Schools need community's helpMike Bowler's Dec. 27...


January 04, 1996

Schools need community's help

Mike Bowler's Dec. 27 education column, "EOP still making grade at Lake Clifton-Eastern," highlighted again how community-based programs are critical to the efforts of Baltimore public schools to educate our children. We are indeed grateful for the dedication of the individuals involved in these endeavors.

Programs such as FUTURES, CHOICE, RAISE, EOP, Living Classrooms, Fund for Educational Excellence, the more than 250 school-business partnerships, as well as dozens of mentoring, tutoring and cultural enhancement programs bring added valuable dimensions to the constructive educational experiences of our young people. Supporting and nurturing these efforts are a multitude of concerned citizens from all areas of our community.

We face severe challenges in the city schools, and we are making progress. This type of community caring and involvement makes it extremely satisfying to be part of the effort to meet these challenges. Our young people will benefit for generations to come.

Walter G. Amprey


The writer is superintendent of Baltimore public schools.

County schools right on snow days

This is in response to the letter, ''Too hasty school closings,'' from Ron Conheim Dec. 29. Thank you, Baltimore County for choosing my child's safety over parents' personal inconvenience during the December ice storm.

Mr. Conheim's ''less white stuff . . . than a bad case of dandruff'' was actually a serious weather situation that received national media coverage.

Plan B, what to do with the children when schools close, should have been in place weeks ago, as episodic winter closings are inevitable.

In fact, many businesses and government agencies adopted liberal leave policy to assist working parents and all adults to handle the ice crisis. No bus drivers should have to assume responsibility for other's children on dangerous icy side roads.

A helpful solution might be a registry in each school matching parents who can stay home during school closings and would welcome one or more children into their home for a day, with parents who must arrive to work on time regardless of any weather situation.

If my local school, Orems Elementary, had such a registry I would participate.

Deborah Juarascio


The people who make the decision to close schools in Baltimore County are not aliens as Ron Conheim suggests. They are dedicated professionals who are out on the highways at 3 a.m. checking road conditions.

School closing decisions are made only after hours of road and school property checks by education employees, input from county and state highway officials, local and state police headquarters and neighboring county governments and educational offices. Most of the hundreds of dedicated professional bus drivers are up and out checking their neighborhoods for unsafe conditions.

More than 88,000 students are transported daily. Their safety is paramount in the decision making process.

Mr. Conheim is invited to visit the Hereford zone at 4 a.m. during our next snow storm to drive these narrow, windy, hilly and

dangerous roads.

Possibly, uninformed parents are part of the plague of problems Mr. Conheim worries about in our schools today.

R. ''Skip'' Carey


Russian word for alien capitalism

I edit translations of Russian laws for a local business and came upon some English wording that shows how alien capitalism is to Russians.

Instead of using the noun business, the translator of the Russian law (a Russian) wrote, "the entities of economic activity."

The translator gave a literal translation of the law and it is obvious the lawmakers see private enterprise as some nebulous, ill-defined and unknown system of getting things done.

I guess for Russians capitalism is like walking on the moon and while they try to do it, they just don't have the words to describe it.

Peter G. Smith


Social Security does good work

Once again, The Sun writes an article (''Social Security bid to get new clients called a flop,'' Dec. 17) that emphasizes in a negative way the efforts of Social Security.

This time, the focus is on the Social Security Administration's outreach efforts. As the director of such an outreach project, I can attest to the positive results of at least one such project.

Our project serves people who have severe and persistent mental illness, many of whom are homeless. Through this project and its efforts to assist with obtaining Supplemental Security Income and also through its case management, individuals have been housed, connected with psychiatric treatment, vocational training and other treatment services.

One of our clients, who had an extensive history of major depression, homelessness and substance abuse, has now completed a vocational training program and plans to return to the work force.

Others have made significant progress in achieving their goals. We believe that our efforts contributed in some way to their success.

Yvonne M. Perret


Booking overseer's words anger reader

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