Oakland High welcomes a sixth pathway
By Monica Villanueva
This year the recent immigrant students known as newcomers are starting the year off strong at Oakland High with a new pathway called RISE Academy. Valeska Muñoz, RISE pathway director said that, “This academy has been created to empower and celebrate the assets that newcomers bring to our Oakland High community.”
“The newcomer’s teachers worked really hard in order for the newcomers to have their own academy,” said Muñoz. Many students said they like being a newcomer because they feel welcomed by the teacher and students. They receive a lot of support in their classes an it allows them to be successful with their understanding.
Oakland High junior David Gallegos Piñeda, a former newcomer who is now in PHA said, “Los maestros son muy amigables y te ayudan mucho.” (‘The teachers are very friendly and they help you a lot.”)
Newcomers often struggle in school due the language barriers. The students have been in the U.S. for a different length of time, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. RISE pathway helped students overcome any significant barriers that will prevent them from succeeding in school. The students have caring teachers that understand their needs and are able to accommodate them, according to the pathway director.
Newcomer students used to transfer into a different pathway when they completed English Language Development (ELD) classes. Now that newcomers have their own pathway, they will no longer have to transfer into a pathway. Now they will have ELD and regular classes in the RISE pathway and no longer have to transfer to a different academy.
Junior Nevaeh Enoch said that the RISE pathway, “is good because they won’t feel isolated as they will meet other people who are going through a similar struggles.”
Pathway leaders hope the RISE pathway will not only help increase awareness about the large population of immigrants at Oakland High but it will help bridge the achievement gap due to the language barriers.