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Refugee & Newcomer Supports Program

Providing support to refugee students, families, and the schools that serve them.

The APS Refugee & Newcomer Supports Program is a new part of the Office of Equity and Engagement, and is rapidly adapting to community and school needs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who are "newcomers"?

Newcomers to APS refers to students who are new to the U.S. and come from a non-English speaking country. Newcomers are often refugees, asylum-seekers, or are under other immigration statuses.

Who are refugees and asylum seekers?

Refugees are people who are forced to leave their country because they have a well-founded fear of persecution. Often times it is due to their race, ethnicity, religion or other groups they are a part of. Most people who flee their homes end up in another part of their country and are called "internally displaced persons" but many flee to other countries and are called "refugees". After arriving in a nearby country, they have to apply for refugee status and prove that they have a "well-founded fear of persecution". Less than 1% of refugees are resettled in a third country such as the U.S., Germany or Australia.

Asylum-seekers are people seeking refugee status but have not completed the interview process to prove that they have a "well-founded fear of persecution".

Why does APS have a department specifically for newcomers and refugees?

Newcomer and refugee students have different strengths and needs than typical students. For instance, most refugee students do not speak English but do speak multiple other languages. Some students speak 4 or more languages and it is common for a classroom of refugees to speak about 15 languages combined. It is important to build upon these strengths in addition to helping them learn English and all other subject areas.


Many refugee/newcomer students have witnessed bombings, kidnappings, loss of family members, family separation, and more. The Refugee & Newcomer Supports Program provides support to students, families, and schools to be trauma-informed.

Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)

Many refugee/newcomer students may not be at their grade-level due to limited or interrupted access to school.

Family Engagement

School systems across the world can be very different. Most refugees who are resettled in Albuquerque come from a few parts of the world: Afghanistan, the Middle-East, East Africa, or Central Africa. Some refugee parents have college degrees, speak English, and understand a great deal about U.S. schools, while other refugee parents were never able to go to school for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Girls may not have be able to attend school due to government policies.
  • Some children begin to work at a young age to care for their family
  • Due to violent conflict, children are kept home to avoid danger

This makes it challenging for parents to support their children academically.

Contact Information

Main Phone: (505) 803-7781

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 25704 Albuquerque, NM 87125-0704

Physical Address:
6400 Uptown Blvd. NE Suite 520 West Albuquerque, NM 87110 Map