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First day back goes smoothly for most Franklin County schools

September 03, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Ask educators whether any tears were shed on the first day of school and they'll usually ask for clarification if you're referring to parents or students.

Administrators in Franklin County, Pa., school districts reported little crying from either party on the first day of the 2008-09 school year.

"We actually had very few criers. We find the second day is typically a little worse for that," said C. Gregory Hoover, superintendent of the Greencastle-Antrim School District.

Tuesday found all but one of the county's six school districts beginning school. A teachers strike in Tuscarora School District in Mercersburg, Pa., has postponed the start of school indefinitely.

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"It's been quiet except for phones ringing," Tuscarora Superintendent Rebecca E. Erb said.

Cleaning crews worked over the weekend at Waynesboro Area Senior High School to minimize the effects of construction from an ongoing $46 million renovation and expansion.

"I could see my face in the floors. ... Everyone I talked to had the highest praise for the custodial and maintenance staff," said Gloria Walker, Waynesboro's interim superintendent.

Hoover said school buses left the property later than anticipated, but a week of practice is typically needed to ensure students get onto the right buses at the end of the schoolday. The buses will leave at 3:20 p.m. on an average day, but they didn't depart until 3:55 p.m. Tuesday.

"It always takes longer on the first day," Hoover said.

"I visited seven of our elementary schools today, and in every one I saw enthusiastic children and staff members ready to start the school year. It was a very positive opening," said Cathy Dusman, assistant superintendent for K-12 services in the Chambersburg Area School District.

Like Waynesboro, the Chambersburg Area Senior High School will be holding academic classes as the school is renovated.

"We are working with transportation on some minor issues surrounding the construction, and like most years the administrators, counselors and office staff are adjusting a handful of schedules. The CASHS construction team is working closely with the administration to adjust some class sizes due to smaller classrooms during the construction," Eric Michael, assistant superintendent for technology and educational accountability, wrote in an e-mail.

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