West Virginia Department of Education Partners With Emergency Personnel to Provide Educational Opportunities to Hurricane Katrina Evacuees

September 09, 2005

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the Preston County School System make their second visit to Camp Dawson on Monday, September 12, 2005 to begin talking to students and their families about educational needs.  

“The young evacuees at Camp Dawson have been through a traumatic experience so our first concern is ensure they are ready to go back to school,” said State Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “The parents at Camp Dawson that we have spoken with say it is so important to provide the students with some structure and engage them in educational activities as soon as possible.”  

There are currently 58 k–12 school-aged evacuees and an additional 11 pre-k students living at Camp Dawson. WVDE and Preston County Schools staff will begin assessing the students on Monday to gain a better understanding of their grade level, any special learning needs and medical information.  

“After the initial assessment with parents/guardians and students, we will have a better idea where to place these students,” said Paine. “Our goal is to provide the best educational opportunities for the students whether they will be in West Virginia for two weeks or two months.”  

In addition, the WVDE has begun initial planning to provide Adult Basic Education and GED training for any evacuee interested as well as after-school programs at the Camp Dawson site.  

The WVDE is also working in collaboration with the Governor’s Office, the National Guard, the state Health Department, FEMA, and the Red Cross.  

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