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Classes Canceled But Teachers Press On at North Phila. School With No Heat

(At Bethune Elementary School, in North Philadelphia, principal Ary Sloane-Pugh inspects the location where a pipe burst.  Photo by Mike DeNardo)

(At Bethune Elementary School, in North Philadelphia, principal Ary Sloane-Pugh inspects the location where a pipe burst. Photo by 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) — Even though Philadelphia public schools were open today, the extreme cold was taking its toll in spots.

At Bethune Elementary School, in North Philadelphia, principal Ary Sloane-Pugh arrived to find half of her building had no heat because of a burst pipe.

“In some areas it was about 40 degrees or so,” she recalls.  “I think I had one room that was a little lower than that.”

So, classes were canceled for students for the day.  But, even with no students, teachers were preparing lesson plans in the hallway, all bundled up.

“You saw them with their coats and their hats. Everybody’s working,” Sloane-Pugh says.

She says the burst pipe happened in a hallway where supplies are kept — then added, half-jokingly, that since her school has no supplies, nothing was damaged.