Bay Area Schools Prepare to Help Afghan Refugees – NBC Bay Area

As a new wave of Afghan refugees begins to settle in the Bay Area, local school districts are quickly making plans to integrate refugee children into classrooms.

The Fremont Unified School District, home to one of the country’s largest Afghan populations, is preparing for the challenge.

“When we saw the unrest in Afghanistan, our staff immediately began to gather resources and set up a support network for families who might come to see us,” said Superintendent Christopher ‘CJ’ Cammack.

He added that refugees can expect resources such as translators readily available from the diverse staff in the district.

The superintendent said language acquisition will be the top priority for new students and the structure will be different depending on the child’s level of development.

“They would be in the same class as the other students,” Cammack said. “They can receive additional support in the development of the English language, but they will have the same curriculum, the same classroom. And we will find documents translated into their mother tongue.

As for how current students will adapt to new Afghan students, that’s a lesson taught both at school and at home.

“Don’t judge people by their color as long as they’re a good person, they get along, it’s good for him, it’s good for them,” mother Tanya Ohri said.

“The message to send to our community is ‘welcome them with open arms with grace and empathy’,” said Cammack.

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