TOPICS > Arts

School Opens Doors with Second Language Learners in Focus

BY Anna Shoup and Dante Chinni  December 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

As Eagle County’s population grew in the first half of this decade, its Latino population grew as well. Immigrants came up here to work jobs in construction and in the resort communities around Vail and the Latino population around grew to about 30 percent. The children of those workers created a special population for the schools in this mountain community.

Three years ago, the New America School opened to give these students a different kind of learning environment.

“The students that we have are second language learners primarily and they’re students who desperately want to earn their high school diploma but they also want to learn English, they want to be literate in this language, they want to be able to seek employment, they want to be able to be community members,” says principal Kathy Brendza.

Patchwork Nation visited the New America school as part of a reporting trip looking at Eagle as a “Boom Town” community.