The student news site of Seven Lakes High School

The Torch

Student news website
of Seven Lakes High School
The student news site of Seven Lakes High School

The Torch

The student news site of Seven Lakes High School

The Torch

New Students Face New Struggles in New Places

ESL students cope with past troubles and learning curves
Lola Afolabi
Ms. Acosta teaching her 3rd period Geometry class.

On August 16, 2023, 3,750 students walked the halls of Seven Lakes High School as they began another school year. For some of these students, it was their first time in an American high school. In 2022 alone, the Department of Homeland Security has reported  286,000 cases of migrants obtaining lawful permanent resident status, not counting the 136,000 non-citizens who applied for visas. Seven Lakes’ growing student population reflects this statistic as the ESL staff members adapt to the sudden influx of students.

There are approximately 53 new ESL transfers- people that have not mastered English to a certain degree and are to be placed in sheltered classrooms: learning environments with slower paced learning and teachers who are prepared to assist the students academically.

Alejandra Acosta, ESL Geometry teacher, said one of the major challenges is “..trying to read [the students] where they’re at math wise,” this means taking into consideration that all students have received different levels of education in math.

Each individual case is unique, every student needing a different level of attention and support in order to succeed in school.

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“It’s hard for a lot of these students to adjust because of trauma,” Ada Nunez, a paraprofessional, said. “Many students are running from home, whether it’s from religious persecution, political reasons, or starvation.”

Annually, many migrants arrive from countries which are facing economic or political crises. For a lot of them, it is very frightening shifting from one lifestyle to another, especially when schoolwork is added to the equation.

“Being that age.. plucked from everything I know… [would be] very overwhelming,” ESL coordinator Ashley Henson said. “These are smart, intelligent students, they just don’t have the language to express that.”

Additionally, the adjustment to the language leaves a large number of ESL students scrambling to keep up with the workload and not fall behind in their grade level, some have even been held back because of insufficient or invalid high school credits.

“For a lot of these students, the language barrier is a huge hurdle for them, but if they put in the work it is very possible to succeed,” Nunez said.

Right now, the ESL team has been hard at work fitting in the excess of students by revising their master schedule. Another important component the team has been working on is making sure all the students receive the proper support and are able to advocate for themselves. In spite of unfortunate circumstances, ESL students are putting in the effort every day, hoping to lead a better future.

About the Contributors
Isabella Perez Nunez
Isabella Perez Nunez, Staff Writer
 Isabella, a junior in her first year of newspaper staff, is seriously in love with Tarantino and Ghibli movies, coloring books and rock n’ roll. She enjoys writing feature articles on various people and hopes to design eye-catching magazine spreads for the Torch.
Lola Afolabi
Lola Afolabi, Editor in Chief
Lola is a senior in her 2nd year on the Newspaper Staff. Although this is her first year of being an editor, she is excited to embrace the responsibilities that come with the new role. Outside of the newspaper, Lola enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music,and casually learning new languages. Due to her ever-competing love for journalism and science, She hopes to pursue Engineering or Journalism.