DENVER — In October alone, Denver Public Schools welcomed 400 migrant students into the district, according to Adella Arredondo, the executive director of Family and Community Engagement for DPS. Between July and October 25, DPS welcomed 1,915 migrant students.
The influx of students has meant a couple of things for the district. For starters, DPS leaders had to put a call out for more bilingual teachers.
They've had to coordinate transportation for students who are currently living in hotel shelters with their families and don't have another means of getting to school. In the early months of the surge, DPS leaders say a large concentration of enrollment happened at its schools on the southeast portion of town, near hotels where families had been staying.
The cold temperatures have also had an impact on migrant families. DPS is currently holding a winter weather clothing drive- collecting jackets, gloves and hats for students and their families.
"We've had students who show up to school, and it's freezing outside... we bring them to the hub and get them a jacket so that they can go and be the kid at recess. When it's cold outside or knowing that when they go home, they'll at least be a little warmer that evening," Arredondo said.
Despite the obstacles they've had to conquer, DPS leaders say they're able and willing to help migrant families in every way they can. So much so, they've designated team members to go out and do so.
"We have our schools who are equipped with social workers, psychologists, you know, their teams of support. And still, we need more support more hands on support," Arredondo said. "We have designated staff members who are going to schools and having a table with resources and information and talking to families and hearing from them on what are their needs, but also sharing the resources that we have made available."
Classroom sizes have also been impacted by the surge of migrant students. Gnerally, 35 students to a classroom is the limit, Adrienne Endres, the executive director of Multilingual Education at DPS told Denver7. At that point, additional students will be moved to a different school or the district will begin looking for staffing solutions.
Endres said historically, the district has had a couple of these situations come up during the school year. However this year, she said, "it's kind of every day we're seeing another school hit that point, and so we're really trying to think about how we address this."