In the wake of devastation in Louisiana and Texas, Oklahoma is ready to receive children and students displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will make every effort to reduce bureaucratic barriers that might prevent a student’s immediate placement in an Oklahoma school.
Scott Farmer, Sallisaw Schools superintendent, said no displaced students have been enrolled yet, but inquiries by relatives have been made.
“Certainly our doors are open to displaced families,” Farmer said. “We would be honored to serve them, but we don’t anticipate any major enrollment.”
Farmer said under the Federal McKinney – Vento Education Act, students displaced by a natural disaster are to be considered homeless and enrolled immediately. Most of these students will not have academic and health records with them upon enrollment; therefore, student grade placement will be done in ways other than the presentation of grade cards and school records until those become available.
Hofmeister has reached out to her counterparts in Texas and Louisiana to work with them to expedite documentation as needed.
Each school district will be responsible for reporting all Hurricane Harvey students to the OSDE.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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