Rochester is playing another role helping the victims of Hurricane Maria. The Rochester City School District has 97 new students, most of them from Puerto Rico and the district is expecting many more, possibly thousands of children from the hurricane ravaged territory.
Rochester is playing another role helping the victims of Hurricane Maria. Thursday, we learned the Rochester City School District has 97 new students, most of them from Puerto Rico.
The district expects that number to continue to grow, possibly into the thousands. But how is the district handling the influx and the possibility of many more students: An action plan.
"Our current number is 97," says Ray Giamartino, RCSD chief accountability officer. "We're preparing for as many as another 97 up to a couple of thousand."
Giamartino is talking about the number of students who have recently come into the district from hurricane-ravaged areas. 87 of the new students are from Puerto Rico. Day by day the situation is fluid. The district has no idea how many students will come and how long they'll stay. But district representatives have been meeting with community groups for a few weeks and he says they're ready.
"A lot of the families transitioning in based on the information that has been shared with us have local friends and family who've helped with the transition," says Giamartino.
Giamartino says that support has come from loved ones already living here and community organizations. He says that has helped the district prepare to meet all of the needs of the new students.
Giamartino says, "As you know families and students transitioning from hurricane-affected areas can come with significant levels of trauma so ensuring that we have social workers and school counselors in place that are assessable is key."