The first year in Canada is full of challenges for new immigrants: language barriers, job hunt, credentials recognition, adaptation to a new country, educational concerns, etc. Integration can take longer time in the absence of information about resources and services available to newcomers. These information can be provided to newcomer families at Edmonton Catholic School District by Intercultural Liaisons at One World…One Centre. They too have moved to Canada from different countries and went through the same process of integration as you so they are able to empathize, feel and understand your needs, fears and expectations. Their knowledge and experience gained through the years of serving newcomer families in Edmonton Catholic School District enable them to provide support to newcomers like you, help you overcome settlement challenges enabling you to take more active role in your child's/children's education.
Intercultural Liaisons provide the following support services:
- Meet and welcome families at One World…One Centre in their first and/or English language.
- Assist with registrations and filling out the Student Registration form, gather the necessary registration documents such as birth certificates, baptismal certificates (if they are available), passports, immigration papers, and provide interpretation services between assessors and newcomer families if needed.
- Assist parent in completing the Student Intake Form which gathers informaton about student's background, previous educational experiences, interests and motivations as well as levels of prior knowledge and skills. Teachers use this valuable information to gain a better understanding of the student and their experiences prior to arrival in Canada.
- Conduct family needs assessment to determine their interests and needs to be able to guide them through the resources and services available to them in Edmonton.
- Provide initial orientation to newcomer families (permanent and temporary residents) and briefly discuss with them about resources from the Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton, Alberta Teachers' Association, Intercultural Services, etc.
- Provide language support to families and school personnel by interpreting during school registrations, Parent-Teacher Interviews, Demonstration of Learning, Report Card and IPP meetings, Parent Information Sessions held at One World . . . One Centre or at the school sites, Meet the Teacher Nights, Open Houses and parent-school meetings to facilitate communication and enhance understanding among the parties involved.
- Collaborate with the ESL Consultants and the Early Learning Team (therapeutic specialists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, family school liaison workers) by providing interpretation services to facilitate the assessment/debriefing processes.
Translate a wide-range of district and school documents and resource materials about education and settlement issues for use by families and school staff to promote better understanding and clarity to parties involved. Translated parent resources in English and other languages can be found at Parent Resources.
Interpretation and translation services, parent resources, district or school documents are available in the following languages:
- Provide families with general information about the school system in Alberta and Edmonton Catholic School District, pertaining to courses, programs and options, policies and procedures and school expectations.
- Provide newcomer parents and students with yearly lists of summer programs.
- Direct families to appropriate programs that will best meet the needs of the student.
- Collaborate with consultants in providing information sessions to educate parents.
- Provide newcomer families in Edmonton Catholic School District with information on various issues: housing, health, banking, childcare, adult education, employment, job search, etc.
- Direct families to mainstream Government of Alberta, the
City of Edmonton programs and different community agencies for settlement services such as
Catholic Social Services,
Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers,
Edmonton Immigrant Service Association - EISA as well as to ethno-cultural communities for available support.
- Support newcomer parents and students during the acculturation process by providing cultural information on the host country to facilitate their adaptation, assimilation and full integration into the Canadian society.
- Share cultural information with school personnel to promote understanding among school staff and ELL's families.
- Provide parents with ideas and strategic information on dealing with cultural differences issues, including parenting in two cultures.
- Assist schools with multicultural events planning to promote diversity, awareness and sensitivity amongst parents, students, families and school staff.
- Promote understanding among school staff and ESL families with regards to the expectations, concerns and issues during the acculturation process.
- Advise parents on ways to help their children to adjust to a new country and educational environment.
- Advise parents on ways to help their children with school work and other issues.