SETTLEMENT SERVICES IN SCHOOLS

One of the first steps taken by newcomer families is to enroll their children in school. Children are then faced with their own unique integration challenges: they need to make new friends, learn English and understand the curriculum content that is designed for the Alberta context. For newcomer parents, their expected role in their child’s education in Canada often differs from that of their country of origin. We work to make schools welcoming spaces for newcomer parents and children through cultural brokering, family counselling and academic supports. We work in schools to facilitate communication and establish meaningful connections between newcomer families, their communities and the school system in Alberta.

WHAT WE OFFER

Newcomers benefit from:

  • Help understanding the school system and key processes such as registration, parent meetings, and student assessments
  • Support to students who are feeling lonely, isolated, bored or bullied because they do not “fit in”
  • Interpretation for students and parents so they can share their valuable voice on issues relevant to them with teachers and school administration
  • Cultural brokering during misunderstandings or disputes between parents, students and school staff
  • Support for students in the form of homework clubs and in-class support (at select schools)
  • Information on summer activities and camps for students
  • Supports to benefit the whole family in the areas of housing, health care, employment and connecting to community

BENEFITS TO SCHOOLS


  • A greater understanding of newcomers’ settlement journeys and the challenges newcomers face when integrating
  • Improved cross-cultural communication and cultural sensitivity
  • Assistance in planning for and recruiting newcomer parents for culturally appropriate parent meetings
  • Healthier, happier more productive students
  • Prevention of student suspensions, expulsions and drop-outs

HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK

We listen to school administrators and parents to determine what the needs are on a student by student basis. We have established relationships with many schools in the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) but we are always on call from any school or parent who needs our services. As demand for services changes from year to year, so do the schools in which we work.

WHO CAN ACCESS THESE SERVICES?

Newcomers are eligible to access the Settlement in Schools program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Permanent resident
  • Convention Refugee
  • Live-in Caregiver, or
  • Protected Person as defined in Section 95 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

WHERE IS THE PROGRAM OFFERED?

We are available on an on-call basis at any school in Edmonton, however Settlement Services in Schools are offered on a regular basis in the following schools for the 2016/17 school year:

  • Balwin School
  • Belmont Elementary School
  • Dunluce School
  • East Glen High School
  • Edith Rodgers Junior High School
  • Florence Hallock School
  • J. Percy Page High School
  • John Barnett Elementary School
  • John D. Bracco Junior High School
  • Kensington School
  • Lawton School
  • Londonderry Junior High School
  • ME Lazerte High School
  • Queen Elizabeth High School
  • Rundle School

HOW TO ACCESS SERVICES

Parents, school administrators or teachers should contact Ali Mahdi through email or telephone using the adjacent contact.