, MIAMI, Jan 25 – Schools in southern Florida are opening their doors to children arriving from quake-stricken Haiti and setting up special programs to help them adapt.
Miami officials are expecting an influx of Haitians from the ravaged country, and the Miami-Dade County school district has designated 15 schools to receive new students coming to the United States, most of them from families with dual US-Haitian citizenship.
By Wednesday, some 60 Haitian children had been admitted to schools in the area, according to the county\’s education department.
"There\’s no question that Haitian children will come to south Florida. The only question is when they will arrive and how many there will be," said Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade\’s school superintendent.
Carvalho said new student arrivals from Haiti would follow a program focusing first on literacy and cultural transition.
Authorities in Miami said they were working with federal authorities to ensure that students could be enrolled in area schools as quickly as possible and in the correct classes, even if they had lost their identification papers in last week\’s disastrous 7.0-magnitude earthquake.
The school district said it will seek federal government assistance to ensure it can adequately address the educational, psychological and social needs of its newest students.