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Austin Schools Prepare To Enroll Harvey Evacuees

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez
Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz invites evacuees from Harvey to enroll in Austin schools, Thursday at LBJ/LASA High School, which is being used as a shelter.

This post has been updated.

Students who have evacuated their homes elsewhere in the state because of Harvey are welcome at Austin schools, Austin Independent School District Superintendent Paul Cruz and Mayor Steve Adler reiterated at a press conference Thursday.

Cruz said the main goal for the district is making sure every child gets a consistent education. He encouraged families to enroll in Austin schools whether it’s for one day, a few weeks, or indefinitely. 

He said the district is also preparing to provide other resources to families, including "additional counselors [and] additional parent support specialists to help students and families process those experiences and understand their new environment."

The district streamlined its enrollment process so it can accept students from other parts of the state

AISD typically requires a child's birth certificate, record of immunizations, proof of address and a parent's photo identification. For those taking shelter in Austin, the district is requiring less documentation under the assumption most families will not have all the documentation. 

"Austin ISD will continue to welcome all students, including any evacuees who are in Austin for the foreseeable future," said Cristina Nguyen, a spokesperson for the district. "We are doing all we can to ensure all student needs are met and that there will minimal lapses in their school year."

Nguyen said the form for evacuees will allow parents, guardians or other adults to enroll a child with little documentation so they can enter a classroom as soon as possible. The district is asking principals to document the number of evacuee students. 

School officials have been going to AISD facilities – including the Toney Burger Activity Center and LBJ/LASA High School – that have been serving as shelters to enroll children on the spot.

The district is also raising money for evacuee families who enroll in schools here to provide them with school supplies, clothes and financial support. 

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