Starting this school year, R.B. Stall High School will welcome students to the Newcomer Center. The center will operate as an intensive English acquisition school within the school to help scholars acclimate to Charleston County School District.
The Newcomer Program is aimed at students new to the country (or that have been here less than 2 years) with unique academic and social/emotional needs.
“Many of the students at Stall come from rich cultural backgrounds and we sometimes forget that language is part of that,” said Executive Principal Steve Larson. “There is a temptation to accelerate students into learning our language, yet we need to be careful when doing so to ensure that it isn't at the expense of their culture.”
The mission of the center and the overall program is to create a safe, nurturing, and language-rich learning environment for multi-language learners new to the United States, supported by native language instruction.
“We want to provide these incoming students with the same level of care we provide our American born students,” said Larson. “Academic achievement and getting students ready for life after high school is at the center of our work, but ensuring a student feels valued and cared for is equally important.”
The program is designed to help students develop their English skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking by immersing them in meaningful language and cultural experiences. To do that, the center will provide a space to develop and
foster a strong sense of community by engaging students' families and caregivers in their education.
Students are placed in the program through a registration process. Once accepted, they attend for up to three semesters, earning six or more high school credits.
“We recognize it can be exciting and scary coming into a new experience, and into a new country,” said Larson. “If we give students access to rigorous learning in a sheltered environment that provides adequate language support, they can graduate with an uninterrupted educational experience.”