Meade Heights Elementary opening delayed some more Students to get days off while supplies are moved

September 04, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

The county school board learned yesterday that the delay in the opening of the new $10 million Meade Heights Elementary School at Fort Meade will last a week longer than expected.

In addition to the delay caused by problems with installation of a sprinkler system that kept the school from opening on time Aug. 25, school officials have decided to give students nearly a week's vacation -- Sept. 18-24 -- while supplies, furnishings and classroom decorations are moved from the soon-to-be-vacated 1952 building into new quarters a short distance down Reece Road.

The old school will close at 12: 45 p.m. Sept. 17, and classes will resume at the new building the morning of Sept. 24. The former school building will be taken over by Fort Meade.

In all, six days of instruction will be lost for the move. The school closed two days early at the end of the last school year so that teachers could pack up their boxes, expecting to start two days late after a few days of unpacking.

But they ended up having to unpack some of those supplies to start school in the old building, then pack them up again in a few weeks.

The change in plans came as news yesterday to Pete Zahorodny, who heads the Citizen Advisory Committee for Meade Heights Elementary and is the father of a second-grader there. He said he had not heard anything about the change in dates from the school's principal, Scott Doran. "The last we heard was the 10th" of September, he said.

"The new facility is going to be real nice, and it's worth the wait to get in there," he said, adding that the delay will be a hardship for some families. "I do know of some individuals who will have to get some day care -- I'm sure it will cost them money -- or they will have to take some vacation days from work," Zahorodny said. "Throughout the military area here, there are a lot of single mothers. It does become an inconvenience."

In other action, the school board approved a field trip that will take 50 to 60 Glen Burnie High School students to Canada in November.

Students who have completed first-year French are eligible to go to Quebec City and Montreal, which will cost $350 for bus transportation, four-to-a-room lodging and meals.

The students, chaperoned by parents and teachers, will visit museums, cathedrals and a French school, said Charles E. Day, who teaches French and is chairman of the foreign language department at Glen Burnie High.

The group will leave Nov. 21 and return Nov. 25. Because the students will be off the week of Thanksgiving, they will not miss any school, Day said, adding that the trip has been scheduled every other year for two decades.

The school board also approved a three-year, $1,671,600 state grant for Career Connections, a program that will introduce students to potential careers and is intended to help them make "a smooth transition" from school to career-oriented employment or further education, according to the school system.

The program would start at Annapolis, Arundel, Glen Burnie, Meade, North County, Northeast and Southern high schools and would be introduced later at the county's other five high schools.

Pub Date: 9/04/97

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