Nashua school superintendent welcomes refugees
Superintendent Mark Conrad informed the board that while he has not received any information as to how many refugees are children who will become Nashua School District students, it would be prudent to start planning for their arrival. Conrad, who called the imminent arrival of the refugees a positive thing, said the district would work with the community organizations that are helping settle the refugees into the city to ensure the refugees' transition is as smooth as it can be.
Board member Dennis Ryder asked Conrad on what authority do nongovernment groups have in allowing the refugees to settle in Nashua, to which Conrad responded that since the refugees have already been granted refugee status by the federal government, they are free to settle where they choose.
Board member Sandra Ziehm said she asked the same question Ryder did many years ago and was told that if Nashua were to contest the refugees settlement, the federal government would threaten to withhold federal money from the city.
"They hold the carrot over our heads to get us to agree to this," Ziehm said.
Board member Elizabeth Von Twuyver asked Conrad whether the refugees who are soon to become Nashua students would be required to learn English before being allowed to attend class. Conrad responded that they wouldn't, but that under state law all instruction must be given in English.
"Nashua hasn't received many refugees through the years. Most have been located in Manchester. Even the Laconia School District has more refugee students than we do. While I am not sure why Nashua was selected, it was only a matter of time until we were," Conrad said.
Despite concern from some on the Board of Education, Conrad said the positives of integrating refugees from halfway across the world will far outweigh any negatives.
"They have amazing stories of survival," Conrad said. "They can bring wonderful dimensions into a classroom. This is part of the diversity of our community. This will not be overwhelming for us."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Nashua assessment tests miss the mark - 1
- St. A's board of trustees responds to criticism of graduation change - 2
- Officials proposing cutting Derry school budget by $1.4 million - 0
- St. Anselm in a stir over graduation date change - 13
- Nashua schools struggle to find more time for middle-school math - 0
- Former Gov. Lynch chosen for PSU Robert Frost award - 0
- Keene State College gets funding to further biology research - 0
- Anti-bully message on display at Pinkerton - 0
- 'Hour of Code' events get students interested in computer programming - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- State House Dome: Just past Concord session a mixed bag - 0
- Monarchs squeak by Bruins - 0
- Memorial hockey shuts out Trinity - 0
- Dover's Parratto a national champion - 0
- UNH defense comes up big against Redbirds - 0
- St. Anselm men knock off Post - 0
- Leadership, defense made Katie Bishop, of Conway, an All-American - 0
- Jet menace faltered under Rex - 0
- Strong start lifts Bedford to win - 0
UNH loses to Illinois State
Nashua police left rattled by tot's death
A new era for Nashua's police force
Haylee Ann-Marie Patten
'Everybody was extremely fortunate'