Teachers and school administrators now have a new tool to help them integrate Syrian and other refugees into B.C. classrooms.
The Ministry of Education has released Students from Refugee Backgrounds – A Guide for Teachers and Schools. Originally created in 2009, the revised guide focuses on practical ways that schools, parents and students can help make newcomers feel welcome and safe.
The school environment is an important conduit for students and their families as they adjust to their new lives in B.C. The ministry wants to ensure communities welcoming the newcomers have the information they need to help refugees thrive in their new surroundings.
Highlights in the guide include the differences between immigrant and refugee transition experiences and insights into the potential psychological effects for individuals who have experienced violence. The guide also gives school communities access to a range of community, provincial and federal supports for newcomers as they settle in local communities.
Additional information about Syrian refugees, the education system in Syria, the conflict they’ve fled from and other aspects of Syrian culture will accompany distribution of the revised guide to public and independent schools.
The updated guide is available online: http://goo.gl/OPhOUz
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –
“We want to make sure refugees feel welcome as they arrive in B.C. schools because that is essential to their long term success. We also want teachers, parents and school staff to understand some of the obstacles individuals and families have had to face, as well as the strengths they bring to British Columbia.”
Chris Friesen, director of settlement services, Immigrant Services Society of B.C. –
“I welcome the release of this updated guide in response to the Syrian refugee resettlement initiative. Refugee learners bring resilience and many assets into the classroom as well as face unique settlement challenges. Better understanding refugee learners and approaches to make classrooms and schools more inclusive are critically important.”