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Malloy Administration Issues Guidance to School Districts Regarding Enrollment of Displaced Children from Puerto Rico

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that they are sending guidance to every school superintendent in the state outlining suggested protocols to ensure that any student arriving from Puerto Rico, or any affected storm area, has immediate access to school and expedited connections to the services they may need. In the days since Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria brought devastation to the island, the administration has received a number of inquiries from superintendents and other school officials requesting information on how to supervise this potential situation.

“When tragedy strikes, it is often our children who are most at risk,” Governor Malloy said. “We anticipate many families affected by the disaster in Puerto Rico may seek refuge in our state. As required by federal law, it is imperative that young children who have been displaced are enrolled in schools immediately and are provided with health and other services necessary to ensure their academic success.”

“The emotional pain and trauma that these storms have exposed countless young people to is truly heartbreaking,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “As educators, it is our duty to ensure that all children of school age are given access to the safety, support, and stability that our school environments provide.”

Some of the guidance includes:

  • District personnel should be counseled to enroll these displaced students immediately, as required by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
  • These students will also automatically qualify to receive free school meals and must also be provided with health and other related services necessary to ensure their academic success.
  • Per established procedures, all students experiencing homelessness must be accurately reported in the statewide public school information system (PSIS).

**Download: Memo to superintendents regarding enrollment of displaced children (English)
**Download: Memo to superintendents regarding enrollment of displaced children (Spanish)
**Download: Info packet on the educational rights of children displaced by disasters
**Download: Info packet on the needs of students displaced by disasters

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