Preston County Schools Welcome Hurricane Katrina Displaced Students with Open Arms

September 16, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. – Preston County Schools are gearing up for a few extra students. School-aged Hurricane Katrina evacuees currently living at Camp Dawson will be enrolled in school starting Tuesday, September 20, 2005.  

“The West Virginia Department of Education will provide any assistance that Preston County Schools may need to successfully educate our new students,” said State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “Our goal has always been to do what is best for the young hurricane victims. Going back to school is just one small step toward normalcy.”  

Currently there are 17 students expected to enroll in Terra Alta/East Preston School in Terra Alta, West Virginia. Approximately seven older students will be given the opportunity to enroll at Preston High School in Kingwood, West Virginia if they expect to remain at Camp Dawson.  

“Preston County is pleased to accept our new students and we will do whatever we can to provide a smooth transition,” said Preston County Superintendent John Lofink. “We expect the new students and their families to visit their classrooms on Monday and ready for school on Tuesday.”  

The West Virginia Department of Education partnered with Preston County Schools, the Governor’s Office, the American Red Cross, the National Guard and the state Health Department to assess the school-aged Hurricane Katrina victims earlier this week.  

“We spoke with the families of the school-aged children and they overwhelmingly told us that they want their kids in a structured learning environment,” said Paine.  

Meanwhile, the Department of Education has set up a student-learning center at Camp Dawson. Fifteen laptops have been installed with learning software such as MarcoPolo and SAS inSchool . Preston County teachers have been trained and will operate the computer lab.

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