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Answer Line: New Montessori Prep admission is nearly citywide

Oct. 4, 2017 at 11:34 p.m.

QUESTION: This new Montessori Prep School — what are the admission criteria for selection or how is it determined who attends that school?

ANSWER: All Head Start, prekindergarten and kindergarten students in Longview ISD attend the new East Texas Montessori Prep School, except for students who live in the Johnston-McQueen Elementary School attendance zone. Students who transfer from outside of the district also attend the Montessori kindergarten, said district spokeswoman Elizabeth Ross.

Specific criteria govern admission into Head Start and pre-K, in general, but not to attend the Montessori campus itself. (Early Head Start students, who are younger than 3, attend the district's Playing for Keeps Center.) Head Start is for low-income families, with a focus on teen parents, according to information I found on the Region 7 Education Service Center's web site. Prekindergarten is for children from low-income families, children with active military duty parents or whose primary language is not English.

Q: You've changed, Answer Line. What's up with the new photo?

A: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as most of you know I'm being treated for Stage I breast cancer. I'm sitting in a chair today, hooked up to an IV for my fourth of six chemotherapy treatments. My hair is officially on extended vacation.

I've been hesitant to take this picture because I've been easing into emotional acceptance of hair loss. I'm getting there. I accidentally walked to the mailbox without a hat on the other day and didn't even run back into the house when I realized I was bald in public.

Aside from that, I've learned there are some real practicalities to covering up my head. My bald head is a cold head, unless I'm having a medication-induced hot flash. I like to wear cute hats and scarves these days, and they're easy to put on and take off when necessary.

I'll change this picture later. I feel better when my head is covered, so this is not what I look like most of the time. I think that's OK, just as I applaud the women who decide to wear wigs or walk around bald all the time.

This picture will stay with my column for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, though, in honor of all the women fighting breast cancer. This is what we look like when we fight like girls.

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT MOWING: I responded to a question Saturday about whether there is a city ordinance requiring people mowing close to traffic to have a protective shield to block cuttings from hitting cars. I responded that, no, there is no such ordinance, and that answer is correct.

There is, however, an ordinance that would, technically speaking, prohibit people from letting their clippings blow out into the street. I think, though, that we have be realistic about what kind of enforcement we expect of an ordinance such as this.

Longview police spokesman Sgt. Shane McCarter pointed me to the ordinance that's aimed at littering. It prohibits throwing litter on the streets and includes yard clippings and leaves. He doesn't think the intent of the law applies to this situation specifically, but rather prohibits people from intentionally brushing leaves and grass in the road. (It is also illegal to put items into drainage ditches and storm sewers.) Still, the ordinance would prohibit someone mowing and allowing clippings to blow into the street.

Officers don't drive around watching for this. If you see it happening and want to report it, call the police department's non-emergency number, (903) 237-1170. Understand, though, that this kind of call would not be a top priority, and McCarter said officers would have to see the violation to take any action on it.

You also can file a complaint at the police department, but you'll need some identifying information regarding the person involved.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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