East Ramapo School District’s program helps students who don’t speak English adjust
East Ramapo Central School District’s new program “Newcomer’s Academy” started in November to help students who don’t speak English adjust to the school easier.
Assistant Superintendent Melissa Barrow is one of the people behind the program. Newcomer’s Academy currently has about 50 students, mostly from Spanish-speaking countries.
School district administrators say they got an influx of students between July and October. The district was running out of space at other schools, so they decided to take advantage of unused classrooms at Pomona Middle School and came up with the academy.
"It's just so very natural for them to come in because they feel like they have the foundation of what school is and what the expectations are specifically to this district, says Barrow.
While these kids have just begun learning, East Ramapo is hoping the academy will prepare them to go even further.
Barrow says, "That's mainly been my charge, that when they leave here as young adults, they have choices in life and my job is to make sure they're equipped with the skills to meet those choices.”
The Newcomer's Academy also offers students social and emotional support during the school year.