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REACH Center In Paris Temporarily Closes

Because four employees quit for different reasons, it forced the REACH Center in Paris to temporarily close. The center, however, vows to reopen as soon as possible. Krissy Crites of the Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society says in addition to replacing the employees who left, the center plans to bring in more staff because they have a waiting list with seven students on it. The REACH Center serves a unique population of individuals requiring extra special care from extra special people. Anyone with questions should call (903) 783-1922.


From REACH Center Facebook Page

REACH will reopen soon!!! I have FAITH! I want to start by clarifying it was NEVER the intention of me, our staff, nor board to permanently close. I do not foresee that happening.

We have had several quit (4) over the past month for different reasons, and I intend to fight as hard as possible to get the doors back open as quickly as possible. Also, we’d like to bring more staff in than we initially had as we have a waiting list with seven students on it.

The REACH Center serves a unique population of individuals requiring extra special care from extra special people. As we were yesterday (with two staff out and already down the first three that quit), we felt it was better to close TEMPORARILY so our students are adequately supervised and kept safe.

On a regular day (during the after-school program), we have three classrooms going with three staff in one room and two in each of the others and a floater going between all, assuring two staff in all rooms. The number of staff needed during an all-day schedule increases by three to four staff. We do this for several reasons: to assure students are safe and adequately supervised, to make sure students are going to restrooms with supervision and getting changed on time (we have ten that are not potty trained), and to allow them opportunities for students to get more specialized services that meet their individualized goals (one on one education time, social skills development, life skills, etc.).

Bringing in parents and volunteers is a beautiful idea. Still, because we are a TDHS (Texas Department of Human Resources) licensed facility, we have minimum standards to adhere to adults at the facility. Anyone who volunteers or works with our students must pass a background check before being around them. It is at least a 48-hour process that requires them to be fingerprinted by identigo. Also, to be left alone with children, they must be CPR/1st aid certified and have either six months of childcare work experience or have eight hours of preservice training.

I’m hoping we can get the staff hired and properly trained, that is needed to open back as quick as possible even if at lower capacity than we had, and increase students back as we bring more staff on.

Thanks to all of you that shared, we had over 1,000 post shares on Facebook; we have now had ten additional applications, interviewed two people today, and have another interview tomorrow.

Please know that it is my goal and our board’s to have the doors back open within two weeks, if not sooner, and we are fighting very hard to make this happen.

Thank you, and please don’t hesitate to call (903) 783-1922 or email kcrites@rrvdss.org with any questions!


Krissy Crites


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