Advertisement

Teachers and staff prepare for first day of school in Franklin County, Pa.

August 24, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Nickey Estep a kindergarten teacher at Greencastle-Antrim Primary School was in her room Thursday preparing for Monday's start of the school year.
By Joe Crocetta / Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Monday is the first day of school for thousands of students in Franklin County, Pa.

For the past few weeks, teachers and staff have been working to ensure the 2013-14 school year gets off to a good start.

In Greencastle, Pa., Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said the Greencastle-Antrim School District is looking at a possible record year for enrollment. This is the second year in a row that the district estimates it will have 3,100 students in the district’s four schools.

“If it’s not a record year, it will be one of our top three years,” Hoover said. “The growth is not slowing down.

“We may have to look at portable classrooms in the very near future — hopefully, not this year.”

The district has discussed renovation plans, but hopes to hold off until the 2016-17 school year.

“We’ve used every nook and cranny as classrooms. We have no more nooks and crannies, and the shoehorn doesn’t work anymore,” Hoover said. “We have to look at either adding trailers or look at this construction plan down the road.”

In three to four years, the district’s debt service will end, and Hoover said it will have about $2 million to reinvest in a building project.

This year, the district got a financial boost for its literacy program. Hoover said the district received more than $150,000 in additional funds to help improve student literacy.

The money is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Keystone to Opportunity grant program to help expand literacy in schools. The district has received more than $1 million through the program, Hoover said.

The money has been used to create literacy programs for students in fourth through eighth grades. The additional money will extend the literacy program to ninth-grade students. Hoover said.

“I’m excited about the school year starting,” Hoover said. “We have such good people, and everybody is ready to move forward. We’re about creating opportunities for students, so we want to continue to create opportunities for students.”


Waynesboro Area School District

In Waynesboro, Pa., Superintendent Sherian Diller said students will meet some new faces this year.

There are 35 new teachers in the Waynesboro Area School District — 18 at the elementary-school level, six at the middle school and 11 at the high school, she said.

“It’s one of the largest numbers of new teachers in the district in quite some time,” Diller said.

In addition, Steven Pappas is the new high school principal, and Kelly Musser is the assistant high school principal. Diller also said Brian Richter is in charge of the district’s safety/alternative programs.

Diller said she is “very excited about the amount of technology the board has purchased to put in the hands of students during instruction.”

“We have added laptop labs and added (Google) Chromebooks to our sixth grade as a pilot,” Diller said.

She said the sixth-grade classes will have textbooks on their Chromebooks.

“We are really hoping parents will use the parent portal to access student information,” Diller said.

The district also has made some changes to the district’s dress code.

Some of the more significant changes include barring jeans that have holes in them, and not allowing dresses and skirts that end 4 inches or more above the knee, Diller said.

Diller also said anyone visiting any of the district’s buildings this year must show proof of identification.

“If the person remains in the school building, they must leave their identification in the office and will be issued a school badge,” she said. “When they leave the building, they can return their badge and pick up their identification. This is a new safety measure.”


Tuscarora School District

In Mercersburg, Pa., this will be Charles Prijatelj’s first full school year as superintendent of the Tuscarora School District. He took over as superintendent in March.

James Buchanan High School and St. Thomas, Mercersburg and Montgomery elementary schools have been given a new coat of asphalt and are ready for traffic starting Monday. Mountain View Elementary School is slated to be paved in the near future, Prijatelj said.

A major irrigation project has been completed at the high school athletic facilities in time for Friday’s first home football game, he said.

Inside the buildings, every student in the high school will have a laptop computer.

“We have an ongoing one-to-one program,” Prijatelj said.

This year, every student in ninth, 10th and 11th grade has a Google Chromebook, and every student in 12th grade has a Macbook, he said.

Teachers also have Moodles, which are online instructional support tools where students can access homework, copies of lectures, support materials and other items.

“Our high school, and we will be expanding this to the middle school later, is getting to the point where technology is integrated at a level where to remove it would hurt the instructional process,” Prijatelj said.

Math in kindergarten to 12th grade will follow either Common Core or Keystone standards, he said.

“All of our math this year, we are going with a very rigorous math curriculum to ensure our kids have success both in learning mathematics and being college- and career-ready,” he said.

Prijatelj said all staff positions have been filled except for a social studies teacher and a home-school visitor.

All of the buildings are ready, he said, but there are a few spot renovations being done at St. Thomas Elementary School.

“The painting has been done, security doors have been installed and the water heater has been installed,” he said. “We are still waiting on some windows for the gym, but all spot renovations will be done when they are least disruptive to the educational process.”

Enrollment isn’t a problem, Prijatelj said. An additional kindergarten class was added at Mountain View Elementary School because of capacity issues, he said.

“We’re ready to rock and roll for Monday’s kickoff,” Prijatelj said.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|