HPS Receives More Students from Puerto Rico

HPS Receives More Students from Puerto Rico

Since the devastating earthquakes hit Puerto Rico, Hartford Public Schools has mobilized to help students and families arriving from the island. By the end of January, the district’s Welcome Center had received nearly 50 school-age children impacted by the natural disaster.

Of the total, there is at least one student in every grade level, from kindergarten through 8th grade. In addition to placing students in district schools, HPS’ Welcome Center has provided a range of supports. Staff have connected families to 2-1-1, the free service that links callers to local services. Those services include food, housing, child care, after school programs, among other needs.

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the district has funding to support the new students in multiple ways. They also offer school uniforms, supplies, transportation assistance, and bus passes.

Welcome Center Program Coordinator Shelimar Ramirez says that one of the biggest challenges for arriving families is housing. Some are staying with family members and others in hotels. “Every case is different,” said Ramirez.

More students are likely to come, she said, given the ongoing aftershocks affecting the island.

“These efforts are part of our mission to prepare all students to succeed in school and beyond,” said Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez. “After Hurricane Maria, Hartford Public Schools received more than 450 displaced students. Once again, we are committed to do what is necessary to support students and families from Puerto Rico as they begin to rebuild their lives here in Hartford.”

Families who need assistance can contact the HPS Welcome Center at 860-695-8400.

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