JeffCo Schools prepares to receive hurricane victims

Students displaced by Harvey and Irma will be welcomed by JeffCo schools.

JEFFERSON COUNTY - Though Dakota Ridge High School houses more than 1,550 students, there is still plenty of room for those displaced by Hurricane Harvey and, potentially, Hurricane Irma.

"I think the reality is that we know that families are in chaos," said Jim Jelinek, Dakota Ridge Principal. "They don't have records. They don't have birth certificates. They don't have any paperwork."

Jelinek was at Dakota Ridge when it started receiving displaced students from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"Do you have a place to live? Do you have clothing? Do you have food?" Jelinek said. "Or, it could be emotional supports, you know, families when you're uprooted like that."

Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass told all his principals to be ready for incoming hurricane victims just like how they came to Colorado after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

"We're expecting the same kind of thing to happen as a result of what's happening in Texas and what may happen in Florida," Glass said. "Of course, those are larger metropolitan areas (than New Orleans), so the impact may be even greater here."

Jelinek anticipates potentially a handful of students coming to his school or any school in the district. Glass says coming to Colorado may make sense for a lot of Hurricane victims because of nearby relatives.

"We have a lot of people in Colorado who have relocated here from Texas," Glass said.

Glass also told principals to connect with community resources so people can have as much support as they need.

"We're going to find a way to accommodate these children," Glass said.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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