JPS Receives $93,000 From NYS For Displaced Students

Bret Apthorpe

Schools assisting students who were displaced by 2017 natural disasters were awarded $15.9 million by the New York State Education Department to support 185 districts.

“Last year’s tragedies devastated the lives of many students by displacing them from their communities and all that is familiar – their homes, friends, neighbors and teachers,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “New York’s schools rose to the challenge and embraced these children, providing them with needed services. With these grants, these schools will be better equipped to continue to provide vital supports for our students

Jamestown Public Schools is among the 185 schools impacted by the the announcement. Jamestown’s portion is estimated to be $93,000 in aid to help provide for the displaced students education.

Bret Apthorpe, superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools, said the district currently has 20 students who qualify as a displaced student.

“$93,000 sounds romantic,” Apthorpe said. “But you have to hire bilingual teachers for these students who are going to be with these students for years. So, a one shot $93,000 doesn’t even pay for the one teacher you have to hire so our hope is that (the state Education Department) takes this one-time funding and makes it part of their annual funding to schools.”

State mandated language tests require school districts who educate English Language Learners to provide the necesssary support for those students to aquire a passing score on the test.

“For some kids it’s years,” he said of the testing.

Apthorpe said the district has had a 0 percent graduation rate for ELL students in years past. He said an initiative for the current school year is a larger focus on new services for the ELL students to hopefully change the current graduation rate.