Story by Tom Crain
David James, Superintendent of Akron Public Schools (APS) says that several of Akron’s schools have been undergoing significant change due to the influx of refugees. “Little did any of us know the U.S. foreign policy decision made nine years ago would bring into our schools a story that is truly inspirational in an American way,” he says. “And now, with so many articles and broadcasts coming out of our refugee schools, much of America is aware.”
North High School (NHS) was waning in attendance for years and was in danger of closing altogether before refugee resettlement kicked in. Now, NHS has become known as Ohio’s most diverse public school.
Posted in Community, Education, Neighborhoods, Youth
Tagged Akron, Akron Community Foundation, Akron Health Department, Akron Public Schools, Akron Reads, Akron Summit County Public Libraries, Akron’s Bhutanese Community Association, Asian Services in Action, bhutan, Bhutanese, Burma, Community, International Institute of Akron, Nepal, North High School, North Hill, Schools, Students, Summit Education Initiative, The Love Akron Network
Story By Tom Crain
“In the beginning, I was really freaked out,” confesses ninth grader Sabbitri about her first couple months transferring mid-year from a Nepali refugee camp school to Akron’s North High School. “I couldn’t get the combination on my locker to work. The other high school girls had beautiful makeup and clothes and wild hairstyles in all different colors. They were always laughing and texting each other. They were so much happier and prettier than I was.”
The transition from Nepal’s refugee camp schools to America’s public schools is a challenge for most Bhutanese students like Sabbitri. The Nepali government places a strong emphasis on its monastic-style of teaching where its Bhutanese refugees go to school, providing nine years of free education for them. Lessons are taught in British English and Nepali.
Posted in Community, Education, Youth
Tagged Akron Public Schools, America, Burma, English, English as a Second Language, Iraq, language, Mexico, Myanmar, nepali, North High School, Public Schools, Refugee Camp, Students, Teachers, Thailand, tutors