Aug 142014

Unaccompanied minors have been coming across the US border. THINKPROGRESS.COM

SAN FRANCISCO, California – San Francisco public schools will set aside resources for the short and long-term needs of unaccompanied immigrant children enrolling in the city’s school system.

The San Francisco Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution August 12 committing the San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) help to unaccompanied child immigrant enrollee.

“At SFUSD we welcome the privilege to educate all children, regardless of their immigration situation,” said Board of Education President Sandra Lee Fewer.

“We also support family reunification and believe that all children have a civil right not only to an education, but to an environment that supports their safety and health,” Fewer added. “We hope to be setting an example for other school districts across the country that we can and should do the right thing for these students and those that have yet to come.”

Schools Superintendent Richard Carranza said, “I am exceedingly proud that our schools are a part of this humanitarian relief effort. “SFUSD has effective academic programs to serve English learners and support services in place at our schools. We welcome all students regardless of their country of origin.”

SFUSD has a number of Newcomer Pathways with an established system of support for newcomer students, which includes transitional and intensive academic support and resources and referrals to critical social services.

The district has been monitoring enrollment and increasing the number of newcomer seats at the high school level. Recent enrollment figures show that 250 more students have enrolled in SFUSD’s Newcomer Pathways programs compared with this time last year.

SF International, a high school especially designed for immigrant English learners, has seen an increase in the percentage of unaccompanied immigrant children.

SFUSD is working with the Mayor’s Office, Board of Supervisors and city departments as well as school partners in the community. It is adding additional teachers at a Newcomer Pathway high school in anticipation of the increasing number of newcomers.

As the school year continues, the district plans to provide professional development for staff members who work within the Newcomer system of support. It will also continue collaborating with city departments and school partners for legal, housing and other social services the new students may need.

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