Now They’re Gone

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When you’re a teacher or principal in a school for any length of time, you learn that students come and go.  I always hope that children can move to a new town and a new school at the end of the school year so they experience the least disruption possible.  That is for families that are fortunate enough to be able to plan their lives and make choices.  But today I am thinking of a student who left my school because of homelessness.  There had been no plans for a new bedroom, new neighbors, new friends, just a plan to survive.  I really felt for this child who had only attended my school for five months or so.  New friendships had been made, there was academic progress.  There was a period of time when this student had no idea how long they could stay with us.   I tried to find a way this student could stay at my school since there are laws that help students who are homeless.  They have the right to stay in the same school in order to keep all of the connections they have made.  The law even says that the child’s old school is obligated to provide transportation.  That is little help in a rural state where schools and families can be hours apart.  This student’s parent really wanted to make things work.  We talked about options but none really made sense.  This child had to start in what must be the fourth school in his or her young life.  I only hope the housing this family had been forced to share lasted until June.

This blog post was inspired by two other student centered posts: The Hurt by Diane Laufenberg and  The Neighborhood Around the Corner by Tony Baldasaro

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