Streamlining Newcomer Welcomes: Setting Up Your Schoolwide System

schoolwide strategies for welcoming newcomers

Schools across the nation are seeing an increase in newcomers. Let’s talk about strategies your school can implement to streamline the transition for teachers and students!

With an increasing number of ELLs entering schools nationwide, it’s imperative to establish cohesive protocols that support their integration effectively. In this post, we’ll explore key insights from the Equipping ELLs podcast episode titled “Streamlining Newcomer Welcomes: Setting Up Your Schoolwide System” hosted by Beth Vaucher. Let’s dive in!

Setting up a Schoolwide System to Effectively Welcome Newcomers:

  1. Establish a Newcomer Welcome Team. Form a dedicated newcomer welcome team comprising (at the least) the ESL teacher, a homeroom teacher, and a specialist teacher. This team will facilitate clear communication and delegation of responsibilities, ensuring all staff members are equipped to support newcomers effectively. By sharing protocols and expectations, you can alleviate the stress of supporting your newcomers alone and foster a collaborative environment.
  2. Refine the initial contact and registration processes. The initial contact and registration process play a crucial role in welcoming newcomers. It is imperative that we provide clear, accessible information to families, including translated materials and simplified instructions. Implementing tools like Google Translate at the front desk can enhance communication and make families feel welcomed and supported from the outset!
  3. Navigate the first day of school for newcomers. The first day of school sets the tone for our newcomers’ experiences. Beth suggests creating a structured plan outlining who will welcome the student, when ESL support will be provided, and what activities teachers can engage newcomers in throughout the day. By establishing clear expectations and providing resources like newcomer folders with essential information, we can ease the transition for our ELLs and ensure a more positive start.
  4. Optimize scheduling and grouping practices. As the influx of newcomers continues, educators must advocate for optimal scheduling and grouping practices. We encourage you to explore grouping newcomers together to provide targeted support and alleviate the strain of managing multiple language levels. By advocating for supportive schedules and streamlined processes, teachers can create inclusive learning environments that cater to the diverse needs of ELLs.
  5. Support families and continue teacher training. Beyond classroom integration, supporting newcomer families and providing ongoing teacher training are essential components of an inclusive school environment. We suggest hosting monthly Zoom calls for families to address questions and concerns, as well as offering targeted training sessions to equip educators with the tools and strategies needed to support ELLs effectively.

Improving newcomer welcomes through schoolwide systems is essential for creating inclusive and supportive environments for our newcomers. And these streamlined strategies will alleviate so much stress for your school staff!

Remember, when we support newcomers, we enrich the entire school community!

Click the player above to hear the full episode! Until next time, keep empowering and equipping your students for success!

Connect with Beth:
More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



Find a variety of best selling resources created specifically with the diverse needs of ELLs in mind.