County Comment: Head Start Funding and Road Construction Contracts

County Comment
Head Start Funding and Road Construction Contracts
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

In the regular meeting of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners on March 21, County Purchasing Agent Karen Luther and Stephanie Stone, Director of the Washington County Community Partnership (WCCP) brought a request to award a contract for Activities Enhancing School Readiness of Children Birth Through Age Five in Washington County, Maryland to Head Start of Washington County (HSWC) in the amount of $46,440.00
The service will fulfill requirements contained in the WCCP's Summary of Concept Ideas for the use of carry forward funds and other funds from the State of Maryland acting through the Governor's Office for Children (GOC). The contract is for a period beginning April 1st and ending June 30, for Year 1 funding and July 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007 for Year 2 funding.
HSWC proposed to fully implement the Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI) curriculum, a proven tool for improving child outcomes for school readiness, in all Head Start center-based classrooms. CLI, a curriculum strongly supported by Washington County Public Schools, provides a nationally recognized evidence-based curriculum, which works to increase the literacy skills of children from low-income families and to foster a love of reading.
HSWC is implementing a shared model of the CLI curriculum this spring in six Head Start classrooms and the funding will make it possible to provide the CLI curriculum in 13 Head Start classrooms at five centers. HSWC said that a total of 372 children will receive the CLI curriculum.
$31,440.00 would be used to supply each classroom with a Blueprint for Early Literacy pre-kindergarten curriculum, which includes six teacher resource books, a classroom library collection of 50 books, 10 monthly theme boxes, five author packs, four magnetic lap boards, three music CDs, 25 student portfolio folders, writing supplies, word-wall materials, 25 parent books, and a one-day training seminar provided by CLI for each lead teacher.
$14,900.00 of the contract funds would enable all education staff to participate in a six-hour training through APPLES for Children, Inc. for implementation of specific areas of the curriculum. APPLES will deliver onsite technical assistance, geared toward the set-up and application of the CLI, at each of the five sites following each workshop. In total, APPLES will provide one, six-hour training and three, three-hour trainings in the CLI curriculum.
Also in that meeting, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer made a request to approve forward funding for reconstruction of East Oak Ridge Drive from Antietam Creek to the Maryland Route 65 intersection.
Rohrer told the Commissioners that East Oak Ridge Drive, a heavily traveled urban road, has an average daily traffic (ADT) count of 8,857 vehicles. The segment between Route 65 and Funkstown is particularly heavy for both the a.m. and p.m. peak hour traffic and is in need of major pavement repairs and reconstruction, especially for the stretch between the stone arch bridge and Oak Ridge Place.
Pavement conditions became so bad by the fall of 2004 that the Highway Department placed a temporary two-inch asphalt cap on the hill above the bridge, Rohrer said. In addition, there are significant subsurface drainage problems that require attention. Due to heavy truck traffic in the area, a major segment requires milling, full depth patching, and overlay to address rutting and structural deficiencies.
In view of the unit prices under the current pavement maintenance contract and the capabilities of the contractor, Rohrer recommended issuance of a Change Order to complete this work prior to July 1, and the measure was approved by unanimous vote.