What are the protocols in place to ensure support and information sharing for new students; especially ESOL students?
The protocols in place to ensure support and information sharing for new students, especially English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students, at the International Admissions and Enrollment (IAE) unit start with an intake appointment to be cleared for enrollment at the student’s home school. At the conclusion of their IAE appointment, the family participates in an in-depth orientation in which they are given information about their home school and MCPS resources as well as referrals to partner county agencies for additional support with housing, food, clothing, healthcare, etc.
Parent community coordinators (PCCs) contact and engage with all new families in the
57 elementary schools that they provide service and also the Multidisciplinary Educational Training and Support and ESOL students in the 22 secondary schools they serve. PCCs meet with families, provide a tour of the school, share school and school system information, and connect them to county resources. Additionally, PCCs who provide system-wide support in languages such as Amharic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and Vietnamese contact families in schools not served by a PCC to offer support and respond to questions that parents may have about enrollment, school system procedures, and programs. PCCs follow-up with international families and often hold newcomer meetings in their assigned schools. Kindergarten students who are international students enrolling directly at their home school and not one of the 57 elementary schools covered by PCCs may be contacted by the systemwide PCC.
As a further upgrade, the Children Fleeing Violence workgroup comprised of MCPS staff and community partners is working on a document to be shared with all schools that will provide tips and ideas for welcoming international families to MCPS schools.