Transition Into Florida Schools for Evacuee Students Not Expected to Be Easy

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Alana Manego is starting her senior year over again in Tallahassee, 400 miles from home in New Orleans.

“I miss my friends my family. I mean, there's nothing to do here,” she says.

It’s a similar story for 14-year-old Darren Aubert, whose family fled New Orleans with only a few clothes. The Auberts try to be strong for their children, telling them to make new friends and pray, but the stress is overwhelming.

Kim Aubert says, “We don’t have a home to go back to, and not knowing what may happen to us.”

At Leon High School in Tallahassee there has been a steady stream of evacuees registering their children. Parents are determined to give their children an education and a sense of normalcy.

Kim Aubert says, “They really think they are on vacation. Maybe getting into school, maybe have some frame they have to settle down.”

The students who are starting over in Florida are facing many challenges, dealing with the stress of losing so much and starting off three weeks behind in school.

Rocky Hanna, Leon High School Principal, says, “I feel we can get them up to speed. Teachers are compassionate and sympathetic.”

Alana is one of an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 students whose lives have been uprooted.
She says while Floridians have been kind, it’s not home.

The Florida School Boards Association says because of the additional students, school administrators will ask for more state money during the special session, expected this fall.