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Regional Connections is launching a program to help newcomer students integrate into their new school. 

Western School Division and Border Land School Division have partnered with Regional Connections on the Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS).

While not every new family stops in at Regional Connections, Executive Director Laurie Sawatzky says the new program is another way to ensure newcomers are receiving the support and information they need to settle successfully.

"And learning about our Canadian school system is a big part of the settlement process," Sawatzky says.

While the program has run nationally for many years, it's the first time running in Southern Manitoba. Sawatzky explains the project sees settlement workers focus on newcomer students, helping them integrate into the school system.

Three people have been hired for the Borderland School Division, two for Western School Division. She notes Garden Valley School Division employs a school liaison system, though Sawatzky says they could join in the future.

The program will also provide the opportunity for home visits for families who are unable to arrange transportation. "We're able to go into their home and give the information to them," Sawatzky says.

"It's extremely exciting, " Sawatzky says. 'I've seen SWIS programs in action in other provinces and we're just really thrilled we have an opportunity and we're thrilled to partner with the school divisions."

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