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Puerto Rican evacuees continue education in San Antonio schools

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SAN ANTONIO -- Spring Meadows Elementary is a particularly bilingual campus, but soccer is the true Universal language.

Yahir, Alejandro and Mia Ocana are Puerto Rican evacuees attending the school in the Judson Independent School District. Their favorite part of the school day is kicking the soccer ball around with their friends.

The kids were forced to leave their home with their parents after the devastation of hurricane Maria.

“I think the scariest was not having electricity or water and having kids that you need to feed and get gasoline and all that. It was scary,” said Kayla Montanez, the children’s mother.

This family is far from alone.

Administrators at Spring Meadows and across the Judson district have been working hard make sure the Ocana children and the 25 other Puerto Rican students integrate well.

“There have been some adjustments so we provided supports that the students need to kind of help them catch up to speed and excel at what they already were ahead into,” said Destiny Barrera, principal at Spring Meadows Elementary.

Our research shows 212 Puerto Rican evacuee students enrolled in major school districts in the San Antonio area after Hurricane Maria. 164 are still enrolled.

Almost half of those students are in the Northside Independent School District.

The family said life is good here in the states. The kids excel in their studies, and not only are they learning, they are making plenty of friends.

The family only plans on returning to Puerto Rico for vacation.

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