September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina -- What's Up At My School?

You people know I almost never blog about school, and when I do I am very circumspect.

I will be general in this post, too , but I have to say that I'm going to be a bit more specific in what I say here.

I teach on the east side of Houston, at a 9-10 grade high school campus. We have about 2300 students, 80% minority, well-over half qualifying for free/reduced lunch. We are blessed by an industrial base, as we straddle I-10, and we are also a growing residential community because of new home construction on the north side of the district. I won't name the school or district.

We are being touched by Hurricane Katrina in a small way. My campus had four students fom Louisiana enrolled as of the start of school today. Our sister campus (grades 11-12) had 10. I would speculate the district probably had received 30-40 as of this morning. Who knows how many came in to the district today? I won't even begin to speculate about what will happen next week, though I will note that we already have a lot of students with Louisiana roots whose cousins are likely to turn up.

We got word from the district today -- we will take all comers without question. What's more, the word out of the district offices is that none of these students is expected to lay out a penny for anything -- not pens and pencils, not paper, not notebooks. To quote my principal, "If they don't have clothes, we will take them clothes shopping." I applaud my district for taking that stand, which I suspect goes even furhter than TEA requires of us.

But the commitment goes further than that. There aren't any openings in the district now (we pay well for the area, and have a reputation as a good place to work), but the district is planning to hire on some of the displaced teachers from Louisiana as long-term or permanent substitutes, so that they have money coming in. It won't be anywhere near their regular salaries as teachers, unfortuantely, but it will be something. After all, a lot of schools are closed for the foreseeable future over in Louisiana, and teachers have been told that they are on their own.

The district has asked employees to help. At our faculty meeting today, we were challenged to donate at a certain level (varying depending on whether the employee is uncertified, a teacher, or an administrator). We approved that by acclamation. Proceeds will be going to the school district in Pascagoula, Mississippi, with which there is a pre-existing relationship.

Our kids are in on this, too. One of our service organizations is running a clothing/bedding/canned goods/toiletries/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink drive. Students at the New Arrival Center (for recent immigrants needing to learn English) on one of our other campuses will be sponsoring a car wash tomorrow.

And then there was the fundraising drive by student council. I'm not sure how much they raised, but I suspect that it was in excess of $5000 just from sending someone around to each classroom during third period. I suspect my class ponied up about $50-60. A colleague tells me of one boy who, before going to lunch, pulled out his wallet and emptied the contents into the can -- at least $20.00. I've got this kid in one of my history classes, and know he comes from one of the worst neighborhoods in the district and from a family that doesn't have much. I know he wors after school and on weekends to contribute to the family budget, and doesn't keep much for himself -- so it was probably all or most of what he has for a week or two. He's the type of kid that I refer to when I tell folks that I teach the best kids in the world -- he may not be the best student, but he is an outstanding human being.

I don't doubt that the other schools in the district are responding in exactly the same way.

I'll update you folks about how Katrina impacts my school and my district as time goes on. One thing I can tell you, based on what has happened so far -- we WILL step up. And so will every other Texas school and district.

(Michelle Malkin has a round-up of relief efforts here in Texas -- and Lone Star Times is covering the action at the Astrodome)

UPDATE: As of mid-morning on Friday, at least 6100 students displaced by katrina have enrolled in schools around the state of Texas, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin talks about the situation in Pascagoula

|| Greg, 07:04 PM || Permalink || Comments (6) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for Hurricane Katrina -- What's Up At My School?

TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Hurricane Katrina -- What's Up At My School?'.

Comments on Hurricane Katrina -- What's Up At My School?

What a great school, everyone there! This makes me glad that the feds declared Texas and Arkansas disaster states so we'd be able to obtain federal money to help these people that probably lost everything.

But something about the federal disaster money thing I heard on the news bothered me: 'This means that ANY county in Texas will be able to apply for money under the disaster declaration'. Well if ALL the counties that apply for money are taking in evacuees, then it doesn't bother me, but will every county that applies for it be required to have taken in, or helped evacuees? Will someone be watching out for that? Because naturally we don't trust almost all politicans when there's money to be had, plus remember those stories about how some communities used the terrorism-prevention funds on really dufus stuff.

I just hope they're able to catch the opportunist BEFORE they try to take advantage of it, instead of reporters finding out about it way after the fact.

|| Posted by Sherri, September 3, 2005 05:04 PM ||

I'm reasonably sure that you have to show that you have expenses related to the hurricane to get the money. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, September 3, 2005 05:22 PM ||

It's wonderful to hear how not only people but local government is helping.

|| Posted by muse, September 7, 2005 08:43 AM ||

BRAVO for your school! We it get tough in this great country, we Americans rise to the call and bust our butts to help our fellow Americans.

Our school (7-8 JHS, low socio area) is having a minor fundraiser; our kids get to wear blue jeans if they contribute some cash.....I have my advisory kids working on it in a bigger way as their community service requirement.

Just an idea: For "others" to contribute to obtaining supplies for your 'new' students, maybe asking for money cards for Wal-Mart would work better than sending cash or checks or mailing supplies (which the postage eats up alot of the supplies that could be obtained otherwise).

Have a great school year !

|| Posted by Polski3, September 7, 2005 08:33 PM ||

God bless you all. Our high school got our second student today, and our principal gave the people money for food and supplies, and a possible connection to a job for the dad. There are no words for the situation these victims face. We must welcome them all and try to heal their pain.

|| Posted by Ms. Cornelius, September 7, 2005 10:10 PM ||

I think this story that she wrote was good but I need somethings that rhymes lke Humty Dumty or something else that is very cool and interesting for adults,teachers and student to read and entertain.

|| Posted by Bernnie, October 19, 2005 02:01 AM ||
Post a comment

Remember personal info?




Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Announcements (posts: 13)
Blogging (posts: 187)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 421)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 685)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1570)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 108)
Politics (posts: 5261)
Race & Racism (posts: 281)
Religion (posts: 819)
Terrorism (posts: 884)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)


January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure


About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site

Support This Site

Recent Entries

Who Is Regan Theiler And Why Was She Allowed To Spend Public Funds On A Sole Source Contract For Her Part-Time Employer?
Not My Idea Of A Stimulating Evening
About Trump's Liberty University Speech
Do Not Place The Secessionist "Texas Independence" Measure On The 2016 Republican Primary Ballot
Conservatives Vs. Liberal On Those Engaged In Violent Political Activity
Tom Mechler Makes His Case Against Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Jared Woodfill Makes His Case For Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Questions About Moving The 2016 RPT Convention
Reject The Call To Move 2016 Republican Party Of Texas Convention
It Is Too Bad That Political Parties Cannot Reject Voters Who Seek To Join, Stop Would-Be Candidates Who Want To Run


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs