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Angeles County | Community News File / La Canada Flintridge

Montessori School Allowed to Stay Open Temporarily

November 04, 1998

A Montessori school that began classes this week without a city occupancy permit can remain open on a temporary basis, city officials said Tuesday.

The city issued a temporary permit allowing children at the Flintridge Montessori Academy.

The school is not yet in compliance with city requirements, but fire inspectors say the site is safe, city officials said.

"We have to do what is best for the community and there are a number of parents here who have their kids in the school and wouldn't have anywhere else to send them," said Robert Stanley, the city's community development director.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Social Services launched a probe into why the school opened its preschool without the required licensing.

The school is being operated by the daughter of Alma and Manfred Prismantas. The couple have pleaded guilty to tax evasion, admitting they embezzled more than $1.3 million from a chain of Montessori schools.

Alma and Manfred Prismantas will begin 30-month and 21-month prison terms, respectively, on Dec. 2. They had, until recently, operated the school in leased space at a La Canada church. After their conviction in July, a federal judge forbade them from operating any school, so they turned over operation to their daughter. The school moved to its new location Monday.

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