A group of refugee families tour Carl Wilde School 79. A new school year brings a lot of excitement; and our English as a New Language (ENL) program has several new offerings for our multilingual families. The ENL department organized a welcoming back-to-school initiative for a group of refugee families at a pair of our west side schools. A growing number of refugee families have joined the Indianapolis Public Schools community in recent years, and ENL Coordinator Jessica Feeser saw the start of the school year as a great opportunity to make these families feel more at home.

The ENL department coordinated orientation sessions at Carl Wilde School 79 and Northwest Community High School for Bhutanese families & Karen families from Myanmar. Small groups were led on a tour of the buildings with a translator to ensure they were well-informed to start the school year. Feeser says outreach initiatives like this can really help the district overcome language barriers to help families feel welcome and comfortable in our schools.

Our ENL educators are also teaming up with the Indianapolis Public Library to stress the importance of our families’ native languages. ENL representatives will work with our city’s fantastic librarians this weekend on a program encouraging families to read in their native language at home. Reading is important in every language, and we want to ensure all IPS students and their families are working together toward a brighter educational future! We’re so excited about the new initiatives from our ENL department; you can expect even more as the school year progresses!