Plans to restart Head Start classes shut by boiler failure are postponed

January 21, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Classes won't begin until Monday for 108 Head Start youngsters forced to stay home after a boiler failure closed their cold classrooms at the former Elkridge Elementary School on Jan. 7.

Plans to restart classes yesterday at Ellicott City's Rockland Arts Center building -- another Head Start site in a former school -- were postponed, said Dorothy L. Moore, director of the county's Community Action Council, which administers the federal preschool anti-poverty program.

That prompted criticism from at least one parent. Adele Linsalata, whose son, Tyler, 3, keeps asking where his teacher is, said the council hasn't kept parents sufficiently informed.

"The worst part is he wants to be at school," she said of Tyler, praising the program but criticizing the delay.

Moore said the criticism might be valid but that she is trying her best to get the classes in operation. Five classes will use Head Start classrooms at the Rockland building by running two shifts a day. The problem involves one additional group of 17 children for whom there is no space.

Early plans to obtain a portable classroom for the extra class failed because such structures don't meet federal standards, Moore said.

She's trying to arrange for temporary space in a church or in another part of the Rockland building leased by the county arts council.

Pub Date: 1/21/99

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