Upgrades, new administrators await Franklin County students

August 08, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. — Only a few weeks of summer vacation remain for thousands of Franklin County, Pa., students who attend kindergarten through 12th grade in public schools.

The Tuscarora School District will start after Labor Day to accommodate construction at Mercersburg Elementary School.

“We expect the school to be ready, but it’ll be a push,” said Rebecca E. Erb, Tuscarora’s superintendent.

Other Franklin County public school districts scheduled Monday, Aug. 29, as their first day of the 2011-12 academic year for students.

“We’ve done a lot of upgrading as far as the physical facilities,” said James Robertson, superintendent of the Waynesboro Area School District.

Returning students also will find newer computers in many classrooms, he said.

Greencastle-Antrim School District Superintendent Greg Hoover said crews finished making upgrades to the district’s multipurpose field and are working on Kaley Field in the football stadium. Finishing touches to those sports facilities could continue after the start of school.

“The track right now has presented a little bit of a problem,” Hoover said, explaining damage that required the track to be replaced instead of resurfaced.

Chambersburg Area School District will have two middle schools starting this academic year. Both buildings will serve grades six, seven and eight, while Chambersburg Area Senior High School will have a ninth-grade academy.

Chambersburg is hiring eight new teachers due to retirements and resignations, Assistant Superintendent Catherine Dusman said.

Stan Shilling will be moved from a counseling supervisor position to ninth-grade principal, and the district will be filling a vacant assistant principal position created by the recent, unexpected death of Terri Rowe, Dusman said.

Greencastle-Antrim School District will be hiring six teachers and a long-term substitute, Hoover said.

“We didn’t fill all the positions we had vacated (to cut costs), but some we had to fill,” he said.

Greencastle-Antrim High School Assistant Principal Kevin Carley will move to the elementary and primary schools, Hoover said. Gerald Crable will move from the middle school to high school, he said.

A grant will fund a college counselor in the high school for two years, Hoover said.

On Monday, the Tuscarora School Board was considering whether to bring an “artist in residence” to the high school to help students develop their portfolios and continue their art education.

Renovations at James Buchanan High School will be “substantially finished” by Aug. 15, Erb said.

“There will still be a lot of little nuts and bolts to do,” she said.

Erb said some transportation routes are changing and affected families will be receiving letters soon.

“We’ve moved a lot of teachers around, a lot of changes,” she said.

Robertson said Waynesboro will have few new faces.

“Pretty much, you’re going to see the same staff,” he said.

First day of school

Aug. 29

  • Waynesboro Area (4,200 students)
  • Chambersburg Area (8,100 students)
  • Greencastle-Antrim (3,000 students)
  • Fannett-Metal (530 students)

Sept. 6

  • Tuscarora (2,600 students)

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