GREENSBORO, N.C. — Everyone has a little case of jitters the first day of school — the students, teachers, even the parents who send their kids to school. For some students in Guilford County, the start of this school year marks a brand new start altogether.
The Newcomers School in Guilford County opened its doors in 2007 as a unique way to help students who just moved here from other countries better adjust to our school system here. This year, there are 225 students from 34 different countries at the Newcomers School. Among them, they speak 29 different languages.
“If I was a little nervous, all that went away because I’m feeding off the kids’ energy,” said Candice Bailey, principal at Newcomers School. “I’m so happy they’re here with us. A lot of our students are learning English for the very first time, learning how to be in school for the very first time.”
Most of the school’s students don’t speak English. The school has interpreters to work with students and the teachers rely on gestures and talking with their hands to communicate with the students.
“Some of our kids are from refugee camps,” Bailey said. “Their school could have been a one room place with all ages. Could have been a teacher or not in the class…We’re giving them that foundation, get them into their new schools, out for success.”
To be eligible to go to Newcomers School, students have to have been in the United States less than six months. After one year, they are transitioned to their regular school.