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Lewes, Delaware
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August 29, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 29, 1997

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14 ° CAPE GAZETrE, Friday, August 29 - Head Start Continued from page 1 you going to do it?" The reassignment plan of April, she said, did not appear to include demotions or terminations, so when the July letters arrived, em- ployees were "shocked." Hill said he knows nothing about the dis- cussions that took place at the April meeting. "1 can't verify that," said Hill. "We were told that some changes would be made, and we would be moved to different loca- tions because wewere too com- fortable in the positions that we held," said another Lewes em- ployee. "We had to take a test, and on this test we had to put where we felt we wanted to go. Nobody had any idea that we'd lose our jobs." "All staff had an opportunity to take another position," said Hill. "I think we've been real clear all along about what we intended to do. I've been talking about it ever since I started [in 1992]. I've en- couraged everybody to upgrade their skills, take classes." Hill said he conveyed his intent through staff members at meet- ings and through correspondence, although he said there were not a lot of written memos. He said that FSCAA also "offered to reim- burse people for classes, and some people went to classes on oiar time." The base pay, he said, generally ranged from $9 to $11 per hour for teachers, $7 to $9 for program aides, and $11 to $13 for site coor- dinators. "The top range has in- creased about $2 an hour," said Hill, so he said many employees would see little pay change if they took other positions. Many changes made "Nobody was told they would automatically be reassigned," said Hill, who said employees have known for a couple of years that the agency has been discussing re- organizing Head Start. The re- structuring, he said, includes up- grading the skill levels of the em- ployees, contracting food and transportation services, and up- grading facilities. The position for the cook/bus driver at the Lewes facility, he said, was eliminated because the agency plans to contract those ser- vices. However, he said, present- ly FSCAA is considering retain- ing the transportation service, and if it does, the driver's position will be reinstated• Family service workers also re- ceived the letters, even if they had degrees and experience as indicat- ed was required• Hill said those positions were retitled and job de- scriptions changed, but those em- ployees also had the option of ap- plying. The new titles are "family re- source specialists," and the job would involve working within all of the centers rather than just one, said Hill. The workers will be as- signed a certain number of fami- September 4, 1997 lies with whom they will work. Hill said there is a number of fam- ily service positions equal with the number of family service workers who lost their positions. FSCAA's Head Start program receives approximately $800,000 from both state and federal mon- ey, said Hill, but neither requires employees to have degrees in or- der to be Head Start teachers• To qualify for federal dollars, the pro- gram must meet performance standards, he said, but state fund- ing is more flexible• "The federal government doesn't mandate degrees; they just make recommendations," said Hill. "It's up to each grantee to determine," Hill said, and FSCAA is determining its guidelines based on the marketplace. The state follows the federal guidelines, he said, and by up- grading employee educational levels, "this will make us more competitive with the other organi- zations competing for that [state] funding." Additionally, he said, with the upgraded educational levels, Head Start might be able to meet standards for national ac- creditation. "That would put us in line for a lot more funding," Hill said. "We're trying to keep up with the marketplace•" The market, he said, calls for a strong educational program with a "wrap around" or daycare component. -Restructur- ing will eventually include ex- tending hours in the facilities for a daycare component following the school program• "That's to keep up with the de- mand in the marketplace," said Hill. Currently FSCAA oversees Head Start programs in Lewes, Laurel, Clarksville, Millsboro and Georgetown, he said. Lewes was the only facility that already had the wrap around program in place. "Even our daycare program will essentially become an extension of Head Start," said Hill, once the restructuring is complete. All of the teaching positions vacated by the terminated employees have been filled with teachers holding degrees, he said, but four or five openings remain for program aides, for which former teachers would qualify. Several employees have been holding meetings to discuss their problem with the agency and the loss of their jobs. Action they have taken to date includes con- tacting the Lieutenant Governor's Office as well as the offices of Congressmen Mike Castle, Sena- tor Joe Biden and Senator William Roth. They have made contact with Attorney General Jane Brady's of. flee. Some of the officials' offices have responded that they will look into the matter; other offices have not yet replied. During a recent meeting, the employees also dis- cussed contacting state legislators. Feds Continued from page 1 approved was never actually spent to replace the sand in Dewey Beach, Fenwick Island, Bethany Beach and South Bethany Beach. Bob Henry, the Delaware De- partment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's pro- gram administrator for the shore- line and waterway management section, said the timing for a beach replenishment project was not good last season. Delaware selected a contractor, but then did not proceed this year because of news of the complaint and concem that the money might no longer be available from FE- MA. Henry said Delaware has done ample surveys and believes there was a permanent loss of sand. He added that Delaware has spent the last two and a half months waiting for word from the inspector general. The August 25 memo from the office of the inspector general to EPA Regional Director for Re- gion Three Rita Calvan said "Sand may have been restored naturally, thus alleviating a need for FEMA funding." The memo then recommends Delaware and the Regional Direc- tor survey the beaches to see if FEMA funds are "needed to re- place sand lost as a result of the January, 1996 snowstorm." The memo also notes comments made by DNREC officials this year which say that the beach is wide and the sand is plentiful. "If I wasn't right, FEMA would not have asked for another sur- vey," according to Winkler. But Henry was critical of the two page memo, saying a newspa- per article and interviews with Winkler and another resident are not enough to decide whether funding is needed. He called it "shoddily done." Henry referred to a report to FE- MA by a consulting firm Dewber- ry and Davis which reviewed the Delaware surveys and reached a preliminary conclusion that "addi- tional surveys more than 15 months after the declared disaster show that project losses persisted and were not reversed by any siz- able natural recovery from sources outside the project area." That firm recommended a 10 percent reduction in the estimated amount of sand lost, but a small revision was expected, Henry said. FEMA is expected to write to Delaware soon, perhaps in the next week, and that letter may in- form the state of how much of the money it remains eligible to re- ceive. Henry said Delaware still expects to receive the funding, but that it anticipates about 10 percent less than originally awarded. MIDDLESEX Oceanside 6 BR, 4 BA home in popular resort community just steps to beach. Features fabulous roof top sundeck & two wrap around decks with fabulous ocean views, family room, guest kitchen, 2 car garage plus all furnishings & appliances• Excellent rental history. $375,000. NORTH BETHANY Oceanside 5 BR, 3.5 BA contemporary features fireplace, screen porch & decks overlooking private beach plus spectacu- lar bayview just one lot from the ocean in prestigious N. Bethany. Excellent rental history. Just $499,000. Take a relaxing 70-minute cruise across Delaware Bay aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry-you've never sailed anything like it! The Ferry's trolley service will take you to a "Ride Thru Time" on the Cape May Seashore Lines Train! The tour includes a visit to Historic Cold Spring Village-an outdoor living history museum portraying a rural community in the 1800s. The train also makes a stop near the Cape May County Park & Zoo-home to 250 species of animals, birds and reptiles. The Ferry trip to the "Ride Thru Time" departs at 9:00 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from June 27 to September I. Price for adults and children is $16.00, and includes round-trip Ferry sage, trolley service, train ride, and admission to the Zoo and Historic Cold spring Village. Or, join us for an elegant evening buffet on the luxurious Twin Capes ferry! For $26.95, you'll sail on the Bay while enjoying a buffet dinner. (Beuerages and gratuity extra.) For reservations, call 1-800-64-FERRY. (Buffet cruise departs Lewes daily at 4:40 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Cape May at 6:20 p.m.)