Oak Park schools enrolling Katrina/Gulf Coast students

Hurricane Katrina

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Oak Park's District 97 elementary schools have enrolled five students dislocated by Hurricane Katrina. The five students come from four Gulf Coast families, according to the district. Which schools students have been assigned to is confidential according to the district. At least one parent interviewed by the Journal was full of praise for the district for cutting through paperwork to make the enrollment process easy and quick.

District 200 Oak Park and River Forest High School had no students enrolled from the Gulf Coast as of last week. However, the school has had inquiries from two New Orleans families now staying with families in Oak Park, a school spokesperson said. One family decided to relocate to Texas. The other is weighing whether to enroll at OPRF or another high school, the spokesperson said.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has ordered Illinois public school districts to enroll students from affected areas. The governor waved Illinois' residency and immunization requirements to allow out-of-state enrollment on Aug. 30. School districts in other states including Texas, Ohio, California and Missouri have taken similar action. At least, 135,000 Louisiana school children and 35,000 from Mississippi will have to enroll elsewhere because of damage to those state's schools. Private and Catholic schools in the state have also agreed to take in students.

?#34;Terry Dean

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