5% of your school population now consists of Katrina Evacuees. That's enough kids to cause some serious impact. All the non - bilingual teachers have at least 1 and some have as many as 4. Students who for all intents and purposes have not been to school at all this year - the storm hit a day or two after the New Orleans schools opened for the year. Some have had a week of schooling here, or a week there but that's about it.
And there are no records. None, zip, nada, zilch. No heath reports, no testing results, no IEPs, no ARD papers, no report cards and no birth certificates. We have to take the parents word and we've got some who aren't even sure what grade their child is supposed to be, never mind if he had any educational issues. Though, come to think of it, if you don't know what grade your child is in, he most certainly does some major issues (and baggage).
The kids are being tested and referred as quickly as possible - which given the amount of paperwork required means things are progressing at a slow drag. And so far, many of the kids who are reading far below grade level are not testing as learning disabled. They are just illiterate.
It's like sending me to school in Holland. I speak & understand the language fluently but I am for all intents and purposes illiterate since I don't read or write Dutch. I'm not mentally deficient, I've just never been taught to read Dutch.
It's the same with these kids. Nobody ever taught them to read.