Hartford Public Schools help students and families arriving from Puerto Rico



More than 50 students from Puerto Rico have enrolled in Hartford Public Schools (HPS) since last month’s devastating earthquakes. 
 Students and their families come from at least 20 towns in Puerto Rico, according to a report by NBC Connecticut.

“These efforts are part of our mission to prepare all students to succeed in school and beyond,” said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent of Schools. “After Hurricane Maria, Hartford Public Schools received more than 450 displaced students. Once again, we are committed to do what is necessary to support students and families from Puerto Rico as they begin to rebuild their lives here in Hartford.”  

Within a month of the deadly hurricane’s rampage through several Caribbean islands in September 2017, 550 students, mostly from Puerto Rico, had enrolled in Connecticut schools and by May this total was more than 2,000, said Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) public information director Peter Yazbak.

The five districts which took in the most displaced students after Maria reported the following new arrival totals after the quakes: Hartford, 10; Waterbury, 8; New Britain, 9; Bridgeport, 0; New Haven, 11. 

 SUGGESTION: Students displaced by Puerto Rico earthquakes begin to arrive in Connecticut

Escuela Intermedia Agripina Seda, Guanica
(Photo Courtesy: Valeria Collazo, Telemundo PR)

The challenges displaced families face are beyond school enrollment. HPS’ Welcome Center has provided a range of supports including food, housing, child care, after school programs, and other needs.   

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 5 earthquake struck the island on Tuesday – the 11th earthquake of at least that size in the last month.

Welcome Center Program Coordinator Shelimar Ramirez says more students are likely to come given the ongoing aftershocks affecting Puerto Rico.

Families who need assistance can contact the HPS Welcome Center at 860-695-8400.