Tuesday, August 11, 2020
US flag

Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery is a slow process

Hurricane Maria left devastation in it wake across Puerto Rico, turning the island completely dark without electricity at one point and closing more than 1,100 public schools buildings. Schools are reopening as community centers for now, and progress is slow, given the enormity of the task, NPR reports.

Ms Keleher is the superintendent of Puerto Rico’s school district, the third largest in the country, behind New York and Los Angeles.

In an interview with NPR, she said the island’s progress was slow but that she hoped to have public schools in Puerto Rico open their doors by October 23. “We have 345,000 students and 1,113 schools,” she told NPR. “Last week, we opened 22. This week we’re opening another 145. And then, I’ve identified 227 that, when we remove the debris, we can open.”

The reopening strategy is said to include some teacher and student relocations, as we reported, citing the Miami Herald, to districts like Miami-Dade, New York, or Chicago.

“My main objective is that every child in Puerto Rico gets a quality education,” Education Week quoted Ms Keleher as saying.

“If my system provides that, great. If another system in a state is going to provide that, that’s great too. What I’m committed to is to work collaboratively with the leaders of those systems so that our students get a little briefcase, and they can go. So that we help them. That’s what we’re here for. The adults can figure out what’s important to adults later. … I need to make sure if that kid goes, that kid has everything he or she needs to adapt.”


P.R. and S.D. National Guard soldiers distribute drinking water, Oct. 11 (National Guard / Flickr CC)

Families who stay will have between 35 and 40 school days to make up this year, which comes to about 270 hours. How they will do that may vary by school, since getting 31,000 teachers to come to a consensus about a single strategy is tough, let alone after those teachers have lost their homes in Hurricane Maria.

Some schools may opt for a longer school day, adding, say, two hours to each day. Other schools may decide to extend the school year into the summer. If they take the hourly approach, the schools will have to add some 270 hours to the school year.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.