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Newcomer Program Overview
Gresham-Barlow School District

How is a “Newcomer” defined?

A “Newcomer” is a student who is a recent immigrant to the United States (one year or less) and who has very limited English proficiency (1 on the Woodcock-Muñoz).

Gresham High School has a Newcomer Program serving students in grades 9-12. Newcomer students from Sam Barlow High School and Springwater Trail High School will be assigned to Gresham High School, provided space is available.

How long do students remain in the Newcomer Program?

Students may stay in the Newcomer Program from approximately 6 months to 1 calendar year. Students will return to their home school after attaining an adequate level of English proficiency, as determined by a language assessment, the Newcomer teacher’s evaluation and input from other staff.

Who Teaches Newcomers?

At Gresham High School, Josefina Romero and Mayra Gomez teach the Newcomer students. Both teachers are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Newcomer Program

Goals: The Newcomer Programs at Gresham Barlow School District share the following goals for their participating students:

  • To develop English language proficiency
    • with an immediate focus on BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)
    • while building CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) through content vocabulary instruction.
  • To provide students with a firm academic foundation.
  • To give students an orientation to the U.S. school system and basic survival skills.
  • To develop students’ multicultural understanding and promote inter-cultural communication.
  • To encourage students to continue their education and increase their access to long term educational opportunities.
  • To enhance students’ self-esteem.

Program Description: Newcomer Programs in the Gresham-Barlow School District are designed to meet the needs of recent immigrants with very limited or no English proficiency. Students generally participate in these programs for no more than one calendar year. The primary instructional focus of these programs is to teach students English. The programs also assist students in acquiring basic academic skills as well as content area vocabulary and concepts. The overall goal of Newcomer Programs is to help students transition into and perform successfully in a regular classroom at their home school.

Students who participate in the Newcomer Program must also spend as much time as possible interacting with English speaking peers. Newcomer students will share a lunch period with same age English-speaking peers and attend special classes (such as music and physical education or other elective courses) with native English speakers. As these ELL students develop their language skills they will spend increasing amounts of time mainstreamed into regular classrooms until the Newcomer teacher believes they are ready to return to their home school.

A student will exit the Newcomer Program when they have acquired enough English to score at least a “2” on the Broad Woodcock-Muñoz, have developed some basic academic skills, and can function in a regular classroom with some ELL staff support. Generally, a student will spend one academic year or less in a Newcomer Program. The decision to exit the student will be made by the Newcomer Program teacher in consultation with the classroom teacher where the student spends some mainstream time and the ELL Program Coordinator.



Last Updated: 7/20/11
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