New York City schools have laid out a plan to enroll hundreds of asylum-seeking students. As New York City sees a surge of new immigrants seeking asylum from Central and South American countries, officials announced Friday that they will provide extra enrollment help to hundreds of new students expected to attend city schools.
City officials estimate that about 6,000 such immigrants have entered the city’s shelter system over the past three months, which the administration has blamed, in part, on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sending migrants on buses to New York.
At least 1,000 new students are expected to enroll in district schools, including preschool-aged children. However, that figure is “fluid” and will continue to change, said education department spokesperson Nathaniel Styer.
Many of these students may need extra support, such as legally mandated services for children learning English as a new language.
“Our public schools are prepared to welcome families seeking asylum with open arms,” said Chancellor David Banks in a statement. “We are working alongside our agency partners to set students up for success by addressing their academic, emotional and social needs, and ensuring there is no disruption to their education.”
As part of a city plan dubbed “Project Open Arms,” shelters will host “pop-up” enrollment offices, where education department staff will help new families sign their children up for school. Staff will also accompany families to Family Welcome Centers, which are city offices where people can enroll their kids and get more information about school.
Staff will give out backpacks and school supplies and connect new asylum-seekers with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Clinics for medical care, officials said.
The city also plans to work with community-based organizations that work with immigrant families so that they can provide families with “critical resources and services.”