By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia public schools will open as scheduled on September 8th, but school officials warn that conditions will be less than ideal.

Today, one local volunteer group was trying to help by sprucing up a struggling North Philadelphia elementary school.

This is the third year that “People Helping People” has helped the staff of Dunbar Elementary get ready to open, and the volunteer force has grown to about 200 people.

They are supervised by Ellen Rosenberg of Goldenberg Group developers.

“This is a special school,” she tells KYW Newsradio.  “You have teachers who are so committed. It’s a ‘promise academy’ [struggling school designated by the Philadelphia school district for extra resources] that lost a lot of the funding they got four years ago.  They are still pushing through to do extra things for the kids.”

Volunteers today painted, hung bulletin boards, cleaned up the recess area on the roof, and restored a basketball court, among other things.

Rosenberg says it’s not a substitute for full funding of Philadelphia’s public schools, but they hope it helps the students and staff make the best of what they have.

“And if they’re beating the odds with no money, you gotta support them because you don’t find this everywhere,” she said.