Puerto Rico is slated to open about one-tenth of its schools Tuesday — despite not having electricity in classrooms — a small but critical step in returning one of the nation’s largest school systems to normalcy.
The territory’s Department of Education said students will return to classes at 119 campuses in the island’s capital, San Juan, and in Mayaguez, on the west coast. Students at an additional 26 schools, which are being repaired, will be transferred to nearby schools that are ready to accept students. Teachers returned to schools Monday to prepare their classrooms.
Before Hurricane Maria hit Sept. 20, the island had more than 1,100 schools that educated 347,000 students, nearly all of whom qualified for free meals. Officials expect that many students have left the island and enrolled in schools in Miami, Orlando, New York and other areas with large populations of Puerto Ricans.