As the year has progressed, the English as a Second Language (ESL) Department has continued to work diligently with the refugee population in IPS schools.

Programs have been established to address the needs of these students and families across the district.

After traveling to a conference earlier this fall ESL had the idea to start a refugee task force that would work with refugees in the district. That task force is slated to begin meeting in January.

Students at Carl Wilde School 79 are benefiting from an after-school tutoring program with the Burmese Community Center for Education.

Carl Wilde has one of the largest student refugee populations in the district and is therefore unique in its program offerings.

The school offers “Newcomer” classrooms where students can acquire basic English vocabulary, Kindergarten Camp for our littlest English language learners, and after-school activities with an international focus among other programs.

“Carl Wilde educators welcome the new students and make sure they receive the language services they need so they can then access the curriculum and eventually master the academic standards,” said Carl Wilde Assistant Principal Heather McKinney.

ESL Coordinator Jessica Feeser also credits the district’s work with Catholic Charities and Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc.

“Our relationship with these organizations allows us to know when we are welcoming new families. We try to make a home visit to welcome them and if possible take them uniforms,” said Feeser. “We will be welcoming six new families over the next several weeks!”

These are just a few of the programs in the works to assist families that are new to our district, our state and our country. We’re proud to be public and pleased to have the opportunity to provide signature IPS service to these families!