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Students all smiles on first day of school

August 31, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- There might have been more tears from parents than from young children on the first day of classes in Franklin County, Pa., schools.

School officials reported seeing few children cry Monday morning, but they did watch parents rush to elementary schools to greet youngsters after already saying goodbye at bus stops.

Tuscarora School District Superintendent Rebecca E. Erb said the children she saw were "all smiles, ready to begin the year."

"All good news here," she said.

"I thought we had a really smooth opening," said James Robertson, superintendent of the Waynesboro Area School District.

Custodians everywhere, but especially at the high school, did "phenomenal" work to get buildings ready for 4,270 students, Robertson said. Construction at Waynesboro Area Senior High School created debris and a layer of dust that custodians eliminated in the past few days, he said.

After almost three years, that construction will wrap up in coming months. The renovation and expansion project totals $46 million, and added a new auditorium and gymnasium.

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Chambersburg Area elementary schools "rolled out the red carpet" on Monday for elementary school students in celebration of their high test scores from the end of 2008-09. More than 4,100 children walked on red paper through a hallway lined by adults offering congratulations and assistance finding classrooms.

District spokeswoman Sylvia Rockwood watched students enter Hamilton Heights Elementary School and said they seemed very excited.

"The principal was greeting every single kid," she said.

Chambersburg elementary schools are experiencing record enrollment.

Greencastle-Antrim schools started the year with assemblies and class meetings to introduce new staff members and review rules. Despite a few glitches in morning transportation, the overall experience went exceptionally well, according to Superintendent C. Greg Hoover.

"It was smooth," he said. "There was a calmness to it."

Chambersburg schools had a few transportation problems as well, with several of them connected to the school day's new hours. Also, the main entrance to Chambersburg Area Senior High School changed due to a $74 million renovation and expansion project there.

"With the new transportation routes, and new start and end times, we know we'll have to continue refining this week," Rockwood said, saying school officials also need to determine how best to move Franklin County Career and Technology Center students from bus to bus.

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