Newcomer Education

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Newcomer students—immigrant students in their first years at U.S. schools—have long been an underserved group in California’s school systems. Newcomers require specialized curricula and instruction to succeed in school as well as access to social services to meet even their basic needs. Unfortunately, most newcomers have not experienced schooling that adequately addresses their unique needs and drop out at a disproportionately high rate. There are thus significant opportunities to improve education for newcomers in California through policies, data systems, curricula, programs development, and collaborations.

In 2021 PACE launched a Research-Practice-Policy Partnership on Newcomer Education in California that brought together a group of leading experts from across research, policy, and practice to develop new knowledge about and better approaches to addressing the holistic needs of immigrant and refugee students.

The results are detailed in six publications that shed light on opportunities for supporting newcomer students in California and improving their education experiences.

Recent Initiative Publications
Guidance for District Administrators Serving Newcomer Students
Newcomers represent a large and understudied subgroup of students in California. The Oakland Unified School District has been disaggregating data on newcomer status for the last 7 years, providing a basis for analyzing graduation outcomes for…
A Community School in Service of Newcomer Students
Lessons From Oakland International High School
Oakland International High School, winner of the 2017 National Community School Award, supports its recently arrived immigrant students by integrating academic, social, mental health,and material supports into the school day and beyond. Its…
San Juan Unified Newcomer Support
Promising Practices
This case study identifies promising practices for newcomer education implemented in San Juan Unified School District (SJUSD), one of 12 local educational agencies (LEAs) funded under the California Newcomer Education and Well-Being (CalNEW) project…
Futuro Brillante/Bright Future: Creating a School for Newcomer Youth
Creating a School for Newcomer Youth
This study highlights the collaborative efforts undertaken to create a temporary school called Futuro Brillante in San Diego County, California, to provide educational services for more than 3,000 unaccompanied undocumented minors who had newly…