CMS prepares for more students who are immigrants - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS prepares for more students who are immigrants


Charlotte-Mecklenburg School district (CMS) is expecting an influx of immigrants when school starts August 25.

The district reports within the past two months students from 40 different nationalities have enrolled. Some of those students will probably attend Harding University High School.

"Last week alone," Harding University HS Principal John Floyd said. "We enrolled 70 students and it was their first time in the country."

Floyd says educating those 70 students will be a challenge. This year his staff has received specialized training to deal with a diverse population. They will concentrate on using visual aids to teach students who can't speak English.

"I need to make sure that in four years," the principal said. "I have them ready not only for college but for careers."

The principal is relying on The Latin American Coalition to help with the school's immigrant population. Members from the coalition will be present for the first week of school to inform students about the resources available in Charlotte. After that, the coalition will visit the school once a week for the rest of the school year.

"It is imperative for us to make sure these kids are educated," The Latin Coalition Spokesman Armando Bellmas said. "In case there's the chance they become participating and contributing members of our community in Charlotte."

People have different views about the role America should play when it comes to taking care of immigrants. Governor Pat McCrory has encouraged Congress to tackle the immigration policy immediately. While we wait for that to happen, CMS officials say the law tells them they can't ask questions, they must educate any child who enrolls.

Bellmas says since the beginning of this year, about 42 kids from Honduras have died when they were sent back.

"If we are sending these kids back to their deaths," Bellmas said. "I don't know how we can live with that."

CMS will have a better idea of how many immigrants it is educating. In October the district is required to send state officials a headcount of how many students have limited English speaking skills.

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