Superintendent Narvaez Appoints Committee to Plan for the Education of Syrian Refugee Families

(November 19th, 2015) HARTFORD, CT — Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez announced today that she has appointed a high-level team combining staff from Hartford Public Schools and Catholic Charities of Hartford to coordinate assistance for Syrian refugee families that would reside in the district and enroll their children in Hartford Public Schools. The team includes instruction, operations, support services, English language acquisition, family and community engagement, and policy staff.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy recently announced the State of Connecticut’s commitment to receive as many as 1,500 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria. It is highly likely that multiple Syrian families will call the city of Hartford their home in the near future.
“The Hartford Public Schools system has a strong tradition of welcoming families when conflict strikes in their countries of origin,” said Dr. Narvaez.  “In recent years, Hartford became the home of families from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and other parts of the world.”
“Hartford Public Schools is a diverse and welcoming community. We have over 60 languages represented in our schools,” said Dr. Narvaez. “It is our obligation and responsibility to assure that all children under our care receive a quality education and this planning effort will help us make sure that the transition into our schools is as smooth as possible for these children and their families.”
During the last five years, in partnership with Catholic Charities, Hartford Public Schools has welcomed over 1,000 refugees into our community, including Somalian, Ugandan, Burmese/Karen, Russian, Tunisian, Congolese, Sudanese, Cuban, Syrian, Nepalese, Iraqi and Afghan families.
Catholic Charities Chief Executive Officer Marek Kukulka stated, “Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Hartford has successfully resettled refugees from countries throughout the world in the Greater Hartford Area for more than sixty years. We look forward to our continued cooperation with the Hartford Public Schools to assure that the children of these families are acculturated into our educational system as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Catholic Charities is the resettlement agency for refugee services in the City of Hartford. Hartford Public Schools and Catholic Charities will make their best efforts to ensure that these families can feel at home throughout the process of their transition to America and Hartford.

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