Newcomer Framework

  • Kent-Meridian's Plan for Newcomer Students

    Kent-Meridian (KM) High School's Newcomer Model creates a safe and respectful learning environment that welcomes students with cultural and linguistic diversity. This provides KM teachers the framework which will provide recently-arrived students with opportunities and supports to engage in grade-level curriculum. The ultimate goal is to empower newcomers to graduate college and career ready.

    We Will

    • Strengthen professional learning
    • Provide Effective language and content instruction
    • Improve instructional models and policies
    • Provide enhanced family engagement and support

    As a Result

    • Language and content achievement rates will increase
    • Attendance rates will increase
    • Graduation rates will increase
    • The percentage of Long-Term English Language Learners will decrease
    • The dropout rates will decrease

    Defining Newcomer

    The U.S. Department of Education defines newcomers as any foreign-born students and their families who have recently arrived in the U.S. Additionally, the KMHS ELL Plan defines newcomer students as English Language Learners (ELL) who have received less than two years of instruction in U.S. schools. 

    Newcomer Student Population

    • Asylum seekers
    • Immigrants
    • Migrant children
    • Refugees
    • Unaccompanied youth minors

    Framework Domains

    Welcoming Practices

    • Build relationships with students and families
    • Determine students' assets (surveys and assessments)
    • Acclimate students and families to the U.S. school system

    Instructional Supports

    • Ensure culturally-responsive teaching
    • Provide foundational literacy skills and language development support
    • Focus on leveraging students' assets and primary language

    Family Engagement

    • Orient families to U.S. expectations regarding education
    • Provide families with opportunities to learn about supporting their child's academic success
    • Receive referrals to wraparound services

    Monitoring and Transition

    • Ensure regular progress monitoring of content and language development
    • Counsel students on their progress
    • Inform and adjust instructional placement and supports

    Individualized Language Learner Plan (ILLP)

    The four newcomer framework domains will be driven by each student's ILLP. This plan addresses academic and language goals by monitoring students' progress which drives instruction. Students will transition out of the newcomer status able to thrive in a U.S. school setting. The ILLP is under development at this time. 

    Newcomer Designations & Instructional Support Recommendations

    Low Literacy Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (LL SLIFE)

    • Focus on foundational literacy, language, and numeracy skills for up to two years
    • Weekly monitoring of literacy and language progress to determine the appropriateness of placement based on students' growth

    Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education & Two Years Behind Grade-Level Peers (SLIFE)

    • Focus on foundational literacy, language, and numeracy skills for one to two years
    • Biweekly monitoring of literacy and language progress to determine the appropriateness of placement based on students' growth

    Students at Grade Level in Home Language

    • Focus on the language constructs of English and on academic English language across content areas
    • Monthly monitoring of literacy and language progress to determine the appropriateness of placement based on students' growth

    All Newcomers Will Receive

    • Varied Supports based on designation and grade-level band
    • Academic Language and Content Achievement Model (ALCA-M) supports such as visuals, graphics, and interactive language supports
    • Increased intervention minutes utilizing homogeneous grouping
    • Leverage literacy skills in native language (L1) to English (L2)
    • Culturally-responsive instruction
    • Experiential learning opportunities based on interests and needs
    • Socio-emotional support
    • Primary language supports: Bilingual teacher preferred, teacher assistant (e.g., Certified Temporary Tutor), per support, TESL-endorsed teacher, technology assistance

    Implementation Options

    Collaborative Support

    A language development specialist provides language instruction support to the content teacher and/or students.


    Teacher-supported language development instruction provided before or after school and/or on Saturdays as an extracurricular session. 

    Extended Day/Year

    Teacher-supported language development rostered class that provides instruction through an extended day/year. 

    Strategic Master Schedule

    Teacher-supported language development instruction during intervention time and/or guided reading. Elective credit-bearing semester course. 

    Professional Learning Resources

    Teachers, counselors, registrars and other school staff will be able to access resources to assist newcomers, including:

    • An intake survey to identify student assets and needs
    • A Newcomer First Days Support Guide for School Staff
    • Visual aids (i.e. vocabulary and phrase cards)
    • Lessons focused on acclimation to the U.S.
    • Ideas to develop peer mentors
    • Family and Community Engagement Services resources


    The KMHS Newcomer framework has been developed based on research. Some resources informing this work include AZ DOE (2013), BRYCS (2008), CAL (2012), CASEL (2015), Collier (1998), DeCapua (2009), LAUSD (2012), NY State OTDA/BRIA (2011), Rance-Roncey (2009), REL, Saunders & Goldberg (2010), Walqui, A. (2000), and WIDA (2015). 

Last Modified on July 8, 2021