Eva Williams

Eva Williams

The “calamity” that is Lamar County Head Start’s teacher workroom will soon be no more after Paris ISD trustees gave their nod of approval on plans to revamp it.

Head Start director Eva Williams told trustees funds were already available for the project, estimated to cost $38,759, and she was seeking their blessing to spend the money for this purpose.

“We had some surplus monies left from our construction projects,” Williams said Monday. “So with that, I am wanting to redo our teacher workroom, and if you’ve been over there, you see it is a calamity.”

Williams presented the board with draft plans by local contractor Bart Chadwick. She said she told Chadwick that Head Start would require two more estimates besides his own before the work could start.

Funds for the teacher workroom project are leftover from a 2019 project to expand and update Lamar County Head Start facilities. In February 2019, Williams submitted a full funding request to the Head Start program for $287,475, saying at the time that if the full amount wasn’t approved, she had $195,000 set aside in her budget to get the work done.

The Lamar County Head Start program is federally funded for 208 students — a number that’s based on the 10-year census count. Superintendent Paul Jones on Monday told trustees the number could go up or down after this year’s census.

“If our census number in Lamar County increases, we might have 218 slots to serve. There’s always a waiting list at Head Start, so there is a need,” he said. “And that’s why we encourage everyone to participate in the census because we know there are more students that qualify for Head Start services. However, 10 years ago, the last time the census was taken, we just got 208 slots.”

In addition to unanimously approving Williams’ expenditure request, trustees on Monday gave unanimous approval to the 2020-21 school year Head Start flyer. The document outlines registration dates, contact information, income guidelines and required documentation.

Registration for the next Head Start school year will be open from 8:30 a.m. to noon March 23 to April 24 during weekdays only. Registration may also be completed by phone at 903-737-7469 or online at lch.parisisd.net, where registration may be completed at anytime.

To be eligible for Head Start enrollment, a child must be 3 or 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, and the parent/guardian annual income must be at or below the Department of Health and Human Service’s poverty guidelines. The guidelines start with a single person household making $12,760 and add $4,480 for each additional person in the household so that the poverty guideline for a four-person household is $26,200.

Required documentation to register includes the child’s birth certificate, immunization record, Social Security card, Social Security numbers for everyone in the household, verification of family income and parent/guardian state issued ID or driver’s license. If applicable, additional documentation includes disability documentation, custody papers, Medicaid number and state CHIP eligibility.

Children with a diagnosed disability are given priority points for enrollment, the flyer states.

Williams said the flyer will be posted in businesses that allow it and where Head Start officials anticipate parents will go.

Copies of the flyer are available at The Paris News and with this story online at www.theparisnews.com.

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6960 or klark.byrd@theparisnews.com.

Managing Editor

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News and the editor of Paris Life Magazine. He resides in Paris with his wife, Krystle, and their three children, Charlie, Annalise and Willow.

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