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Intensive Newcomer Research 2006 - 2007


Intensive Newcomer Research 2006 - 2007 Seven Oaks School Division Karen Guenther (Principal: Special Projects) Seven Oaks School Division Intensive Newcomer Research ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Intensive Newcomer Research 2006 - 2007

Intensive Newcomer Research 2006 - 2007
  • Seven Oaks School Division
  • Karen Guenther
  • (Principal Special Projects)

Seven Oaks School DivisionIntensive Newcomer
  • Purpose
  • To conduct research exploring the demographics
    and numbers of war affected and recent immigrant
    (lt 5 yrs in Canada) families whose children are
    registered in Seven Oaks School Division schools
    with the aim of informing any educational reform
    needed to support newcomer students and their

Seven Oaks Intensive Newcomer ResearchRESEARCH
  • What is known about Canadian immigration patterns
    currently affecting the make-up of our schools
    and community?
  • Are there common experiences identified by
    students families regarding backgrounds,
    immigration experiences, re-settlement in
    Manitoba, school registration, classroom
    placements educational goals?
  • How many students families, who are recent
    immigrants and/or from war affected nations, have
    made their homes in the Seven Oaks SD? What are
    the ages grades of the students registered in
    Seven Oaks? What are the educational goals
    families have for their children themselves?
  • What Seven Oaks supports have been important
    useful to students their families?
  • Are there additional supports and/or professional
    development that would assist educators in
    supporting students families?

hic Changes in Canada and their Impact of Public
Education(study done by The Learning Partnership
(OISE), November 2006)
  • Our system of public education is apart from
    the family the major institutional setting in
    which young people acquire values
    understandings about citizenship the dynamics
    of living in society (p. 1)
  • Canada is a meritocracy. We are institutionally
    committed to advancing people on the basis of
    their capabilities their achievements, not on
    the basis of characteristics ascribed at birth,
    such as gender, race socioeconomic background .
    . . . This is especially important in Canada, a
    country that welcomes around 250,000 immigrant
    newcomers each year. (p. 2)
  • Education is the institution through which much
    of socioeconomic mobility takes place . . . An
    effective public education system is all about
    fostering choice for the society and for the
    individuals who comprise that society. (p. 2)

Demographic Changes in Canada and their Impact
of Public Education
  • Public education plays a key role in shaping
    economic social opportunities for newcomers.
    Societies that do not establish a basic level of
    social cohesion (not to be confused with making
    everyone the same) pay a high price in terms of
    family breakdown, substance abuse, crime, and
    other areas of social dysfunction. (p. 5)
  • The importance of staying in school cannot be
    over-estimated. An urban Canadian resident with
    only a high school diploma earns, on average, 70
    more than a high school drop out. (p. 3)

Demographic changes impact on
public education (cont)
  • Immigration Canadas Changing Face
  • Canada is facing an increasingly aging population
    and a birth rate that will remain low and may
    decline further . . . However, we are a nation
    that is highly receptive to immigrants. Canada
    is a country of immigration.
  • In the year 2000, 227,465 immigrants came to
    Canada. By 2005, this had risen to 262,236
    (59.6 economic immigrants, 24.2 family
    reunification, 13.6 refugees, 2.5 other) (CIC,
    2004, 2006).
  • 2001 Census revealed that there were 5.4 million
    immigrants living in Canada (18.4 of the total
    Canadian population). This places Canada among
    the OECD countries with the highest proportion of
    immigrants (Australia 23, Switzerland 22.4,
    Germany 12.5, USA 12.3). (OECD website, pp.
  • By 2017, more than 7.6 million immigrants are
    expected to be living in Canada . . . These
    immigrants will represent 22.2 of the total

Demographic changes impact
on public education (cont)
  • Ontario welcomed greater than half the immigrants
    who entered Canada between 1990 2004. Manitoba
    received, each year, the equivalent of .5 of its
    population. It is interesting to note that more
    immigrants are choosing rural regions, especially
    in the Western provinces. Based on Stats Canada
    data the Demographic changes study concluded
    that new immigrants tend to choose large urban
    centres . . Winnipeg Edmonton will likely
    experience a small or no increase of their
    immigrant population in the next 15 yrs. (p. 28)
  • Notwithstanding the conclusions published in the
    Demographic changes study recent Provincial
    Nominee programs growth in immigrant settlement
    numbers are significant when considering the
    changing face of Manitoba (rural urban). CIC
    documentation in 2005 concludes that Manitobas
    recent immigrant population growth is tied to the
    Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which allows
    provincial and territorial governments to
    actively participate in the immigration process.
    This program has grown five-fold in the past five
    years (2000-2005). The PNP has proven to be a
    model with great potential for supporting the
    regionalization of immigrants to centres outside
    Canadas three largest cities. The most active
    PNP, that of Manitoba, accounted for over 4,000
    landings in 2004, representing more than half of
    the 7,427 landings in that province that year.
    (CIC, Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration,
    2005, Section 3)
  • Total newcomers to Manitoba in 2006 was almost
    11,000 (23) greater than 2005. (Citizenship
    Immigration Canada). Manitoba, for the first
    time ever, has the highest rate of immigration in
    Canada. (Winnipeg Free Press, Sept. 28, 2007,
    p. A3) Manitobas goal through the PNP is to
    double this number in the next 10 years. (see
    following slides 2006 CIC graphs Youth
    Immigration Urban/Rural Manitoba Immigration by
    Age Group)
  • Like the immigrant population, the population of
    visible minorities is increasing rapidly in
    Canada. By 2017, one person out of five would
    have a visible minority identity in Canada. When
    combining immigrants visible minorities
    (immigrant Canadian born) we obtain a portrait
    of a population with a largely foreign origin.
    (pp. 30 32). By 2017, Manitoba should expect
    20,000 newcomers per year. (CIC)

Youth Immigration by Urban / Rural Destination
Source Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Manitoba Immigration by Age Group
Source Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Demographic changes impact on public education
  • Asia remains the main source area (120,000 each
    year, about 50 of the total). The only source
    area that is increasing is Africa the Middle
    East. When looking at settlement patterns from
    West to East (Canada), the proportion of Asians
    diminishes while the proportion of Africans
    immigrants from the Middle East increases. (p.
  • Nearly 80 of all immigrants to Canada are
    members of visible minority groups. Most of
    these immigrants are adults almost half are
    between 25 44 yrs old. The population of
    children (0 14 yrs) represents 20 of the
    total. In 2001, the median age of new immigrants
    was 24 yrs, as compared to 34 yrs for the
    Canadian born population (CIC, p. 14) (see also
    next slide Youth Immigration by Source Country)
  • Visible minority immigrants were more
    disadvantaged than immigrants who were not
    visible minorities over 35 yrs visible minority
    immigrants have higher unemployment rates, lower
    incomes and higher poverty levels. (p. 45)

Youth Immigration by Source Country
Source Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Demographic changes impact on public education
  • Since 1995 more than 50 of all new immigrants
    are considered economic immigrants (CIC, pp.
    16-19) One of the changing Canadian immigrant
    recruitment strategies to attract more economic
    immigrants has been to increase the general level
    of education required of new immigrants . . .
    There is a striking difference in education
    attainment between economic immigrants on one
    side and family class refugees on the other.
    70 of principal economic applicants are
    university educated with 40 of their spouses
    dependents. Less than 20 of family class and
    even lower for refugees are university educated
    (CIC, 2004, 2005) (p. 21)
  • Quebec Manitoba have occupied an intermediate
    position . . . Both have received a more balanced
    proportion of the 3 categories of immigrants
    (refugees, economic, family reunification) (CIC,
    2004, 2005) (p. 20)
  • The immigration population without a school
    diploma or with only a trade diploma has
    decreased or stabilized (1994-2004) in both
    groups of immigrants, while the number of
    immigrants with a university diploma has been
    increasing (CIC, 2004 2005)(pp. 22-23)
  • The impact of this evolution of parental
    education levels on the school age population is
    noteworthy. A population with a higher level of
    education should have a positive effect on their
    children (p. 23)

Demographic changes impact on public education
  • However, increasing levels of education among
    immigrants has not translated into better
    knowledge of French or English knowledge of
    official languages has declined among economic
    immigrants. This decline will have a variety of
    implications for Canadas education system
    economy including such factors as literacy
    skills, labour market integration and skills
    shortages, etc. (CIC, 2004 2005) (pp. 25-26)
  • The proportion of immigrants visible minorities
    with one or the two official languages as mother
    tongue has decreased between 1986 1991.
    Levels of linguistic assimilation in Canada are
    noticeable. . . . In the case of Canadians who
    are not visible minorities, linguistic
    assimilation to one of the two official languages
    affects half for whom neither English nor French
    is their mother tongue (European immigrants).
    Linguistic assimilation is lower for immigrants
    in general, just over 20, especially for
    immigrants with a visible minority identity. (p.

Demographic changes impact on public education
  • The immigration rate to Canada is high and will
    remain so at least for the next 15 years
    featuring an increase in the visible minority
    population. This group is still very young its
    population growth will ultimately exceed the pace
    of current demographic changes. (p. 47)

Demographic changes impact on public education
  • School Performance of Visible Minorities
    Immigrant Children
  • . . . Children of immigrants general do on
    average at least as well as the children of the
    Canadian-born along each dimension of school
    performance (Canadian Composite Learning Index) .
    . . The children of immigrant parents whose first
    language is either English or French have
    especially high outcomes. The children of other
    immigrant parents have lower performance in
    reading than do other children however, their
    performance in other areas is comparable to that
    of the children of Canadian-born parents . . .
    With more years in the Canadian education system,
    the performance of these children converges to
    that of the children of Canadian-born parents . .
    . by the age 13. (Worswick, 2001, p. 13) (p. 81)
    (See following slides Manitoba Refugees by
    Country of Last Permanent Residence and Youth (0
    to 30) Immigration by Top First Languages)
  • Gluszynski Dhawan-Biswal (2006) found that even
    though recent immigrant children perform less
    well than Canadian-born children, they are able
    to catch up in reading skill after 5 years in the
    country . . . Immigrant children are less likely
    to drop out of high school than are Canadian-born
    children. (p. 82)

Manitoba Refugees by Country of Last Permanent
Source Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Youth (0 to 30) Immigration by Top First Languages
Source Citizenship and Immigration Canada
School Performance of Visible Minorities
Immigrant Children (cont)
  • The belief that all immigrants do very well in
    school can be misleading. Lee Gunderson of UBC
    (2004) found amazing differences in achievement
    between Mandarin speakers other groups such as
    Spanish Vietnamese speakers. These
    differences in socioeconomic status highlighting
    the high risk nature of some groups of immigrant
  • Gunderson found that 40 of all immigrant
    students drop out of high school before
  • In reviewing Stats Canada data on 26,000 15 yr
    olds from across Canada . . . it was found that
    immigrant and visible minority youth face
    incredible barriers in getting an education.
    They may struggle with language or
    discrimination, their culture may not be
    represented in textbooks or stories or their
    families might be poor . . . (Krahn Taylor,
    University of Alberta, quoted in Edmonton
    Journal, April 5, 2006 New Canadians Aim Higher
    than Native Born Counterparts)
  • A pattern is emerging Aboriginals, Latin
    American immigrants and Black people born in
    Canada have lower educational attainment levels
    than other groups (less than 20), while Chinese
    (80) and Asians in general appear to have higher
    attainment levels. (p. 94)

Demographic changes impact on public education
  • School Performance of Visible Minorities
    Immigrant Children (cont)
  • Future research also is needed on the transition
    from the school system to the labour market to
    see whether children of immigrants visible
    minorities continue to succeed at a level
    comparable to the children of the Canadian-born.
    . . . Or whether goals and opportunities are
    impeded as youth become more exposed to systemic
    racism or other factors. (p. 83)
  • 2001 unemployment rates clearly affected
    ethno-cultural groups in very different ways.
    2001 unemployment data closely correlated with
    education data (low school performance low
    level of education higher unemployment rates)
    (p. 96)
  • Group Unemployment Rate
  • Aboriginals gt 20
  • Cdn born non visible minority 6.3
  • Africans gt 20
  • West Asians gt 20
  • UK and USA lt 6
  • Long term Europeans lt 6
  • Cdn born Chinese other Asians lt 6

What Communities Need to Understand About the
Immigrant Experience
  • A more effective approach to immigrant settlement
    would greatly benefit newcomer families and their
    children in the school system.
  • The immigrant settlement experience is a
    multi-stage process involving several different
    competing jurisdictions
  • Many newcomers experience a sense of isolation
    powerlessness. Neighbourhood programs designed to
    invite and include newcomers (sports, monitoring
    initiatives, befriending programs) are needed in
    most all Canadian communities.
  • Newcomers need information to make a successful
    transition to Canadian society.
  • Successful labour market entry the opportunity
    to use the skills experience they bring with
    them is fundamental if newcomers are to enter
    the social economic mainstream of Canada.
    Policy / practice necessities ESL programs that
    focus on language skills that are labour market
    related better faster ways to assess prior
    learning experience credentials bridging
    programs preparatory programs for educators
    delivering high relevance ESL. (pp. 110-112)
  • Source Demographic Changes in Canada and
    Their Impact on Public Education, November 2006,
    The Learning Partnership (OISE)

Questions to Consider as We Learn about the
Seven Oaks S.D Newcomer Data
  • How can schools best support newcomers dealing
    with cultural dislocation? How much emphasis
    should be placed on rapid assimilation to
    mainstream educational materials language?
    versus How much emphasis should be placed on
    maintenance of the students home language and
  • How can we best blend at the classroom level
    the maintenance of a students cultural roots and
    strengths while achieving the objectives of a
    socially cohesive society? How can we develop
    valuing diversity programs experiences in all
    classrooms? How can we build bridges between a
    students family life and classroom experience?
    How can we maximize the opportunities for
    students from different backgrounds to learn from
    one another? How can we most effectively use
    mentors community role models in the classroom
  • How can we best approach educating teachers to
    become perceptive about students different
    cultural backgrounds effectively link this
    understanding to their own teaching methods
    supporting teachers with curriculum materials
    that value diversity developing teachers whose
    vision includes an understanding of students
    family community dynamics forging connections
    between these other social realities and what
    transpires in the classroom? (p. 114)
  • Source Demographic Changes in Canada and
    Their Impact on Public Education, November 2006,
    The Learning Partnership (OISE)

Seven Oaks School DivisionQUANTITATIVE DATA
(collected Jan. March, 2007)
  • Data from 22 Schools in Seven Oaks SD
  • Recent immigrants (lt 5yrs)
  • 751 students
  • Recent Immigrant Families 575 families
  • War Affected Families
  • 81 families
  • War Affected Students
  • 101 students
  • War Affected Countries
  • Columbia, Sierra Leone, Congo,
  • Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan,
  • Uganda, Iraq, Afghanistan,
  • Serbia, Ethiopia Israel,
  • Russia/Israel, Libya, South Africa
  • Quantitative
  • Source Seven Oaks SD Schools
  • of students families from war affected
    countries of students families who are
    recent immigrants (in Canada lt 5 yrs)
  • Identification of students from war affected
    students including homeland yrs in Canada
    birth date, age, grade, first language EAL yrs
    of interrupted schooling

April/2007, Seven Oaks Data by School
A E WRIGHT 4 (Sudan, Israel) 131 (Philippines, India, Russia, Israel, England, USA, Sudan, 53 Unknown)
BELMONT 1 (South Africa) 5 (Philippines, Macedonia, S Africa)
COLLICUT 3 (Russia/Israel) 20 (Russia/Israel, Uruguay, Philippines, Russia/Bosnia, Russia, Vietnam, China)
FINNEY 0 28 (India, Philippines)
ELWICK 5 (Iraq, Uganda, Ethiopia) 74 (Philippines, Kenya, India, Iraq, Uganda, Ethiopia)
FOREST PARK 0 6 (Italy, Philippines, Poland, Iran, Philippines/Japan)
April/2007, Seven Oaks Data by School
GCCI 14 (DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Israel) 53 (Philippines, Ukraine, Israel, India, Bosnia DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, Poland, Macedonia, Germany, Portugal, Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Russia, Israel/Ukraine, Vietnam)
GOV SEMPLE 0 2 (Russia, Philippines)
H C AVERY 4 (Israel) 27 (Armenia, India, Ukraine, Israel, Philippines, Russia, Italy, Russia/Israel)
JAMES NISBET 2 (Sudan, Afghanistan) 72 (Philippines, India, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Germany, USA, Korea, Laos)
April/2007, Seven Oaks Data by School
Leila North 2 (Afghanistan) 36 (Philippines, India, Afghanistan, Laos)
MAPLES 29 (Afghanistan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Sudan, Israel, Sierra Leone, Rwanda/Congo 138 (China, Hong Kong, Croatia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Burundi, Rwanda/DR Congo, Sudan, German, India, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Sierra Leone)
MARGARET PARK 14 (Russia/Israel, Israel) 31 (Poland, Israel, Russia/Israel, India, Russia, Israel/Russia, Israel/Ukraine, Philippines, Vietnam)
O V JEWITT 8 (Sierra Leone, Sudan, Israel 43 (Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sudan, India, Ukraine, Israel)
MORRISON 0 24 (Ukraine, Philippines, 1 Unknown)
RIVERBEND 2 (Columbia, Libya) 7 (Philippines, Columbia, Germany, Libya, India, Poland-USA)
April/2007, Seven Oaks Data by School
ESOMS 0 12 (Macedonia, Romania, Ukraine, Philippines, Poland)
VICTORY 7 (Israel) 17 (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Albania, Moldova, Romania)
WKCI 0 9 (Macedonia, Russia, Philippines)
W ST PAUL 0 1 (Poland)
7OAKS ADULT LEARNING CENTRE 3 (Serbia, Afghanistan) 16 (Philippines, Serbia, Afghanistan, India)
Seven Oaks SD Data (continued)
  • Quantitative data (cont)
  • ESL/EAL numbers reported by 7Oaks SD 2001 - 2006
  • War affected students with current Educational
    Clinical Student Services Files involvement
  • Seven Oaks Newcomer Survey data collected
    February June, 2007 (Student Survey, Teacher
    Survey, Family Survey)
  • 7Oaks ESL/EAL students
  • 2001 227 students
  • 2002 233 students
  • 2003 255 students
  • 2004 313 students
  • 2005 336 students
  • 2006 428 students
  • 2007 637 students
  • Sept. 30 enrolment reports
  • 2007 enrolment report under revision
  • Clinical Files (March 2007)
  • 4 open psychology files
  • 4 open speech language files

Seven Oaks Intensive Newcomer ResearchQUALITATIVE
  • Interviews and/or focus group discussions were
    used as a follow-up to written surveys completed
    by students and educators. The research focus
    was on the collection of stories describing the
    immigrant student and family experience
    re-locating to Winnipeg Seven Oaks Schools.
    Data collected from educators focused on
    educators experiences learning about and
    supporting newcomer students. Qualitative data
    collection has included
  • In person interviews with newcomer students
    enrolled in the EAL program at Maples Collegiate
    (Jan/Feb, 2007)
  • In person interviews with a war affected family
    focus groups individual war affected families
    (January, June July, 2007)
  • Surveying interviewing educators to identify
    current or emerging experiences, trends and
    challenges regarding the support of newcomer
    students their families.
  • Seven Oaks Intensive Newcomer Advisory Group
    research advisory group round table discussions

  • Newcomer information such as country of origin,
    of years in Canada, yrs of interrupted schooling
    are not routinely collected by schools when a
    family registers a child. Hence, it is difficult
    to ascertain accurate divisional numbers of war
    affected and recent immigrants and related
    demographic information. Also, no previous
    comparable data is available.
  • Teachers are reluctant to ask students questions
    about their families immigrant experiences.
  • The nature unpredictability of parents /
    guardians work schedules makes it difficult to
    conduct newcomer family interviews. Meetings
    arranged with the assistance community immigrant
    outreach worker, and, by chance (one interview
    was conducted with a parent seated next to me
    during a domestic air flight) proved most
    effective in gathering meaningful info.
  • Newcomer parents/guardians are reluctant to allow
    their children to participate in research surveys
    or interviews. This was especially seen with war
    affected families whose experiences have left
    them leery of anyone who appears to work for the

  • All students interviewed indicated that their
    families came to Canada due to military conflicts
    and/or economic strife.
  • Most war affected students interviewed arrived in
    Canada without their parents or other adult
    members of their families.
  • Some war affected students spoke in matter of
    fact, emotionless terms about horrific
    experiences (e.g. witnessing friends eaten alive
    by wild animals while walking from one refugee
    camp to another).
  • All students felt under pressure to learn English
    quickly, progress beyond the EAL class and
    graduate to university as soon as possible. Each
    felt that their families were depending on them.
  • All students with university educated parents
    shared that their parents had not been able to
    get their homeland countries university
    educations recognized in Canada (e.g. the only
    jobs theyve been able to ascertain are at min.
    wage like midnight shifts at 7Eleven). Hence,
    the male EAL students have been required to work
    18 25 hrs / week to help make ends meet to
    send money back to family in the homeland.

  • All students expressed that they are very lonely.
    There is little time for anything but school
    part time work. Most have made very few social
    connections in school or in Winnipeg.
  • Most indicated difficulty learning about
    understanding Canadian culture and school
  • Each EAL student interviewed fit Canadian
    researcher profiles of Newcomer students eager to
    progress beyond the EAL class into regular High
    School classes despite their English language
    skills (spoken, written) being weak. Inadequate
    EAL progress leave them at risk of following the
    Canadian trend of the 40 drop out rate before
    graduating high school. (Lee Gunderson, 2006,
    English Only Instruction Immigrant Studies in
    Secondary Schools).
  • Canadian American Research have revealed that
    EAL students marks suffer greatly if they do not
    take advantage of 4 5 years of EAL instruction.
    Gundersons Canadian study revealed that even
    highly motivated EAL students grades drop below
    C once removing themselves from ESL (EAL) classes
    making transitions to graduation post secondary
    very difficult.

Newcomer Teacher Survey Data
  • 67 surveys distributed 37 surveys completed
  • Surveys were completed March, April May, 2007
  • Respondents included 26 classroom teachers, 6
    resource teachers 5 school or divisional
    administrators 1 immigrant outreach worker
  • Instructional grade levels 17 Early Years 10
    Middle Years 13 Senior Years 1 Adult Ed
  • 25 respondents had taught children from war
    affected countries
  • 34 respondents had taught children of families
    who have lived in Canada for fewer than 5 years.

Newcomer Teacher Survey Data (cont)
  • 26 of 37educator respondents had taught war
    affected students. Surveyed educators said
  • war affected student s arrived in our classrooms
    without adequate schooling for their ages and
    lacked adequate English language proficiency for
    school success (42)
  • war affected students arrived in Canada with
    interrupted or no schooling (54)
  • war affected students speak one or more languages
    other than English. (65)
  • language barriers hinder a students progress in
    school (62)
  • war affected students require the support of a
    resource teacher (73)
  • war affected students require the support of a
    guidance counselor or clinician (65)
  • war affected families depend on a child to
    interpret all communications from school (65)
  • war affected families live in poverty (62)
  • war affected families live in Winnipeg because
    they have family or friends here (46)
  • war affected families expect their children to
    get college / university educations (31)

Newcomer Teacher Survey Data . . .
  • 34 of 37educator respondents had taught recent
    immigrant students(lt 5 yrs in Canada). Surveyed
    educators said
  • newcomer students arrive in our classrooms
    without adequate schooling for their age (74)
  • newcomer students have conversational proficiency
    in English but inadequate English for school
    success (65)
  • newcomer students require the support of a
    resource teacher, early learning support teacher
    and guidance counselor or clinician (85)
  • newcomer students speak one or more languages
    other than English (91)
  • language barriers hinder a students progress in
    school (71)
  • parents depend on a child to interpret all info
    sent home by the school (71)
  • newcomer families expect their children to get
    university educations (65)
  • newcomer families often live in poverty (53)

School Reception Student Placement(from
teacher surveys parent interviews)
  • School Registration Reception
  • 32 of educators surveyed indicated that their
    school had developed and practiced a reception
    procedure geared to meeting the needs of newcomer
    students and their families. Most also indicated
    that the reception practices were difficult to
  • All families interviewed indicated that they were
    warmly received by Seven Oaks school personnel
    however, there was much they did not understand
    about Seven Oaks Schools (policies, routines,
    homework, school contact info, class placement,
    etc.) Parental focus group participants would
    like to see a newcomer info DVD or package on
    Seven Oaks Schools and opportunities for their
    children and families
  • Student Placement
  • 87 of educators surveyed said that newcomer
    students are routinely mainstreamed into regular
  • 76 of educators indicated that a resource
    teacher did the testing to determine a language
    literacy needs and 54 indicated that learning
    adaptations are determined by a resource teacher
  • 58 said that classroom teachers do testing to
    determine newcomer students needs and 76
    indicated that classroom teachers make the
    learning adaptations to a students program
  • All parents (of senior yrs students) did not
    understand why their children were repeating so
    many things taken previously in their homeland
    schools) Early years parents had many unanswered
    questions about multi age classrooms

Professional Development(from Newcomer Teacher
  • 22 educators surveyed had not recd info or PD to
    assist in understanding the situations likely
    experienced by war affected students families
    11 did research on their own to improve
    understanding 6 had attended PD workshops with a
    newcomer student theme.
  • Most all respondents indicated a need for
    professional development opportunities. Topics
    requested EAL (20) supporting children and
    youth from refugee backgrounds with EAL needs
    interrupted schooling (17) Canada as a
    multilingual multicultural nation (17) Cross
    cultural communication education (15)
    Aboriginal Language, education equity (18)
    Community and parental partnerships in education
    (11) Information sessions relating to the
    experiences of war affected families other
    recent immigrants (possibly with the immigrant
    outreach workers) (15).

What educators are saying asking in focus
groups. . .
  • Recent immigrants, who are skilled labourers,
    seem to arrive with less formal English language
    education. Their children require much more EAL
    support than what 7Oaks educators have
    experienced in the past.
  • A language rich environment is best regardless of
    the learner.
  • A students success is dependent on that
    students willingness ability to make
  • Middle Sr Yrs students with poor English
    language comprehension skills quickly exhibit
    behaviours that eventually lead to early school
  • Without adequate support at all levels, the
    newcomer experience quickly morphs from immersion
    to submersion (e.g. there is a 20,000 30,000
    word deficit for a middle yrs EAL learner)
  • We know very little about what happens to our
    newcomer students after leaving our high schools.
    Have supports been sufficient?

GROUPS . . .
  • There is a need for all schools to engage in many
    bridging activities with students their
    families (de-mystifying our schools, education,
    culture, values, routines, Cdn family laws
    values, etc). Focusing on greater understandings
    bridging will foster the growth of each
    schools capacity to support newcomer students
  • When registering a newcomer student how do we
    plan for that students success? How do we
    bridge the gap between academic rigour and a
    students feelings of self worth?
  • Teacher professional development is key in
    understanding the needs for bridging with
    students families (e.g. learning about culture
    language differences knowing about the
    different phases that characterize the immigrant
    experience, etc.)
  • Given the number of newcomer families, each
    school should develop a bank of cultural knows
    resources to foster a school staffs
    understanding support.
  • Although First Nations Peoples migrating to our
    communities are not considered, by most
    definitions, to be newcomers similar to recent
    immigrants, they appear to have many of the same
    needs and fewer supports within communities than
    most recent immigrant newcomers.

. . .
  • Why can I not have my child in a before after
    school program at my neighbourhood school?
  • Why are my children repeating all of the same
    things in school this year as they learned in our
    homeland school last year?
  • We were warmly welcomed by the staff at our
    childs school. However, all information was in
    English with no one to translate and no material
    in languages other than English. The schools
    need materials to explain about schools in
    Winnipeg. Winnipeg schools are very different
    from our homeland.
  • Our middle and senior years children sometimes
    get some help with English. Many times the
    teacher is not available to help them with
  • My son never read a book before. Now he is
    reading books all of the time (even when he goes
    to the toilet)!
  • My child is very shy and I wanted to stay with
    him at the school for his first few days. The
    school would not allow me to stay with him.
  • My child came home with many bruises from a
    fight at school. No one from the school informed
    me. When I asked the teacher, the teacher did
    not think it was serious.
  • We feel very involved, respected and cared for
    in our sons school (early years). We have been
    invited to be involved.
  • Great activities with students, teachers and
    parents together including student lead
    conferences. We could use more of these
    activities with everyone working and having fun
  • Our schools infrastructure is impressive (book,
    computers, equipment).

What Next?Currently the Global, Canadian and
Manitoban situation, when it comes to the living
conditions of the poor, displaced,
disenfranchised, is to shame all levels of
government, NGOS and other groups into
recognizing a broader picture of concerns and
issues hopefully resulting in pro-active policies
and actions. (Keynote Human Rights Social
Justice Conference University of Wpg, Feb.
2007)Let the Seven Oaks Educational Community
continue to be the leaders we publicly are viewed
as being by acting on the following
recommendations . . .

  • Given increasing newcomer and EAL student and
    family numbers in the Seven Oaks School Division
  • Develop a divisional reception registration
    process for newcomer families their children
    including multi-lingual school/division info
    (general school info, school calendar/routines,
    etc.). Include or follow up with the community
    immigrant outreach worker. Consider the
    development of a multilingual DVD website link
    in which music pictures may be most effective
    in sharing who we are in 7Oaks. Translate
    divisional school websites, newsletters and key
    informational letters into the most common
    languages found in the division and schools
  • Annually review newcomer registration numbers,
    ages grades of children, homeland countries and
    languages. Follow up by providing support and
    resources to match newcomer registrant numbers
    where needed.
  • Study middle senior years EAL student numbers
    years of EAL support/instruction graduation
    rates social development and post secondary
    directions. Are we providing adequate
    instruction support to ensure all students
    develop the level of English proficiency reqd
    for school and workplace success?

  • Consider the development of an EAL transition
    program for middle senior years newcomer
    students. Its purpose would be to support
    students in language cultural transitions
    without having to feel overly self conscious in
    front of their Canadian born peers. examples
    LEAP program (Toronto) sheltered classroom
    (Louis Riel SD)
  • Host a student leadership workshop for newcomer
    students where they would share experiences,
    challenges, aspirations, needs, etc. and learn
    avenues to achieve their goals.
  • Develop more EAL Adult Education courses and
    opportunities within Seven Oaks School Division.
    Many newcomers do not have vehicles or childcare.
    Explore the possibility of workshops and/or
    courses available (at cost) at locations on both
    sides of McPhillips (evenings and weekends)

  • Professional Development for teachers and all
    Seven Oaks staff
  • Consider the development of a divisional
    committee that would review divisional newcomer
    numbers and coordinate workshops / courses
  • - generative thinking (the ability to add to
    understandings in complex dynamic settings all
    the while applying knowledge to learn new topics
    and solve new unfamiliar problems (generative
    thinking, Dr. Arnetha Ball, Stanford
    University, November, 2006) (knowledge becomes
    generative when the learner sees the need to
    integrate new knowledge with existing knowledge
    while continually reconsidering existing
    knowledge in light of new knowledge). Given the
    ever changing face of our communities it is
    essential that we think generatively in order to
    understand people, cultures and ways of meeting
    educational needs.
  • - greater knowledge understanding of newcomer
    students families (their experiences, stages
    of the immigrant experience, refugee experiences,
    cultural language similarities differences)
  • - supportive EAL strategies (consider the
    parallels between French Immersion the English
    immersion experienced by newcomer students)
  • - effective communications with non-English
    speaking families (school home partnerships)
  • - development of multi-lingual resource banks
    (print non print materials featuring
    languages and cultures)

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    2005, Section 3. http//
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