Immigrant Student Services (ISS)
What is the ISS Program?
The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada started The Immigrant Student Services Program in May of 2002 to provide support and assistance to immigrant students in their integration into the Canadian school system on PEI. The program is presently being offered in the following schools:
- Birchwood Junior High
- Bluefield High
- Charlottetown Rural High
- Colonel Gray High
- East Wiltshire Junior High
- Eliot River Elementary
- Glen Stewart Elementary
- Lucy Maud Montgomery Elementary
- Parkdale Elementary
- Prince Street Elementary
- Queen Charlotte Junior High
- St. Jean Elementary
- Sherwood Elementary
- Spring Park Elementary
- Stone Park Junior High
- West Kent Elementary
- West Royalty Elementary
- Westwood Primary
It is our aim to keep offering our ISS services to other schools to the best of our ability, on an ad hoc basis.
The purpose of the program is to help immigrant students become successfully integrated into the PEI school system through working together with staff, students, parents and the community.
Four Main Objectives
- To assist immigrant and refugee students in adapting to their new environment;
- To facilitate greater involvement of families who are unfamiliar with the school system and who wish to participate in their children's education;
- To assist school staff in meeting the special needs of immigrant students within the school system;
- To refer immigrant students and their families to appropriate community services.
- Needs Assessment and Community Outreach
- The needs of immigrant students are identified and assessed in consultation with guidance counsellors, administrative staff, teachers, and parents in order to be referred to the appropriate services.
- Students and parents are given information on school expectations and their own rights and responsibilities. Parents are encouraged to become involved in their children's education.
- The ISS worker seeks to advocate on behalf of immigrant students, staff, and parents, in helping each to understand the others' perspective and needs.
- Cross-Cultural Interpreting
- Support and referral is given to students having difficulties adjusting to school due to cultural issues; also assistance to staff in sensitization to cultural differences.
- Help parents and students understand the importance of recreational activities for social inclusion and language acquisition. Connect families to community recreational programs.
- International Friendship Groups (IFGs)
- To create an inclusive assembly space, within school, for immigrant students to meet with each other and local students. e.g. team building activities, crafts, international luncheons, outings, etc.
- Social Events
- To provide students with an avenue for interacting with students outside of their regular school day without the stresses associated with a new and challenging environment. e.g. movie nights, swimming, sport tournaments, etc.
- To provide students with the opportunity to continue learning and increase socialization while on break from school. e.g. March Break and Summer Program.