Charter school in SW Houston remains closed

Construction delays forced the Harmony School for Art and Technology to begin school more than one week after HISD started.

August 31, 2010 3:51:19 PM PDT
The school year still hasn't started yet for hundreds of kids who attend a brand new local charter school in southwest Houston. The Harmony School for Art and Technology was supposed to welcome students back last week, but that didn't happen. It was an extra week of vacation that Nelson Espinao didn't necessarily enjoy.

"I'm used to going to school early, August 25, around that time," he told us.

"You actually miss going to school?" we asked.

"Yes, a lot," he said.

He's one of more than 400 students enrolled in a brand new charter school called the Harmony School of Art and Technology on Kirby at West Bellfort.

"We had some issues with the contractors and safety first rules are very important to us," said Dr. Soner Tarim, superintendent Dr. Soner Tarim. "So we want to resolve all the issues before we open the school."

Some of those issues include electrical wiring. The kindergarten through eighth grade school was supposed to open last Monday, but Dr. Tarim says construction ran behind. That, combined with a website and phone system that went down Tuesday because of electrical problems, many parents were left wondering when school would start.

Teachers inside are preparing classroom. Harmony has 11 campuses in Houston and more than 30 statewide. The problem exists only at the Kirby campus.

Students there were given the option of enrolling elsewhere. Most, like Nelson, chose to stay.

"I'm really excited to come to a new school, meet new friends and new teachers," he said.

Dr. Tarim says they've been cleared by the city of Houston to open their doors to students on Wednesday. As for the six days they missed at the beginning of this year, Dr. Tarim says they'll make it up at the end of the year.


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