Bay Area Schools Prepare to Help Afghan Refugees

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As a new wave of Afghan refugees begin settling in the Bay Area, local school districts are quickly making plans for integrating refugee children into the classrooms. 

The Fremont Unified School District, home to one of the largest Afghan populations in the country, is preparing  for the challenge. 

“When we saw turmoil in Afghanistan, our staff immediately started gathering resources and started to begin putting together a network of support for families that might be coming to us,” said Superintendent Christopher 'CJ' Cammack.

He added the refugees can expect resources such as translators readily available from the district’s diverse staff. 

The superintendent said language acquisition would be the top priority for the new students and the structure will be different depending on the developmental level of the child.

“They would be in the same classroom as the other students,” said Cammack. “They may receive additional support in English language development but they’ll have the same curriculum, same classroom. And we’ll find materials translated into their home language.”

As for how current students will adapt to the new students from Afghanistan, that’s a lesson taught both at school and at home. 

“Not judge people by their color as long as they’re a good person, they’re getting along, it’s good for him, it’s good for them,” said mother Tanya Ohri.

“The message to send to our community is ‘welcome them with open arms with grace and empathy,’” said Cammack.

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