A financially strapped Howard County program for seriously emotionally disturbed children has gained new life.
Last week, the Children's Guild of Baltimore reached a tentative agreement with Howard County to move the program into a public school building to save money. The move should save at least $40,000 a year in rent. It will allow the program to continue indefinitely, said Stanley Mopsik, the guild's executive director.
"We think this may be the long-term solution," Mr. Mopsik said.
He said school officials would meet with parents tomorrow night to seek their approval of the move.
The Children's Guild is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1953. It provides education and intensive psychotherapy to emotionally disturbed children who cannot function in regular schools.
The Howard County extension program serves 13 elementary school-age students. It is the only one of its kind in the southern Baltimore suburbs.
In the past month, the guild had considered closing the Ellicott City extension program because it did not have enough children to cover costs.
Parents were worried. Had the program closed, the children currently enrolled would have had to commute anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to the guild's main campus in Baltimore.
Many of the students are hyperactive, easily frustrated or suffer from depression. Starting the day with a lengthy bus ride could make studies difficult, school officials said.
The extension program will move over the holidays from Taylor Manor, a private psychiatric facility, to Cedar Lane School, a public school in Columbia. Cedar Lane teaches the majority of severely handicapped students in Howard County.
Mr. Mopsik said the extension program has already received another referral from the county school system and could receive more students in January.