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At Beechview Elementary School, it isn't unusual to hear different languages being spoken in our newcomer classes. Currently, there are three newcomer classrooms, which combine 67% English speaking students with 33% newcomers who have recently arrived from a variety of countries from across the world. The program, which was the dream of Dr. Samir Haddad, Retired Director of Bilingual Education and Mrs. Norma Jean Sass, Former Beechview Principal, continues to be a resounding success.
Newcomer students from across the district come to Beechview for a year while they transition into our Farmington Public School System, after which they return to their home schools. Students are assisted by paraprofessionals all of whom assist the learning process by speaking the student's native languages or a common third language in order to make learning enjoyable and engaging. With the help of these bilingual aides, paraprofessionals, language translators and other caring individuals, our newcomers are soon taking an active part in classroom activities, not only learning our curriculum but ready to share their culture with students and staff.
An added dimension is the tremendous parental involvement and support, which can also be seen in these classrooms, where there are demonstrations of native costumes, food, and culture at various times throughout the year. Parents are always ready to help with a smile and a positive attitude. The classes take field trips which further enhance their learning and appreciation of our American culture. At Beechview, we celebrate our cultural diversity and are very proud of this valuable program!