North Albany Academy
570 North Pearl St.
Albany, NY 12204
Rachel Stead, Principal
Lily Htoo, Home School Coordinator
About the Newcomer Program
The City School District of Albany's
Newcomer Program serves about 175 refugee and immigrant students in
grades 6-12 who are in the early stages of learning English and would
benefit from targeted instruction and support in all subjects.
The program is based at North Albany
Academy. Students spend an average of two years in the program before
returning to their middle school or Albany High School.
Why a Newcomer Program?
- About 1 of every 8 students in the City School District
of Albany is a refugee or immigrant -- a "newcomer."
- Many newcomers have had their formal education
interrupted because of strife in their home countries. Some
have had no education.
- Most newcomers don't speak English -- the biggest
obstacle to success in school and assimilation.
- Some newcomers have experienced violence and others have
had long stays in refugee camps. This may affect their
ability to learn.
- Strict state regulations call for improving efforts to
The Newcomer Program is considered
transitional -- meaning that it gives students the tools and literacy
skills they need to return to middle or high school and succeed. The
program also provides emotional support services to students learning to
assimilate to a new culture.
Making a difference
Newcomer Program students receive
specialized instruction in English as they gain academic skills in the
core subjects of math, science, social studies and English language
The also take required classes such
as physical education and special area electives such as art. High
school students earn credit toward graduation for the courses they take,
all of which are aligned with state learning standards.
Teaching and learning are designed
to accommodate and respect the cultural backgrounds and values of
All teachers in the Newcomer Program
are certified either in English as a new language or general education.
The program includes a bilingual social worker trained in dealing with
trauma. All on staff to aid students and families is a home school
coordinator who speaks four languages.
Once students strengthen their
language skills, they'll return to their assigned middle school or
Albany High School.
The average stay in the program is
one to two years.
Serving the needs of our
The City School District of Albany
Honor the racial and ethnic
backgrounds of every student, every family and every staff member;
Celebrate all 57 languages that
our students speak and every religion they choose to worship;
Provide safe, supportive
Value and defend our rich