Date of Award

Spring 2019

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Scott Hewit

Committee Member

Dr. Amy Armenia

Committee Member

Dr. Margot Fadool


In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico, resulting in the displacement of 35,000 people to Central Florida. Consequently, approximately 4,000 displaced students were enrolled in Orange County Public Schools, one of the largest and most racially diverse school districts in both Florida and the United States. Displaced students did not receive the attention deserved leading to academic and psychological difficulties. This critical review recommends curricular best practices specific to displaced English Language Learner (ELL) students, including ELL specific approaches, technology-based approaches, and models for trauma-related care. Additionally, administrative best practices are proposed to address issues of homelessness and district requirements for success. Specific community-level challenges faced by displaced students and families are also introduced highlighting the rebuilding of Puerto Rico and need for continued and higher education. Facilitating the educational and social adaptation of displaced students is the responsibility of not only individual teachers and school administrators, but a community effort.

Rights Holder

Nicole Hubert