KISD ready to take in displaced students

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Kilgore ISD is prepared to take in students who come to Kilgore getting away from storm- and flood-ravaged areas of the Texas Gulf Coast region.

With school-age children seeking refuge at Forest Home Baptist Church and possibly other hotels or churches in the area, KISD Superintendent Cara Cooke said, the district and teachers are prepared to welcome the students to their campuses for as long as they need to be here.

“We just take care of them. We try to make it as easy as possible for them to come in,” she said. “Of course, if they have any needs, we’ll start hooking them up with area resources to provide needs. That’s just the big thing, just being aware, when they get here welcoming them and then help make them feel as at home as we can because they’ve already suffered so much. We want this to be a good experience while they rebuild or whatever the case may be.”

Students who begin school at KISD due to the effects of Harvey will not be held to the same residency requirements or transfer requirements, said Cooke, who prior to moving to Kilgore lived in Rockport, which was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey’s Category 4 winds (130 mph) and storm surge.

With approval to hire teachers to make sure Kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms have the required student-to-teacher ratios of 22:1 or lower, Cooke told the board, they will be able to note the students enrolled who have evacuated to the area from the Gulf Coast. This will allow Cooke to have a more accurate idea of the true ratio of students to teachers in KISD.

With the second week of school beginning Monday, Cooke told the board, the highest ratio is currently 20.5:1 in Kindergarten and fourth grade. The ratio is higher, Board Secretary Trey Hattaway suggested, in the older grade levels and requested the district keep track of the ratio there also even though it is not required by the state.By CHELSEA KATZ

news2@kilgorenewsherald.com

Kilgore ISD is prepared to take in students who come to Kilgore getting away from storm- and flood-ravaged areas of the Texas Gulf Coast region.

With school-age children seeking refuge at Forest Home Baptist Church and possibly other hotels or churches in the area, KISD Superintendent Cara Cooke said, the district and teachers are prepared to welcome the students to their campuses for as long as they need to be here.

“We just take care of them. We try to make it as easy as possible for them to come in,” she said. “Of course, if they have any needs, we’ll start hooking them up with area resources to provide needs. That’s just the big thing, just being aware, when they get here welcoming them and then help make them feel as at home as we can because they’ve already suffered so much. We want this to be a good experience while they rebuild or whatever the case may be.”

Students who begin school at KISD due to the effects of Harvey will not be held to the same residency requirements or transfer requirements, said Cooke, who prior to moving to Kilgore lived in Rockport, which was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey’s Category 4 winds (130 mph) and storm surge.

With approval to hire teachers to make sure Kindergarten through fourth grade classrooms have the required student-to-teacher ratios of 22:1 or lower, Cooke told the board, they will be able to note the students enrolled who have evacuated to the area from the Gulf Coast. This will allow Cooke to have a more accurate idea of the true ratio of students to teachers in KISD.

With the second week of school beginning Monday, Cooke told the board, the highest ratio is currently 20.5:1 in Kindergarten and fourth grade. The ratio is higher, Board Secretary Trey Hattaway suggested, in the older grade levels and requested the district keep track of the ratio there also even though it is not required by the state.

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