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Newcomer students are a linguistically and culturally diverse group that encompasses recent immigrant youth, refugees, asylees, unaccompanied minors, migratory children, students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE), and more. Newcomers have varying levels of English proficiency – most, but not all are identified as English learners – and add a rich diverse heritage of multilingualism and culture to the classroom, imparting unique knowledge that strengthens the learning environment for all students.

At Californians Together, we are committed to promoting opportunities that empower Newcomers to reach their full potential. Here are our efforts in advancing this cause.

In 2017, we launched the Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students (SIRS) project and, in partnership with the Loyola Marymount University Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL), developed two sets of instructional units designed to uplift the experience of newcomers students within the classroom and accompanying trainer-of-trainer workshops. 

In partnership with The Century Foundation, we launched the National Newcomer Network which creates a space for people who care about newcomers to come together to push our local, state and federal education system to fully support the real needs of newcomers everywhere. 

In 2023, we began providing technical assistance to the California Department of Social Services CalNEW project and their grantee school districts, coordinating a statewide community of practice in partnership with the California Department of Education, LMU CEEL, and the California Newcomer Network


State Policy Impact

Directs the California Department Education, in consultation with the California Department of Social Services, to develop and issue instructional guidance to support newcomer students and school districts. By reporting on the enrollment of newcomer students, the state and local agencies will have a better idea of how to meet the needs of newcomers and the resources necessary to ensure their success. Sent to Governor’s Office.