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PEPPERELL — The schools are ready and waiting for opening day, according to Peter Fitzpatrick School Principal Dr. Pauline Cormier.

The custodial staff has been hard at work this summer. It has been cleaning the buildings, making repairs, repainting the railings and walls and shining the floors.

“Thanks to the maintenance staff, the buildings look great,” said Nissitissit Middle School Assistant Principal Diane Gleason. “They have been working all summer, and it really shows.”

There have also been some staffing changes. This year, Mary-Alice DeCesare has joined Peter Fitzpatrick as the new school librarian, Jeannie Wholey will switch from preschool teacher to full-day kindergarten and Donna Bupphaves will go from Title I teacher to preschool teacher.

Varnum Brook welcomes third-grade teachers Aria Cornacchia and Susan Van Wormer, fifth-grade teacher Tracy Donovan and title I teacher Mary Sydlar.

In addition, Jill Peterson has switched from grade three to five, and Donna Falsey has switched from grade three to four.

Wedding bells rang this summer for Varnum Brook fifth-grade teacher Melissa Marine, who will now be known as Mrs. Woolfrey.

The only new position at Nissitissit was for a seventh-grade math teacher. Filling that position is Kevin Cormier.

Gleason suggested everyone mark their calendars for the Nissitissit open house on Sept. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“It will be a great opportunity for parents to see the building, meet the teachers and see their son’s or daughter’s classroom,” she said.

Any parents who were unable to make it to the schools for the summer tour times can look forward to each school’s open house this September, she said.

Many teachers have also sent letters to their students with notes about what to expect this year. They also included lists, if needed, of supplies to have ready for the start of school.

A new reading series for kindergartners to fifth-graders called the Scott Foresman Series is being implemented district wide as well, said Varnum Brook Assistant Principal Ralph Slavik. It is described as an integrated language arts series. It will have units on many different skills including language arts, listening, reading, spelling, writing and grammar.

Teachers have been in and out of the school this summer familiarizing themselves with the series. This is one of the new initiatives for the 2006-2007 school year.

“This is a huge stepping stone for the schools in the district. Once everyone is familiar and the teachers get it down, we expect great progress to be noted in the children,” said Slavik. “Other schools have said that their teachers are very happy with this series.”

The lunch menu is also available to ready to be viewed in the school lobbies. Tuesday’s main course is a hamburger, Wednesday’s is chicken fajitas and Thursday’s is a ham dinner. The schools will be closed on both Sept. 1 and 4 for the holiday weekend.

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