Head Start sites nearly set

July 31, 2000

Head Start sites nearly set

By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer

See also: 25 jobs left to fill

The Washington County Board of Education and Resources for Children and Families have come up with a probable list of schools to host Head Start classes next year, according to John Festerman, director of elementary education.

Resources for Children and Families is the organization spearheading the federally funded Head Start program this year. The program is open to 3- and 4-year-old children of low-income families. About 369 students will be served this year.

About 119 of those children could be headed to Emma K. Doub, Hancock, Hickory, Williamsport, Lincolnshire, Bester and Fountaindale elementary schools, Festerman said.


Sessions in Hancock, Bester, Emma K. Doub and Fountaindale elementary schools would be held in the afternoon, while sessions at Williamsport, Lincolnshire and Hickory elementary schools would be held in the morning, he said.

Classes for the additional 250 children will be held at Martin Luther King Center, Noland Village and the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.

Salem Avenue and Cascade elementary schools were suggested as possible sites but Resources for Children and Families turned those down. Festerman said those sites were rejected because Salem Avenue Elementary was close to the Martin Luther King Center, which is scheduled to provide Head Start services, and there was a lack of qualifying students at Cascade Elementary.

All classes will be taught by teachers employed by Resources for Children and Families, not the Board of Education.

"Working together in serving children and the community has always been our goal," Paul Pittman, executive director of Resources for Children and Families said. "We have made giant steps toward this effort."

Both sides still have to work out how much, if anything, Resources for Children and Families would pay in rental fees for using school space, Festerman said.

The Board is expected to vote on the possible sites at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m.

For the 2001-2002 school year, however, Resources for Children and Families could have to start the search for space all over again.

The Board of Education plans to implement all-day kindergarten by then, leaving no room for Head Start.

"I anticipate using the space for all-day kindergarten in future years," Schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett said. "However, sharing space in our schools next year will allow a smooth transition for Washington County students and also provide a full year for RCF to make future plans for the Head Start program."

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