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Valley School Districts Enrolling Displaced Children

3 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Monday, August 28 2017 Aug 28, 2017 August 28, 2017 6:11 PM August 28, 2017 in News

BROWNSVILLE – Many families that fled to the Rio Grande Valley to escape Harvey's destruction are now trying to get their children enrolled in local school systems.

The Brownsville Independent School District superintendent Esperanza Zendejas said the district is ready to enroll up to 6,000 additional students if needed.

On Monday, many students were excited for the first day of school at BISD. But for many living near Corpus Christi and Houston, the start of the school year has been anything but ideal.

"As a district, our concern are the kids to make sure they are in school," Zendejas said.

Zendejas said giving children some sense of normalcy during this time is crucial.

"As a superintendent, you always want to protect the children from experiences that could impress on them in a negative way," she said. "So by making sure kids are in school, it forms a positive venue while the families are in transition or while everyone stabilizes. So, it's important that we take care of our families and our children in that manner."

Russell Elementary School mom Samantha de la Cruz agrees. 

She said now is the time to be united and supportive of others, even from miles away.

"We're caring for them and they'll feel better emotionally," de la Cruz said, "that's what really matters here, because they are kids. So they can feel more secure and that they are continuing with their lives."

Another BISD parent, Johnny Rocha, said if the Valley had been hit, he'd expect school districts further north to do the same.

"The images from over there are really shocking, how flooded they are," Rocha said. "They say we needed water in the state, and now we have it, but it was pretty bad what happened to the people."

Zendejas said parents or relatives of students that have been displaced can go to the school of their choice and asked to enroll their kids.

Documentation requirements will be waived.

The state will likely reimburse the district for each day, new students attend a BISD school, Zendejas said.

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