East Ramapo’s Newcomer Academy
Due to an influx of new students coming into East Ramapo Central School District, the Newcomer Academy was established in vacant classrooms along a separate wing in Pomona Middle School. Newcomers are students who have recently arrived in the United States, who are age appropriate for high school, and for whom English is not their home language.
Newcomer programs offer new students the temporary scaffolding support needed to transition into their high school program. More than fifty East Ramapo students are currently enrolled in the full-day Newcomer Academy, and there is an emphasis on teaching the students the English language while also providing ninth grade academic, cultural and athletic instruction. Class sizes are small, and all of the students are all taking English, Science, and Math, as well as Physical Education and Global Studies. They will eventually be transitioned into Ramapo High School or Spring Valley High School, depending on when the district receives their school transcripts.
“I think it is exceptional that this program has a full day academic schedule for the students,” said Dr. Carmen Diaz from the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages, who visited the Newcomers Academy to provide support. “It is also making sure to take into consideration the social-emotional needs and the cultural needs of the students to make sure that they feel safe and welcome.”
East Ramapo is responsive to the needs of the community it serves and on constantly shifting programs and services to adapt accordingly. Administrators of the Newcomer Academy are working closely with students and their families to determine student abilities, strengths, and interests and structuring the facets of the newcomer program to meet these identified needs.
Click here to watch video about the Newcomers Academy.