental health needs of incoming students.
Larry Ferlazzo collects responses to the question: "It's possible that a number of schools might be welcoming Afghan refugee students soon. How can teachers/schools/districts best support them?"
As students head back into another pandemic school year, the Biden administration is announcing millions in new funding for mental health awareness, training, and treatment. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is expected to announce the funds at Children's Hospital New Orleans on Friday morning.
They waited with bated breath, hoping the moment for when all the hard work of practicing and performing their speeches had finally paid off — and it did, despite a global pandemic. "I watched them in their final round as they were competing in front of the computer, and I was just crying just because I was so happy, because I knew what that meant for them," said Corin Serrano, coach of Santa Ana High School's speech team.
It was a cool day for August, which was lucky for the five students busy painting a mural in a courtyard of asphalt and brick. After a long period of learning alone from computer screens, the students were working together to add a burst of color to their school building in the West Bronx, the Theatre Arts Production Company School, or TAPCo. The mural is one of about 200 going up at schools across New York City, funded by $25,000 grants to each school through the city’s Artist Corps, a recovery program through the Department of Cultural Affairs that has sent nearly 400 artists to summer school sites. Mayor Bill de Blasio has touted the corps as reminiscent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which funded arts and cultural projects to help lift the country out of the Great Depression.
Natalia Benjamin’s love of learning languages started early. Growing up in Guatemala City, the native Spanish speaker attended a French school. English became her third language when she started learning it in middle school. Now, Benjamin teaches English language learners and ethnic studies at Rochester’s Century High School. And on Wednesday night, in a ceremony under a white canopy on the lawn of the State Capitol, she was named Minnesota’s 2021 Teacher of the Year. She is the first teacher of Latin American heritage to win the prestigious honor.
A school-based center for the parents of English learners has opened in Bridgeport. The Newcomer Arrival Center will support new arrivals to the United States and non-English speaking families in the district’s schools, according to Make the Road Connecticut, an immigrants rights group.
Over the next two years, 11 organizations will each be granted up to $1 million to improve Algebra outcomes for Black and Latino students, English-language learners, and students experiencing poverty. These grants are courtesy of the Gates Foundation, through its Grand Challenges platform—an initiative that targets persistent challenges in global health and development.
The country’s 5 million English-language learner-students—three-quarters of whom speak Spanish as their home language, federal data show—faced unique challenges during the periods of remote schooling last year. Some worry that these students may have regressed in their English skills during that time. But experts say that these students also experienced potential benefits from spending more time at home immersed in their families’ languages and cultures. They say teachers will need to give English-learners proper support going forward, which includes ensuring they are learning language within content and not in isolation; doing holistic assessments that take into account any gains made in home languages; and most importantly, avoiding assumptions on how much or how little progress was made in English-language skills.
This upcoming webinar on 8/25 at 2pm ET explores these and other support strategies for educators working with English-learners this fall.
Months of isolation away from the classroom has helped bring down the emotional well-being among many students in the Castro Valley Unified School District, they and their teachers told KQED. School officials hope to start the healing process through art and increased access to mental health professionals.