Gov. Malloy administration issues guidance to schools regarding displaced students from Puerto Rico

HARTFORD — Governor Malloy and his administration announced Thursday that they are going to be issuing guidances to every school superintendent in the state which outlines suggested protocols if students arrive from Puerto Rico, or any other affected storm areas.

They want to make sure that the students arriving will have immediate access to school and expedited connections to the services they may need.

The administration says in the days since Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought devastation to the island, they have received a number of inquiries from superintendents and other school officials requesting information on how to supervise the situation.

Governor Malloy said in a statement:

“When tragedy strikes, it is often our children who are most at risk. 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.”

State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell:

“The emotional pain and trauma that these storms have exposed countless young people to is truly heartbreaking. 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 version)

**Download: Memo to superintendents regarding enrollment of displaced children (Spanish version)

**Download: Information packet on the educational rights of children and youth displaced by disasters

**Download: Information packet on meeting the needs of students displaced by disasters