Abilene ISD trustees hear plans for teaching incoming Afghan refugee students

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – At the October meeting of the Abilene ISD school board, an update on English-Second Language programs shared that program admins are adjusting operations to accommodate students that are Afghan refugees.

Executive Director of Federal Programs and District Planning Dr. Karen Munoz shared that her department had been communicating with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) based in Abilene. In those conversations, it was shared that by next spring more than 100 Afghan refugees would be relocated to Abilene, school-aged children among that number.

“They said we should be receiving 115 in Abilene, and that also the target number beginning January 1st in regard to any other refugees could go up to 250 more in Abilene,” said Dr. Munoz.

In preparation of those students’ arrival in the near future, Dr. Munoz shared that Dari, the Afghan dialect of Persian, would be incorporated into the district’s scope of familiarity for teachers that engage in the ESL program.

Also taking place at the meeting was the handing out of AISD’s Impact Awards highlighting exemplary work by district employees.

The recipients included Fine Arts Teacher Riley Scroggins, Deaf Educator/Interpreter Kim Gress, and the entirety of AISD’s Transportation Auto Shop.

Also handed out were several $500 donations to a few Abilene campuses. In lieu of the League of United Latin American Citizen’s (LULAC) annual school supply giveaway, which was cancelled because of COVID, its President Jack Guzman presented the principals of Ortiz, Purcell, Stafford and Martinez elementary schools with the financial gifts.

“Hopefully next year, we’ll be able to have our back-to-school bash again,” said Guzman.

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