Behind The Scenes

Have you ever wondered what happens during the summer to prepare for the opening day of school? We certainly have. So we decided to interview a select group of people to figure out what happens behind the scenes. In order to gather information we asked the following two questions of Administrators, Support Staff, and all teachers.

What were your feelings the night before school and the first day of school?

How did you prepare for the first day of school and how much time did it take?   

Support Staff and Administration

The support group is very important. They help the school get ready over the summer for the first day of school.   The people in the support group are the custodians, the cafeteria ladies, the IT Technician, Sam Twining, the people that work in the office, our principal, Dr.Nugent and assistant principal, Dr. Reinemann. They all have very different jobs, but they all have very important jobs. The custodians clean up the school. They spend all summer cleaning, Entrance to the Chickering Schoolsweeping, waxing, mopping, and so much more. We are very thankful for their hard work. The Cafeteria Ladies prepare food for the first three days of school. It takes them about three days to do this. The IT technicians work all summer. They update all the computers and install new software and new computers. They update the servers and Internet connections for the school. The office needs to know who is in each class. They also need to order supplies for each of the classrooms and put them in the correct classroom. They make many handbooks for teachers, teacher’s aids, and the family handbook for parents. They work all summer doing this. We talked to Dr. Reinemann, our Assistant Principal, about what she does during the summer. She spends a good “chunk of the summer” coming to school. She spends part of July and most of August getting ready for the students to come back. Dr. Reinemann makes sure that the custodians have the school ready. She orders supplies and buys math journals and sends them out to the teachers. For example, if you are going up to 5th grade, she has to make sure your 4th grade teacher tells your 5th grade teacher all they know about you. It takes her a little less then a month to do this. That is how the support staff helps prepare school for us.

Classroom teachers

Do you ever wonder what your teachers do during your summer vacation? We did and decided to interview one teacher from each grade: Kindergarten – grade 5. We discovered many similarities and differences. We learned that, every classroom teacher has to go out and buy supplies for their class. GO binders were introduced this year to help students organize their homework, notes for home, and an extra folder for miscellaneous items. Another similarity is that, all the teachers were sad that summer was over. They were also excited to meet their new students and learn about them.  For almost every teacher it took 1-2 weeks, to prepare the classrooms for the school year.

Some different things that teachers do during the summer are… The kindergarten teachers have to clean the toys, and put all the different markers, and crayons, and colored pencils in all the different bins, so it’s easy and clear for the kindergartners to find things. Grades 1 and 2 set up math, reading, writing, and science areas. The older grades focus on organizing their classroom and classroom libraries. The last difference is that every grade gets different level books.

The Specialists

The Specialists, in our school, are the teachers who teach Physical Education [P.E.], Art, Music, Band, Library, and Technology. We noticed there were similar tasks as well as unique tasks for their subject. The average time it took for the Specialists to prepare during the summer was 4-5 days. Most Specialists had lots of new supplies to organize and put away.  They also put up bulletin boards and posters. The Specialists had many different tasks to complete before the first day of school, for example, the Technology Integrator had to set up new network accounts, while the P.E. teachers had to work on writing new curriculum. All their feelings, the night before school started, were the same; they were all nervous and excited to start a new year.

We were surprised at how much the school staff has to do, behind the scenes, to prepare the school for the new year. Our curiosity is finally fulfilled.

Reported by: Adam, Chetan, Will G., Alexis, Ryan, Martin, Lauren, and Claire



CSI: Who dunit?

Are you a suspect? Did you steal the golden apple bell?

Sadly, the golden bell that Mrs. Power earned for being a teacher for 15 years was stolen. What we found at the crime scene was a ransom note, a hair sample, plus a hair clip. We sprang right into action! The fifth grade CSI investigation had just begun!

What was stolen? The bell is used by Mrs. Power to quiet her class down when they get too noisy. She is very upset that it’s missing.

Who are the suspects? We were assigned teachers to interview.  We asked “Were you a teacher here for 15 years? “Were you at Open House?” and “Were you in Mrs. Power’s room during Open House?” Since the teachers were all around the Two microscopes in the science lab used in the CSI, we went to meet them face-to-face. People who lie, tend to not look you in the eye or they stop talking; These are some ways to figure out if they are telling the truth. Based upon their answers and their behavior during the interview, we asked if we could borrow the suspect’s black pen or marker. Using the note left at the crime scene, we compared the pen or marker from each suspect.

Finally, we found out who did it! From our pen/note comparison, we narrowed it down to three suspects: Ms Varley, Ms Wood, and Mrs. Anzivino. We cut up the note and gave everybody a piece of the ransom note, then we took the pen we borrowed and we made a dot on a coffee filter. We put water on all the dots and the cut-up note. You would not believe whose dot matched the note! It was Ms.Varley!  With some additional clues, we figured that Ms Varley gave the stolen bell to Mrs. Anzivino. They were both guilty!

So it turns out we got our bell back, and we all got back to our normal lives. Moral: “Crime doesn’t pay!”

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Reported by Grace, Garrett, Carter, and Louis

Dover Days

Did you go to Dover Days? Did you smell the food? Did you play the games? Well, if you did not attend, you missed a good time! This town fair had over 40 booths; a few examples are the following organizations and businesses who sponsored booths:  PTO, Dover Girls Scouts, St. Dunstan’s Church, Precious Beginnings, The Dover Church, Beth Israel Deaconess, Cub Scouts, Most Precious Blood Church, Dover Market and more. This fair was held at the Dover town square on Sept. 8, 2012 and has been held annually every year since 1976.

At Dover Days, there are many activities to fit everyone’s interest every year, Dunk Tank at Dover days fair with fun water toys.such as the following games and amusements from the past years’ fair. There was a Hay Ride for families to ride on around the center of town. There were also many inflatable structures for children to play on such as the bouncy house, obstacle race course, big inflatable pizza play house, big slide, and the bouncy pole fighting arena. Sand art was another activity where you could layer, in a bottle, different shades of colorful sand. The best part was the delicious food available at the different food booths, … hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, Italian ice, slushies, beverages and an ice cream truck.

When everyone had had enough to eat, they wandered over to be entertained by the multiple PTO games. Plinko, Basketball Shoot, Duck Game, and the Lollipop Tree game. But the most favorite  activity appeared to be – the Dunk Tank. A few volunteers were Officer Harry, a Dover policeman, the Vice Principal, the technology teacher, a 5th grade teacher, and a former 5th grade Teacher’s Aide, all from Chickering School.

It was another great and successful fair. Be sure to make it next year if you didn’t make the awesome experience this past year.

Reported by: John S. and Will F.