Strategies to Strengthen Registration Processes, Supports for Newcomer Secondary Students

February 2021
illustration of teacher and two students

To help meet the unique and diverse needs of newcomer immigrant and refugee students, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest has developed a new resource focused on this student group.

Welcoming, Registering, and Supporting Newcomer Students: A Toolkit for Educators of Immigrant and Refugee Students in Secondary Schools provides a comprehensive collection of research and evidence-based resources.

The toolkit also offers guidance on welcoming and engaging newcomer students and their families; processing registration; supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic needs; and building educator capacity.

In addition, stakeholders can use the toolkit to design and implement policies and procedures that account for the diverse situations of newcomer immigrant and refugee students, who arrive in the United States with a wide range of experiences, aspirations, and cultural beliefs.

The toolkit underscores that when schools take time to understand each student and their family, they can be better equipped to recognize students’ competencies and award relevant credit, provide appropriate course placement, and offer tailored resources.

“Newcomer students have so many assets which schools can harness to support them,” said Jason Greenberg Motamedi, a practice expert at Education Northwest and the toolkit’s lead author. “The toolkit features tools and resources which educators can use to identify and build upon students’ strengths—including their previous learning, home language literacy, and supports at home—as they begin school in the United States.”

REL Northwest also developed an infographic to accompany the toolkit. It highlights key steps in the newcomer immigrant and refugee student registration process, as well as selected resources.