NYS is pushing to put displaced kids and teachers from Puerto Rico in local classrooms

Local News

More than a hundred families have moved to the Rochester area to escape the devastation in Puerto Rico. Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico is shut down, including schools. 

The Ibero American Action League is helping families from Puerto Rico with many different services, but one thing they can’t provide is schooling. 

“How can we as a community come together to really embrace these kids and make sure they are successful within that system.  ” Hilda Escher said. 

Hilda Escher is President of Ibero; to help families out she’s turning to the Rochester City School District. Ray Giamartino helps to place families in the district, so far he’s helped 154 students. 

“Because we have such comprehensive programming we have been able to identify services for the students that have transitioned in across 20 schools. ” Giamartino said. 

One of those schools happens to be East High school, but also being helped are teachers. Wade Norwood from the New York State Board of Regents explains. 

“There will be an opportunity through our Emergency Regulation to lesson some of the paperwork burden for teachers who will not be able to produce paperwork because of the Ravishes of the storm. “

Norwood says, displaced teachers can now obtain a temporary non-renewable teaching certification. Bringing teachers from Puerto Rico could also provide comfort for new students. 

“The opportunity to tap into teachers that have experienced the same types of adversities, same types of homelessness to be able to speak to students in their own language. ” Norwood said. 

This temporary certification for teachers in Puerto Rico will run through June 18th. Then teachers can apply for permanent positions in New York State. 

Many families still need help to donate, go to http://iaal.org/donate/how-to-donate/ 

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