THOMASVILLE -- At least 16 out-of-state students affected by Hurricane Katrina have enrolled in Thomasville, Thomas County and Grady County schools within the past week.

Five of the students have enrolled in Thomasville City Schools, eight in Thomas County Schools and three in a Grady County school.

Last week, three children from the same Biloxi, Miss., family enrolled in the Thomasville City School system. Two are attending Scott Elementary School and one is attending MacIntyre Park Middle School.

New refugee students continued enrolling after the Labor Day holiday.

"We had one (family) come in a few minutes ago," said Stephanie Thomas, director of student services for the Thomasville City Schools, at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday.

The family is from Long Beach, Miss. That family's child will attend Scott Elementary School.

In addition, Thomas said the school system has received confirmation that a different child, a fourth grader, is expected to arrive soon. Thomas did not immediately know which state that student is from.

At the Thomas County School System, eight refugee children have enrolled since last week, said Carol Gerald, administrative secretary for Thomas County Schools superintendent Dr. Larry Green.

Three have enrolled at Thomas County Central High School, three at Thomas County Middle School and two at Cross Creek Elementary School.

Two of the new Central students are from Slidell, La. The other is from New Orleans.

The new middle school students are from St. Bernard, La., Gulf Port, Miss., and Biloxi.

The new Cross Creek students are from Gulf Port and Biloxi.

Last week, superintendents of both the Thomasville and Thomas County school systems confirmed that Hurricane Katrina victims could enroll their children without furnishing Social Security cards, birth certificates and shot records if access to that information is not immediately available.

The superintendents said the usual paperwork necessary to enroll a student would be waived because of dire circumstances of Hurricane Katrina victims.

About 25 families from Louisiana and Mississippi are staying in Thomas County, according the local Red Cross office.

The amount of time the displaced students will stay in this area has not been determined. School personnel do not ask that question and therefore has no way of knowing, Thomas said.

Meanwhile, hurricane victims have also enrolled in Grady County's school system.

"We have three students who have entered, from two separate families," said Tommy Pharis, assistant superintendent of instruction at the Grady County Board of Education.

They are attending Grady County's Eastside School and staying with relatives.

Eastside Principal Patsy Clark said Tuesday that one of the three students enrolled early Tuesday morning and is a second grader from New Orleans.

The other two students are related and from a separate family than the second grader. Those two students are both from New Orleans also. One is a kindergartner and the other, a third grader.

Pharis said Tuesday that Northside School was expecting a student to enroll Thursday.

None of Grady County's other schools had enrolled out-of-state hurricane victims as of late Tuesday afternoon that Pharis was aware of.



To reach reporter Blenda Link, call 226-2400, ext. 227.

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