Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW)

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Ed guide now.jpgNOW orients students to the people and activities that can help them settle in their new school.

For many newcomer students, high school in Ontario is very different from their previous school and the first few months can be stressful. But a new program promises to give them a better start.

In August 2008, in the week before school started, 40 high schools participated in the Newcomer Orientation Week program.

]NOW activities orient students to the people and activities that can help them settle in their new school. The activities include a scavenger hunt to help them learn the layout of the building, skits about the challenges of school in a new country, a visit to the local library and an introduction to the sources of help and support in their school. 

A key feature of NOW is the role of Peer Leaders, students who were themselves newcomers in previous years. In the week before the NOW, the Peer Leaders are trained to run the program, which they deliver with the support of teachers and settlement workers.

NOW is part of the Settlement Workers in Schools program and is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada through local settlement agencies.

View sample video of a NOW participant.

View all videos of NOW participants.

You need Adobe Flash Player to download these videos.

Related Resources

  • Overview of Activities [Adobe PDF, <1 MB] Download the week's activities on 1 page.
  • NOW Activities Day by Day [Adobe PDF, <1 MB] Download each day's activities in detail.
  • All About Me [Adobe PDF, <1 MB] Download this 1-page activity sheet.
  • How to use your lock [Adobe PDF, 3 MB] Download a poster of how to use a combination lock.
  • Help Wheel [Adobe PDF, 5 MB] Download a poster that explains who does what in a school.
  • Sample Passport [Adobe PDF, <1 MB] Download a sample of a passport that participants can use.
  • Radio Interview [MP3, 8 MB] Listen to NOW participants being interviewed on CBC Radio 3.

You need Adobe Acrobat to download these files.

School Images

Download and print these icons to help newcomer students get oriented to your school.

Download all images (zip file). Or, select words below to download individual images.


Art Room

Boy's Washroom

Computer Lab

Drama Room

ESL Class

Girl's Washroom



Hall Monitor


Main Office

Music Room

Settlement Worker



Schoool Bus


Swimming Pool