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Oakland Unified School District

Newcomer Programs

Newcomer Programs in OUSD

ELLMA supports the growth and development of programs that meet the demands of increasing Newcomer Student enrollment through specialized programs that:

  • Are developed based on research and professional development for newcomer teachers and leaders;
  • Ensure access to culturally sensitive mental health, health, legal services and other social services for newcomer students and their families;
  • Align policies and resources for Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth, Refugee & Asylee and other Newcomer students.

Newcomer fast facts!

Newcomer One-pager for World Refugee Day.
Newcomer Toolkit

OUSD Newcomer Toolkit, a comprehensive resource for teachers of Newcomers.

Universal Supports

All OUSD sites must provide baseline Universal Newcomer Supports, which add to the baseline ELAP instruction. For example,a robust intake process at the school and additional Designated English Language Development each day.

Where: All schools with newcomers will have universal supports.


  • Special attention to literacy development and early reading skills as needed
  • Specialized Designated and Integrated ELD
  • Leverage of primary language in teaching
  • Provide structure opportunities to collaborate with advanced ELLs and EO students
  • More Targeted scaffolding
  • Extended learning opportunities including after school programs and summer school that targets newcomers
  • Counseling provided for newcomers who have experience trauma

Newcomer Wellness Team

Newcomer Wellness Team

The Newcomer Wellness Initiative seeks to impact the wellbeing of the whole child and improving the school experience for newcomer youth.

Learn more in this Program Overview.

Learn More About Specialized Supports

RASA Program
Newcomer program

Newcomer Programs are located at specific elementary and secondary sites in OUSD. They include the baseline ELAP instructional program as well as the Universal Newcomer Supports, but they provide deeper and more intensive support in:

  • the early levels of language acquisition
  • carefully scaffolded content learning
  • important cultural knowledge
  • social emotional learning and support

The school site also cooperates with agencies outside the school to provide additional needed support to the students and their families.


  • Updated program location information is coming soon!


  • Longer Elementary and Secondary Designated English Language Development.
  • Extended learning opportunities, such as after-school programs and summer enrichment, designed for newcomers and integrated with the rest of the student body.
  • Targeted services for newcomers integrated into the site COST process to address non-academic needs that may impede learning. These services may include mental health, health and wellness services, family engagement, mentorship, legal assistance, and other services.


Julie Kessler

Director of Newcomer and ELL programs

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Nate Dunstan

Program Manager, Newcomer and Refugee/Asylee Services

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Stephanie Noriega

Program Manager, Newcomer Wellness Initiative

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