Students and their families who have been displaced by hurricane Katrina face a myriad of challenges, both personal and academic. In turn, the Texas schools now serving many of those students must find ways of helping student evacuees to succeed in an environment in which the curriculum may be as unfamiliar to them as the classroom and the faces in it.
This set of training materials is intended to help address those challenges. It is designed for professional developers — regional Education Service Center staff, local curriculum supervisors, and others — who in turn will work with teachers whose classes include Katrina evacuees.
The training materials focus most extensively on academic issues, particularly the instructional implications of key differences between instructional standards in Louisiana and Texas. However, they also include a focus on helping teachers to recognize and address the short- and long-term effects of the trauma resulting from Katrina and its aftermath. Specific objectives are to help teachers:
- to become aware of differences and similarities between instructional content standards in Texas and in Louisiana,
- to understand the instructional implications of key differences in the two states’ standards and to adapt their instructional approaches accordingly,
- to work with the families of students who have been displaced by the hurricane, equipping them with the information they need to negotiate a new school environment, and
- to recognize and respond effectively to the ways in which the trauma of the hurricane and its aftermath may affect students’ demeanor, behavior, and academic performance.
The training materials include:
- facilitator instructions, activities, and handouts for conducting professional development sessions, plus suggestions for expanding the session to address specific instructional issues in greater depth,
- summary “Quick Guides” that describe, for each core content area and each grade level, K-12, major similarities and differences between instructional standards in Louisiana (Louisiana’s “Grade Level Expectations” and the “Texas Educational Knowledge and Skills”), intended for teachers,
- detailed side-by-side comparisons of the GLEs and TEKS for each core content area at each grade level, intended for use by anyone who needs detailed knowledge of grade-level requirements,
- resources for parents that include tips for helping their children cope with the academic and psychological effects of displacement, activities parents can conduct with their children, and questions parents should ask the school their child is currently attending.
- lists of information resources and classroom materials that address the trauma of catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina and of displacement from home and community.