Another Charter School for the Erie School Board To Consider - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Another Charter School for the Erie School Board To Consider

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Another charter school for the Erie School District, unveiled Thursday night. This one aimed at helping immigrant students. District officials, though, had many questions about what they believe is segregating a particular group of students.

Gary Horton and supporters of  Erie New American Friendship Academy Charter School said that Erie is the second most populated place in the state for immigrants to settle.

They say they have an option to be at Saint John's Holy Rosary, which is located right by the Erie International Institute, a place that helps many of these families get settled in.

The Erie School District already has English as Second Language (ESL) programs. District officials seem to be torn when it comes to the idea of separating immigrant students, but Horton insists this would help these students better understand the community in which they live.

"To understand the language, to be able to appreciate the language and the culture while holding on to their own culture, their own language, is a rather large challenge," said Horton.

"I really don't want to see them completely separated," said ESD Board Director Robbie Fabrizi. "But then again, to benefit them, to acclimate them to the country, I also understand."

One student we spoke with told us, it was difficult learning the language when he first started school here. Bonnaventure Nshimirinana immigrated here from Tanzania, and believes this charter school would be help new American students.

 

 

"If I come to their school, and I know some people who speak my language, and they know English, I could talk to them in my language and then they could tell me what it means in English," said Nshimirinana.

Now the board has 75 days to decide whether to keep their current ESL programs, or go ahead and approve this school.

 

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