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Missouri Schools Enroll 500 Displaced Students

School districts around Missouri have taken in about 500 students who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE recently announced that public schools around the state have taken in approximately 500 students from Louisiana and Mississippi who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Jim Morris is the spokesman for DESE.

He says so far, the influx of students hasn't had a negative impact on any school district but he says as more students come to Missouri, it could.

Morris says school districts need to realize that this is a fluid situation and that some displaced students may enroll and then attend school only for a couple of weeks.

He says others may decide to stay in Missouri.

Morris says getting children enrolled in school will bring an element of normalcy into a child's life while they continue to cope with the impact of such a traumatic event.

He says fortunately, the students are coming into classes early in the school year, making it easier on the students and teachers.

It's not just displaced students who are seeking refuge in Missouri's public schools.

Jim Morris says displaced teachers from Mississippi and Louisiana are in Missouri looking for work.

Here in Springfield, district officials are dealing with displaced students.

So far, ten students have enrolled