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Diversity of languages spoken in Newton County schools

COVINGTON — Newton County schools are growing more diverse, based on the number of different languages spoken by students.

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Craig Lockhart presented a report to the Newton County Board of Education during its work session Wednesday about students receiving ESOL, or English Speakers of Other Languages, services.

He reported that 520 students in the Newton County School System are currently receiving these services. West Newton Elementary School has the largest English learner population with 101 students, Lockhart said.

“We are proud that 21 teachers are participating in the ESOL Endorsement program this year,” he said.

Lockhart also pointed out that 13 foreign transcripts have been reviewed since the beginning of the school year for students from the Bahamas, Canada, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan and Panama.

Nine foreign exchange students from Brazil, German, Italy and the Netherlands are currently enrolled Newton County high schools.

“Both Alcovy High School and Eastside High School have the maximum number of four students enrolled at each site,” Lockhart said. “There is one exchange student at Newton High School.”

In addition to English and Spanish, there are nearly 30 other languages spoken by students attending Newton County schools.

“This just shows that Newton County is growing into a global player,” Lockhart said.

Some of the languages spoken in Newton County schools are:

• Amharic

• Arabic

• Bengali

• Chinese

• Chuukese

• French

• German

• Gujarati

• Haitian Creole

• Hindi

• Hmong

• Ibo

• Italian

• Korean

• Micronesian

• Pashto

• Portuguese

• Punjabi

• Romanian

• Russian

• Somali

• Swahili

• Tagalog

• Ukranian

• Urdu

• Vietnamese

• Wolof

• Yoruba