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Parents address BHK board

December 18, 2012
By SCOTT VIAU - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Upset parents addressed the board over the closure of the BHK-run Little Red Schoolhouse at the organization's Monday night board meeting.

Johana Chiriwos said her son was attending the school when she received a letter in the mail in late November saying the school was to close. Since then, she has been unable to find replacement daycare that puts as much of an emphasis on learning as BHK does.

Chiriwos said she wishes they would have closed the school earlier so she would have been able to find an alternative school.

Article Photos

Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
From left, Executive Director Pat Rozich, Associate Executive Director Bill Polkinghorne and Financial Director Chip Law discuss ways of potentially using BHK-run Little Red Schoolhouse. While the school will close on Dec. 21, it is possible, although still uncertain, that it may reopen later next year.

"It's extremely hard to find a daycare," Chiriwos said. "It's all playing. They're not learning anything."

Chiriwos's son, Konstantinos, was a participant in the Chinese language program at Little Red Schoolhouse. Chiriwos now worries that education will go to waste.

At the meeting, the board discussed why Little Red Schoolhouse had to close.

One of the reasons behind the closure of the school was the lack of payment it received.

"This program could not pay for itself," said Associate Executive Director Bill Polkinghorne. "It was doomed."

Board member Colleen Vallad-Hix said she knows that Little Red Schoolhouse, as it stood, had to go but wondered if there was something that could be done to keep it.

"I would have never agreed to a program where people pay willy-nilly, but there's obviously a need in the community for something at this schoolhouse and it's pretty urgent right now," Vallad-Hix said.

There are currently no plans to sell the building and the possibility of Little Red Schoolhouse reopening wouldn't become a reality until later next year, if at all.

Another topic of discussion at the meeting was the status of the AmeriCorps grant.

According to BHK Executive Director Pat Rozich, BHK is still in the process of obtaining a multi-state grant to restore its AmeriCorps funding.

In other news, the board:

heard from Polkinghorne regarding the property they have to sell. According to Polkinghorne, they have received an offer on the Moyer building.

discussed school safety and emergency procedures. According to the board, they currently do drills for fires and tornadoes but no drills have been done in the event of a shooter.

approved Emilie Krznarich as the early childhood representative on the board.



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