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With Ringing Bells, Philadelphia Schools Begin Anew

(School and city officials ring ceremonial bells to signal the start of the School District of Philadelphia's new school year.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(School and city officials ring ceremonial bells to signal the start of the School District of Philadelphia’s new school year. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today was the first day of class for Philadelphia public school students.

The year began with the traditional bell-ringing, this time at the AMY Northwest School in Roxborough.

“My summer was great.  The first day of school is awesome,” said eighth-grader Dominic Parker.

AMY (Academy for the Middle Years) Northwest is opening the year in the building that was formerly the Levering Elementary School.

Philadelphia’s new superintendent, William Hite, says this example of closing and relocating schools is symbolic of the road ahead, as the cash-strapped district deals with underutilized schools buildings.

“Unfortunately, it’s going to have to be a lot more of this,” Hite said today.  “And with the number of seats we have available with the budget challenges that we have, this is going to be a process that we will have to undertake moving forward in quite a few more places.”

But for the kids on this day, it is a chance to meet new teachers, see old friends, and begin a new year of schoolwork.

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