Attention EBT Cardholders

A small number of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cardholders may be experiencing issues using their EBT cards. OTDA is aware of the issue and is continuing to work closely with our EBT vendor to resolve it as quickly as possible. Those affected should contact their local department of social services about getting a temporary replacement card.

Last updated: May 23, 2024, 3:15 PM

Refugee Services (RS)

OTDA Home Programs & Services Refugee Services Programs Welcome to Our Schools (WtOS)

Welcome to Our Schools (WtOS)


Refugee children in American schools have fled their native countries from all over the globe. The experience of displacement is one of the most significant traumas and losses that refugees of all ages can face. The lack of stability and safety and constant disruptions exact their toll on each family member. For children, it puts them at profound developmental risk, often impairing cognitive abilities as well as emotional, academic, or behavioral functioning.

The Welcome to Our Schools (WtOS) program is designed to ease the transition of refugee children into the elementary and secondary schools of New York State, and to empower their parents to be effective partners in the education of their children. WtOS curriculum includes Refugee Academy and Mini-Academy Curricula, consisting of 16 instructional modules, student handouts and activities, Parent and Professional Development Programs, and a Guide for Academic Coaches.

Instructors and Academic Coaches are encouraged to reproduce and utilize the contents of the curriculum as a guide, tailoring the instructional activities to match the needs, concerns, and experiences of refugee students. The curriculum is complemented by resources such as the Welcoming Refugee Students - Strategies for Classroom Teachers, Caring for Refugee Students – Guide for School Nurses, Domestic Abuse and Refugees, Anti-Bullying Instructional Resources, and Peer Mentor brochures.

View and Print Curriculum

For additional information or to order curriculum and curriculum supplements please contact:

This page contains links to PDF documents. Download Acrobat Reader to view these documents.

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