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Heating Issue Leads to Extended Winter Break for Students of Queens Charter School

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TWC News: Heating Issue Leads to Extended Winter Break for Students of Queens Charter School
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A heating issue in a charter school this week kept hundreds of Queens kids on an extended holiday break. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Maya Woodberry enjoyed an extra two days of winter vacation. Her mother, Renee, did not feel the same pleasure from them because she said she was not notified in advance.

"I feel insulted," she said.

She drove her 8-year-old to school Tuesday not knowing class had been canceled.

"We were turned away, saying that the school wasn't ready," she said. They were still unpacking and trying to set the school up."

Merrick Academy Charter School moved to a new location over the holiday. On Wednesday, Woodberry returned and said no one was there at all.

"I returned the following day, and the school was totally locked up," she said. "There was no one there at that point to tell us anything."

Woodberry said that a sign on the door told them that the school still wasn't ready, but it turns out the reason had nothing to do with the move.

The SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which operates the K-6 with 500 students, said that a broken pipe took out heat to half the building. Unexpected repair delays meant that the school could not reopen until the end of the week.

Maya goes back to class Friday, but her mother hopes it's the school that learns from the time off.

"I want to see them be responsible, responsible for communicating with the parents," she said.

The SUNY Charter Schools Institute said that some parents have complained about the school's communication, so it's encouraging Merrick to do a better job with that moving forward.

As for the missed days, officials said that makeup days will be scheduled to make sure the school is in session for the required 180 days.

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