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Sandy causes confusion over students' schooling

education050911_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

One of the after effects of so many families losing their homes due to Hurricane Sandy may be students being displaced from their schools.

New Jersey Education Commissioner Chris Cerf notified school districts in a memo that they are required by law to enroll these students right away, and paperwork can be filled out later.

“I urge you to put the needs of our students first and do whatever you can to provide safe learning environments for all students displaced by the storm,” Cerf said, according to NorthJersey.com.

Most schools have just reopened this week, and the number of displaced students is not clear, according to NJ Spotlight. Moonachie schools will be transferring 300 students to Wood-Ridge schools.

The displaced students will also be permitted to stay in their new schools for the remainder of the school year, even if they find permanent housing in another area. Cerf said in his memo that students without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are considered homeless by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and can be enrolled.

State officials said about 200 schools still had no power Friday. They said 82 percent of school districts were prepared to reopen, but only about 60 percent held classes.

There has been confusion over regulations regarding student enrollment in New York City. According to NY1.com, the Department of Education clarified on Thursday that students were allowed to enroll in the nearest school they can reach. At P.S. 90 in Coney Island, only 28 percent of students were able to get to school on Thursday.

P.S. 90 is unable to provide transportation to students because of a school bus shortage. Some schools have been relocated so far away due to storm damage that many students are unable to get to school.

 

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