09/12/05 — Students from affected states enrolling here

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Students from affected states enrolling here

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 12, 2005 1:49 PM

Several students evacuated from the Gulf Coast states hit recently by Hurricane Katrina have already enrolled in Wayne County Public Schools, with more expected, officials said.

Olivia Pierce, executive director for community relations, said on Friday it will be hard to know how many students will be added to the rolls. At this point, the efforts are being geared toward helping each family as it comes.

Earlier in the week, North Carolina's state school superintendent announced students from the three states most affected by the hurricane, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, were eligible to enroll in North Carolina public schools if they are living here now.

"Whether they have paperwork or records, North Carolina local school districts can enroll these students and allow these young people to continue their education uninterrupted," Superintendent June Atkinson said.

Mrs. Pierce said a few students enrolled over the past week. She said she knew of several individuals who had inquired through the central office, while others were brought to her attention through the base because they were coming to live with military family members.

"We enrolled these students immediately nd waived any paperwork we would normally require," she said. "We want to help (them) as much as we can.

"They need to get back in school, emotionally as well as academically. We're doing everything we can to assist."

Mrs. Pierce said the school system was receiving guidance from the Department of Public Instruction on how to assimilate these students into the schools, and is making sure individual principals and administrators receive the necessary information.

"We're trying to make them all aware of services to provide in helping them to deal with the emotional aspects," she said.