Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Frank Rossi

Abstract

After Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico in September of 2017, the Rochester City School District received an influx of Newcomer students; over 600 students were placed in the District. Teachers at Enrico Fermi School No. 17 shared, by way of survey, that they did not feel comfortable nor adequately prepared to teach these students. When teachers complete a teacher certification program, they are taught many strategies to use in the classroom; however, strategies specific to Newcomers are not included in those teachings. The effects of not having trained and qualified teachers for Newcomers in the mainstream classroom is negative. Newcomers are more likely to drop out of school or be referred to special education.

The researcher created a survey on Teaching Newcomers in the Mainstream Classroom. The survey was given to teachers from Grade Kindergarten through Grade 7 from Enrico Fermi School No. 17 in the Rochester City School District to gauge how comfortable teachers felt with teaching Newcomers in their classrooms. The survey also gave insight to what resources/strategies teachers are currently using as well as strategies of interest. The researcher found that by educating and training teachers of Newcomers, these educators will feel more equipped and prepared when planning lessons and teaching Newcomers in the classroom.

It is the researcher’s recommendation that all educators, not only ENL teachers, of the Rochester City School District be required to take a professional development training on research-based strategies for Newcomers in the mainstream classroom. All educators (support staff, classroom teachers, and administrators) should be informed and equipped with the most effective research-based strategies for Newcomers as well as the available resources specific to Newcomers in order to ensure that these students have an equal opportunity to the education that native-English speakers have.

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