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It's back-to-school time in Franklin County

August 30, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Nearly 20,000 children in Franklin County, Pa., return to school Monday.

Students at Chambersburg Area and Waynesboro Area high schools can expect continuing construction for the schools' major expansion projects, but district officials promised classes won't experience major disruptions.

Chambersburg Area Senior High School, which is in the midst of $74 million in upgrades, has a new main entrance that's accessed through the McKinley Street gate. Administrative offices are in the old gym for the 2009-10 school year.

"Students will park in the lot they used last year," Chambersburg Area School District spokeswoman Sylvia Rockwood said.

That lot is on the far side of McKinley Street in front of the warehouse at the intersection with Middle Street, she said.

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Waynesboro's $46 million renovation and expansion project, which officially launched with a January 2007 groundbreaking, will be wrapping up in coming months, Assistant Superintendent Evan Williams said.

His latest data showed Waynesboro will have 4,270 students and 18 new teachers for 2009-10.

Rockwood said Chambersburg officials anticipate 4,103 elementary school students and 4,691 secondary school students. The elementary enrollment sets a record.

"Last year we just tipped 4,000, so we keep growing," Assistant Superintendent Catherine Dusman told the school board last week.

One hundred students in Chambersburg registered at the end of last week, officials said.

Chambersburg has new times for its school days. Elementary schools will host students from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and secondary schools from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Greencastle-Antrim Superintendent C. Greg Hoover said his schools won't count the number of students until the third day of school. The district filled a half-dozen teacher vacancies this summer.

Some Greencastle-Antrim parents and students visited classrooms last week.

"Ready or not, here they come," Hoover said. "We think we are ready."

Williams said Waynesboro used stimulus and Title 1 money to create an "Early Birds" before-school tutoring program for at-risk students. Grants also allowed the district to place a math coach in elementary schools.

Staff writer Kate S. Alexander contributed to this story.

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