Adolescent newcomer students are at risk in our middle and high schools, and districts across the United States have been looking for effective program models to serve them. Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in Secondary Schools and Beyond has been written for educators and policymakers to focus attention on these newcomer adolescent English language learners at the middle and high school grades and to communicate promising practices for serving their educational and social needs.
The report is based on a 3-year national research study, Exemplary Programs for Newcomer English Language Learners at the Secondary Level, conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics on behalf of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This research project consisted of a national survey of secondary school newcomer programs; compilation of program profiles into an online, searchable database; and case studies of 10 of these programs, selected for their exemplary practices.
Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in Secondary Schools and Beyond addresses the successes, challenges, and day-today implementation of newcomer programs, drawing from information provided by the programs that participated in the national survey and those that served as case study sites. This report shows how successful newcomer programs develop students’ academic English literacy skills, provide access to the content courses that lead to college and career readiness, and guide students’ acculturation to U.S. schools and their eventual participation in civic life and the global economy.
The findings in this report show that there is no one set model for a newcomer program. Diverse designs can be very effective providing that a program considers the varied characteristics of their middle and high school newcomer students and is carefully designed to meet the learners’ academic and social needs. The differences in the newcomers’ literacy skills and educational backgrounds prove to be the most important factors to consider when planning such a program. The report highlights design features and policies that are working well to promote academic rigor and put newly arrived adolescent learners on the path to high school graduation and postsecondary opportunities.