Buffalo’s Multilingual Education Specialists

As the new school year 2016-2017 became, the Multilingual Education Advisory Committee (MEAC) welcomed English Language Learners and parents to the Buffalo school system.

This week is also Welcome America Week (September 16 to 25, 2016), the annual national celebration of events, recognizing immigrants and refugees and the role communities play to foster a welcoming environment.

On September 15, Buffalo Public Schools superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash joined Mayor Brown at Buffalo Public Schools Central Registration. They kicked off the Welcoming Week locally by recognizing and applauding the important work the of Buffalo School District’s Multilingual Education Department, and the District’s Cultural Resource Specialists.

The Mayor recognized Buffalo Public School District’s six new multilingual Cultural Resource Specialists, and also congratulated Nadia Nashir, assistant superintendent of Multilingual Education, and Finune Shaibi, supervisor of Multilingual Student Placement.

Mayor Brown said, “In the last two years, 700 English language learners exited from ‘English as a New Language’ programs; the number of students demonstrating English proficiency continues to grow. 86 languages are now spoken in the Buffalo Public School District—I’m pleased to see such positive progress in registering newcomer students. The resource specialists we’re recognizing today are able to genuinely welcome new families to Buffalo because our specialists are a part of our City’s diverse communities.”

These specialists serve as a bridge between the BPS and the parents to ease communication barriers.

Dr. Cash echoed the mayor’s sentiment. “I’m pleased to be a part of the nation’s Welcoming Week in Buffalo,” he said. “The staff in the District’s Multilingual Education Department are the first page in the academic success stories of our student population. They are all important parts of the rich cultural diversity within our schools. I congratulate them and thank them for their work in welcoming newcomers to our City and to our City schools.”

The Buffalo Public Schools District can now tell our multilingual parents, “Yes we speak your language!” These Resource Specialists speak many languages, including Arabic, Burmese, French, Karen, Malai, Nepali, Somali, Spanish and Swahili. They will be the first point of contact. And, I assure you, they are honored and happy to be on our team in our efforts to provide the best educational opportunities to our students.  K

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