Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 13
U.S. Navy via AP
AFTER DISASTER HITS:
School Leaders Share
Insights for Tackling
saster once she returns to school.
The district had already e-mailed
resources, including lesson plans, to
teachers on how to talk about it, she
Salva was especially worried about
some of the newly arrived students
in her school, some of whom were
refugees who had recently settled in
Academics Not Sole Priority
Romines, the Moore, Okla., superintendent, said that while the typical
focus for school leadership usually is
on academic performance, "the following year wasn't our best academically." But, after a natural disaster,
mental health should become the
priority, especially for communities
where children may be exposed to
death and destruction for the first
time, he said.
"Always be understanding of the
individuals you are talking to and
sharing their stories," Romines said.
"Our situation was unique in that we
lost students during that school day.
I tried to be very careful and guarded
in my approach toward those parents
who lost their children to not lead
them to think that I could actually
totally understand. I was able to send
my kids to school the next school
year. So I had to be patient with the
healing process for those hurting the
School leaders also said that parents tend to rely on the school for
general guidance because they are
more trusting and familiar with the
system. For example, Little Ferry's
Scarafile appointed a staff member
to act as a disaster-relief coordinator
to help parents contact the right state
and federal agencies for assistance.
"People did not know where to turn,"
Colorado Springs School District
11 did not have physical damage in
June 2012 when the Waldo Canyon
fire consumed acres of forest land just
outside the city, threatening a large
area within the district's boundaries.
But many students and staff members were forced to evacuate their
homes. So was Superintendent Nicholas Gledich.
Harvey will likely displace many
students for a long time, affecting
not just the districts that were hit by
the storm, but the districts that must
grow and stretch to accommodate an
influx of new children, Gledich said.
Last week, the Austin, Dallas, and
San Antonio districts were preparing
to take in displaced students, and offers of services and support were pouring in from throughout the region.
"You know in your heart and your
mind that Houston needs support
and resources, but let me tell you," he
said, "those other districts will need
Staff writer Evie Blad contributed to
their lives back to normal."
Considering that it's the beginning of a new
school year and many school officials are still
familiarizing themselves with their new enrollment, there's bound to be technical confusion
and a financial hurdle for districts that either
lost or gained students due to the flooding,
It's difficult to tell how many students will
qualify as homeless, but Hancock said the
number typically skyrockets after a flood such
as the one in Texas and Louisiana.
The McKinney-Vento Act was first enacted
in 1987 and requires districts to, among other
things, hire a coordinator and make special
accommodations to homeless students. Its primary goal is to create as much educational stability as possible for homeless students.
Under the law, school officials must enroll
When PAUL VALLAS took the helm of the Recovery School District in New Orleans nearly two years after
Hurricane Katrina, the community was still rebuilding. Vallas said school leaders must quickly determine
which students are impacted and then develop a plan to get them back to school quickly.
That should be priority number one. You move heaven
and earth to get those students back in school."
Vallas says district leaders will also need to:
* Pay special attention to older students, who have less time to recover academically from lost
* Assess the readiness of teachers and staff.
* Assess buildings and other infrastructure to determine the extent of the damage. Come up with a
timeline for repair, renovation, and reopening.
* Set up a "Command Center" and team for setting priorities around rebuilding, working with state
and federal officials, and responding to anything disaster-related.
ROBERT ROMINES, the superintendent of the Moore public schools in
Oklahoma, said the days ahead will test school communities' resilience.
Romines had just been hired as the incoming schools chief in the
Oklahoma district a week before a tornado killed 25 people there.
The devastation and loss of life are overwhelming after such events,
Romines said. But it's important to hold onto the brighter moments.
Then suddenly a check would
come in from a little kid who sold
lemonade to help raise money to help us
recover from somewhere far away, and
you would remember how many people
are rooting for you."
In the Colorado Springs School District 11, the Waldo Canyon fire
consumed acres of forestland just outside the city in June 2012,
forcing many students and staff members to evacuate their homes.
Superintendent NICHOLAS GLEDICH was one of them.
The schools became a rallying point for the community and a staging
site for 1,500 forest workers and emergency personnel.
The district brought in crisis counselors and its own counseling
staff to make plans for individual students. They worked with staff,
providing resources to have calming conversations with students
when school resumed.
Children take their cues from
adults, That's the bottom line."
homeless students immediately, even if they
don't have all of the necessary paperwork, such
as immunization records, identification cards,
or transfer records.
They also must provide the special needs,
language, or gifted services students were
being provided at their prior schools.
Regardless of a student's economic background, the school can use Title I funding for
disadvantaged students to provide things such
as eyeglasses, clothing to meet a school's uniform requirements, medical and dental services, and other health and social services.
Advocates say they're pushing the state and
federal governments to open up funding streams
in addition to Title I to pay for services, especially transportation costs, which can skyrocket
in the months after natural disasters. Otherwise,
the costs would fall on the districts.
San Antonio Superintendent Pedro Martinez
last week urged his principals to enroll all the
students affected by the storm as quickly and
efficiently as possible.
"We here at SAISD want to be ready to welcome students who have been displaced by
Hurricane Harvey, no matter where or how
they are housed in our District-whether staying with family and friends, or in shelters or
hotels," he said in an e-mail addressed to principals shortly after the storm. "Let us do everything we can to help these students and their
families whether they enroll for a few weeks or
for the year."
In crisis situations, Hancock said, federal,
state and district officials can coordinate their
services to accommodate homeless students.
"Right now, with the volume of students impacted and realizing that there are a limited
number of staff, we're trying to send as many
brains and bodies down to help with homeless
identification," Hancock said.
HOW TO HELP
DonorsChoose, a website that
helps teachers fundraise for
classroom projects, has set up
a Hurricane Harvey Recovery
Fund. The fund "will help
teachers rebuild and restock
their classrooms with materials
like books, furniture, classroom
supplies, technology, and
therapy resources," according to
Go to www.donorschoose.org/
The National Education
the philanthropic arm of the
teachers' union, is taking
contributions for public school
teachers and their families
who've been affected personally
by the storm. "Estimates are
that as many as one-third of
NEA members in Texas have
been impacted or will be in the
days to come," the page states.
Go to: www.neafoundation.org/
The American Federation of
Teachers also has a disasterrelief fund set up, and the Texas
AFT is accepting money for
members in need as well.
Go to: www.texasaft.org
Charity Navigator has a list
of groups that are accepting
donations for the storm (and
ratings for each one).
Go to: www.charitynavigator.org.
SOURCE: Education Week
Staff Writer Francisco Vara-Orta contributed to this
EDUCATION WEEK | September 6, 2017 | www.edweek.org | 13
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - September 6, 2017
Education Week - September 6, 2017
Teachers Carve Out a Place in the Curriculum For LGBT History
Learning to Teach Via Virtual Reality
Rule Targets District Bias In Spec. Ed.
Hurricane Takes Heavy Toll on Schools
News in Brief
State Educational-Leadership Initiatives In Budget ‘Pickle’
New Tool Alerts Teachers When Students Give Up on Test
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Mobile Devices Put Education In Hands of Syrian Refugees
LGBT Curricula Spreads Slowly
Tweaking School Turnarounds
After Fierce Fight, Illinois Enacts Tax-Credit Scholarship Program
President’s Youngest Son Joins Back-to-School Crowd
Sarah M. Stitzlein: How to Define Public Schooling in the Age of Choice?
Q&A With Jack Schneider: What Makes a School Good? It’s More Than Test Scores
READERS REACT: Have SAT Accommodations Really Gone Too Far?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Chris Elmendorf & Darien Shanske: We Need Better Education Data
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - Hurricane Takes Heavy Toll on Schools
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 2
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 3
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - News in Brief
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 5
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - State Educational-Leadership Initiatives In Budget ‘Pickle’
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - New Tool Alerts Teachers When Students Give Up on Test
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Mobile Devices Put Education In Hands of Syrian Refugees
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 9
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 10
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 11
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 12
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 13
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - LGBT Curricula Spreads Slowly
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 15
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - After Fierce Fight, Illinois Enacts Tax-Credit Scholarship Program
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - President’s Youngest Son Joins Back-to-School Crowd
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - Sarah M. Stitzlein: How to Define Public Schooling in the Age of Choice?
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - Q&A With Jack Schneider: What Makes a School Good? It’s More Than Test Scores
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - Letters
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 21
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 23
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - Chris Elmendorf & Darien Shanske: We Need Better Education Data
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - CW1
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - CW2
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - CW3
Education Week - September 6, 2017 - CW4