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Newcomer Program


Tustin Unified School District is proud to offer the opportunity for students who have been in the United States less than one year, and have little to no English language, to attend our Newcomer Class offered at Hicks Canyon Elementary School. The goal of the Newcomer class is for students to successfully transition into the mainstream classrooms.

Students in 1st-5th grade will receive full-day English language instruction in multi-grade, self-contained classrooms. Teachers in the Newcomer classrooms provide intensive English development and literacy instruction for a transitional time period while students adjust to Westernized school and cultural norms. They also prepare students to transition to mainstream classrooms with the ability to participate socially, communicate effectively, and meet academic standards.

Students will be included in regular education for P.E, recess, lunch, and other activities. Fourth and fifth grade students will also be included in music. Students will also partake in regular education grade level field trips in order to build background knowledge and experience.

Newcomer instruction will focus on oral and written language development through immersing students in content and language. Students will receive balanced literacy instruction including: foundational reading skills, interactive read aloud, shared reading, reading fluency practice, word study, foundational writing skills, grammar and punctuation. Social Studies content will be embedded in reading instruction. Spelling instruction will be integrated with reading and writing. Daily speaking opportunities will be planned for students to use the English language in relation to reading and writing content, including using a variety of digital tools to produce and publish projects. As students progress in their language development, instruction will focus on further development of reading and written language skills.

Math instruction will focus on developing an understanding of basic math concepts as students are immersed in and use the language of math. ST Math, a school wide technology based learning program, will help newcomer students with mathematical concepts, as well.