NEW BRITAIN - The city is expecting an influx of students from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean following the devastation left by hurricanes, and the school district is taking steps to make sure it can accommodate them.
In her report to the Board of Education on Monday, School Superintendent Nancy Sarra said the district has already had nine new students enroll after Hurricanes Irma and Maria:: six from Puerto Rico, two from the U.S. Virgin Islands and one from Florida.
Paul Salina, chief operations officer for the school district, recently talked with building administrators about classroom availability and class sizes to gauge the schools’ potential for taking in the students.
Sarra said she met with city leaders Friday to discuss the idea of setting up a welcome center. Using the district’s family resource center staff, the welcome center would provide support and services to families enrolling their students in the district.
The superintendent said she has discussed with Greg Florio, executive director of the Capital Region Education Council, the potential for CREC to send three of its staffers to help with the welcome center.
Sarra said Central Connecticut State University President Zulma Toro has offered space in the Institute for Technology & Business Development building on Main Street to house the welcome center. CCSU will provide the space cost-free for four months.
Sarra also said she is hoping to sit down with state officials to discuss financial support for the district should the influx of students materialize.
The district is hoping to get the welcome center set up by the end of the month.
In other action Monday, the Board of Education:
n Accepted a $5,000 donation from the National Academy Foundation.
n Accepted a $2,844.51 donation from Comcast.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.