2.C Settlement and Integration
C.6 How is education treated?
(viii) What support systems and resources are in place for teachers in classes with refugee students?
How Canada Does It
Canada’s Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) program places workers from settlement organizations in schools to provide support to newcomer students, including refugees. SWIS workers also support school staff in integrating refugee students into the school environment.
Teachers may also access electronic resources such as publications, educational materials, guidebooks and examples from the field to help them address the needs of refugee children in their classrooms. For example, the ESL Literacy Network is an online community that provides resources and information for English as a Second Language (ESL) literacy practitioners. It also offers workshops on strategies for teaching refugees and addressing trauma in the classroom. Depending on their learning needs, some refugee students may also have an education assistant in the classroom.
Education policy is managed at the provincial level, so curriculum, policy and resources vary by province. Some school boards and individual schools have developed tools and resources to assist teachers in classes with refugee students.
SWIS places workers from settlement organizations in schools to provide support and outreach to newcomer families whose children are enrolled in school. SWIS provides needs assessments, action planning, information, orientation, and supported referrals to specialized community services and resources to support the settlement process. SWIS assists students in learning about the school setting and empowers them to succeed. It helps families understand the basics of the school system, and provides information and referral on other aspects of life in Canada. SWIS also assists school staff to see the school and its requirements through refugees’ eyes, offers training, and helps them develop an awareness and sensitivity to the issues refugees encounter.