Fairfax County Public Schools help enroll Afghan refugee students, preparing for more

Virginia

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — As Afghan refugees begin to resettle in northern Virginia, Fairfax County Public Schools is preparing to accommodate incoming students.

Annandale High School has already begun assisting Afghan refugees with enrolling their children in school. Staff say they are eager– and capable — of welcoming the new students.

Meredith Hedrick, English as Second Other Language (ESOL) Department Chair at Annandale High School, says Annandale High School has been “prepping for this work for years,” welcoming refugees from across the globe.

“I think we have 17 to 18 Afghan students enrolled at our school, and I’m assuming that’s going to increase by 20-30% soon,” said Meredith Hedrick, ESOL Department Chair at Annandale High School. “Specifically, we just meant to have registration systems in place so that when they do come, we can efficiently register them.”

ESOL resources will be readily available for refugee students. FCPS says they are open to hiring more staff in the future, should the need for more instructors arise due to the influx.

Sarah Eqab, Assistant Principal at Annandale High School, says that emotional support resources for students will also be available to aid their transition.

“We have refugee students come all the time, so we know we’re equipped to help support them with some of the things they might be dealing with,” said Eqab.

Annandale High School staff say more refugee students will be arriving in the coming weeks, after undergoing testing and fulfilling vaccine and medical requirements.

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