BOISE -- The start of the school is just a few weeks away and this year the Boise School District is expecting to see a large increase in refugee students.
There is a new school that's aimed at helping those students learn English and adjust to the American way of life.
It used to be known as Jackson Elementary School, but it will soon be known as the Boise Language Academy.
According to the Boise School District, it's the first time the academy has had a place to call home.
For years the Boise School District has accepted refugee students. Normally they enroll around 50 students into the Boise Language Academy, but Grace Dalpiaz, an administrator for the school, says this year they've seen tremendous growth.
"This year we're actually starting close to 180 students at the beginning of this school year. We have 142 returning from last year," said Dalpiaz.
The Boise Language Academy is optional for refugee students. But it's highly recommended for those who have received less than two years of instruction in American classrooms.
"We provide the support they need with language and social culturalization and other aspects of American school they might not be familiar with," said Dalpiaz.
The school provides classes for grades 7th through 12th. Instead of using interpreters, Ann Farris who is in charge of the district's refugee program, says certified teachers use a more hands-on approach to helping students learn English through their curriculum.
"Because we have so many languages, they use instructional strategies called sheltered instruction. They teach the curriculum in English, but they use specific strategies such as more visuals," said Farris.
Dalpiaz says the language academy really does make a difference in the lives of foreign students - encouraging them to move forward in their studies.
"I have seen that over the years, just how much English they're able to learn within two years to give them that comfort to work in regular classrooms," said Dalpiaz.
Classes start on Aug. 25 and teachers are expected to report here in just a few days.
Even though they have a lot of work to do, administrators expect to have the academy ready to open by that date.
Boise School administrators expect to enroll almost 300 refugee students this year alone.
Ann Farris says the number of students will build throughout the year as more refugee families move to Boise.
Some of their biggest refugee groups come from Burma, Burundi and Nepal.