In the wake of Sunday night’s devastating EF-3 tornado, some impacted families have had to vacate their homes with no idea as to when they can return. Or, if they even will. Among the many questions that such an uncertain situation creates, one of the most pressing for parents regards their children’s school enrollment. If a Naperville family is forced to relocate, perhaps indefinitely, will the children be able to stay at their own schools?
“If you move out… where do [Naperville District 203 students] go?” one Naperville resident who wished not to be named asked. “If you have to abandon your house, where do the kids go?”
“Port In The Storm”
According to officials with Naperville School District 203, tornado-impacted students will be able to stay in their current schools, at least for the time being.
“We’ll help families stay at their home schools, we’ll work with them, we’ll provide any services that they need to get to and from school, all of that,” Naperville School District 203 Executive Director of Communications Sinikka Mondini said.
Much of the tornado damage was centered in the Cinnamon Creek subdivision in Naperville, an area that sends students to Ranch View Elementary, Kennedy Middle School and Naperville Central High School. Mondini said that in the long term, families that relocate out of the school district might have to change their children’s enrollment status.
“It’s case by case. If they relocated out of the district and moved into a new house, and were living there permanently, then that would be a transfer to a new school or a new district,” Mondini said.
But until that time comes, she said the district wants enrollment status to be the least of parents’ concerns.
“We want to be the sort of port in the storm; the consistent element for [tornado-impacted] students,” Mondini said. “Let’s say they get displaced or they’re living in a hotel… we will keep that sort of seamless transition for them, that they have their school to go to.”
Collecting Enrollment Information
Mondini said District 203 still did not know, as of Wednesday June 23, exactly how many of its students were impacted by the tornado. Many families have not yet come forward to the district to discuss their situation. Those organizations that have been aiding Cinnamon Creek families – such as the Red Cross – likewise have not released any information on impacted families.
“This is really something where we have to kind of sit back and wait for families to come to us on this,” Mondini said.
She added that the disaster occurring during summer vacation was likely slowing the information-collection process.
“If we were in the middle of a school year we’d probably have a better handle on it,” she said.
Mondini said that any impacted families worried about their children’s enrollment status – or any other school-related issues, should contact District 203. Relevant contact information is listed on the District 203 website.
“We would encourage any families out there that have been impacted by the tornado to call the district office.” Mondini said.
For more information on the aftermath of Sunday night’s tornado, follow NCTV17’s ongoing coverage.
Naperville News 17’s David Byrnes reports
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