Make your back-to-school shopping eco-friendly — and less expensive

As summer vacation winds down and the beginning of a new school year gets closer and closer, the annual back-to-school preparations begin. Even if the warm, August weather has made you forget about the back-to-school frenzy, endless TV commercials, flyers, radio advertisements and billboards are there to remind you that it’s time to spend your money on brand new supplies and clothing for your children.
While the back-to-school shopping trip may seem inevitable, it doesn’t have to be wasteful: There are many ways to make your routine eco-friendly (and less expensive).
Instead of buying new school supplies, jazz up old ones.
Often times, last year’s school supplies are in perfectly good condition, but kids just want something that looks new. Instead of buying new back packs, binders and pencil cases, help your children upcycle their old school supplies by decorating them.
Decorate binders and folders that are looking a little worn out with a collage of photos, magazine clippings and stickers. What about those leftover yellow pencils that are in perfectly good condition? Make them new again by wrapping tape around sections of the pencil and painting the sections in between the pieces of tape with nail polish. All it takes is some craft supplies and some creativity to make old supplies seem new again.
One person’s trash (or old clothes) is another person’s treasure.
Instead of going to the mall to replace perfectly good school clothes with more clothes turn back-to-school clothes shopping into a back-to-school celebration by hosting a clothing swap party. Organize a gathering with your children’s friends or classmates and have each child bring gently used clothing for a swap.
Also, check out thrift stores or consignment stores. Often times, you can find designer brands for cheap prices.
Make a "trashless lunch" a priority.
Prevent plastic waste and inspire the next generation of environmentalists by making sure when your child is finished with lunch, there is nothing to throw away. Brown paper bags, plastic bottles, plastic cutlery and plastic bags are common lunchtime staples that often end up in landfills. Invest in a reusable lunch box and water bottle, or two. Instead of packing disposable plastic cutlery, throw in a set of reusable, washable silverware, and include a cloth napkin. Pack snacks, produce and sandwiches in a reusable container as opposed to plastic bags. Along with the peace of mind of reducing waste in the cafeteria, you can also rest assured your child is eating healthier, with less pre-packaged processed foods.
By factoring in your environmental impact when making back-to-school plans, you can save money, reduce waste and teach your children eco-friendly habits. With a little bit of extra creativity, you can make “old” supplies “new” again, without even making a trip to the store.

Local schools ready to roll

Schools in SAU 20 — Errol Consolidated, Milan Village, Edward Fenn Elementary, Gorham Middle School and Gorham High School — will officially open Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Parents of new students are urged to register their children on or before Aug. 26. The registration schedule is listed below for each of the schools.
Gorham Middle and High School — Aug. 21-25, 8 a.m. to noon.
Edward Fenn School — Aug. 21-25, 8 a.m. to noon.
Milan Village School — Aug. 23-25, 9 a.m. to noon
Errol Consolidated School — Aug. 25-26, 9 a.m. to noon.
Entrance age
In the communities of Gorham, Randolph, Shelburne, Milan, Dummer and Errol, a child entering school for the first time must be 6 years of age on or before Sept. 30 to enter grade one, or 5 years of age before the same date to enter kindergarten.
New families residing in Milan, Dummer and Errol are reminded that they must register their children with the school board of their community prior to enrolling for the fall. If members of the school board cannot be reached, registration forms may be acquired by calling the office of the superintendent of schools in Gorham at (603) 466-3632.
If a child is entering school for the first time, parents are required to bring birth certificates and all immunization records. All immunizations must be completed or in process prior to the opening of school.
Students transferring from another school should bring with them a transfer card and immunization records.
Contact persons
Contact persons in each of the schools may be reached at the following numbers, or you may call Paul Bousquet, superintendent, at (603) 466-3632.
David Backler, principal, Gorham Middle and High School, (603) 466-2776
Tina Binette, principal,Edward Fenn School, (603) 466-3334
Kathleen Urso, principal, Errol Consolidated School (603) 482-3341
Matthew Underwood, principal, Milan Village School (603) 449-3306
School hours
Gorham Middle and High School (grades 6-12) 7:30 a.m. to 2:17 p.m.
Edward Fenn School (grades K-5), 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Milan Village School (grades K-6), 8:30 a.m. to  2:45 p.m.
Preschool/Pre-K, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Errol Consolidated School (grades K-8), 8:15 a.m. to  3 p.m.
School calendar
A copy of the school calendar is currently posted on the SAU website at, and one will be sent home with each student during the first week of school. Parents who do not receive a copy or who may wish additional copies are asked to call their respective schools and request that extra copies be sent home.
School closing procedure
General school closing announcements may be heard over TV Channel 9 (WMUR). Closings will also be posted on the SAU website at School bus drivers in each of the communities are the first to be advised if schools are to be closed. In addition, all families will receive a phone call through the "Once Call Now" emergency phone contact system with a delayed opening or school cancellation message.
After the school day has begun, should schools have to be closed because of inclement weather or other challenges, calls will be made through "One Call Now" as soon as possible after the decision is made. Should it become necessary for schools to be closed, it is expected that parents will make arrangements for the proper care of their children.
School lunch
School lunch programs will begin serving meals on the first day of school. Cold lunch, milk and/or extra milk will also be served for those students wanting it. Milk/extra milk is 60 cejts per carton in Milan and Gorham Regional School Co-op. In Errol, extra milk is 50 cents per carton. The cost of meals, which includes one carton of milk:
• Gorham Middle and High School breakfast, $1.60
Reduced-rate meals breakfast, 30 cents
Adult breakfast, $2
• Gorham Middle and High School lunch, $2.85
Reduced-rate meals lunch, 40 cents
Adult lunch, $3.50
• Edward Fenn School breakfast, $1.60
Reduced-rate meals breakfast, 30 cents
Adult breakfast, $2
• Edward Fenn School lunch, $2.60
Reduced-rate meals lunch, 40 cents
Adult lunch, $3.50
• Errol Consolidated School Breakfast $1.60
Reduced Rate Meals Breakfast $ .30
Adult Breakfast $2.00
• Errol Consolidated School lunch, $2.65
Reduced-rate meals lunch, 40 cents
Adult lunch, $3.50
• Milan Village School breakfast, $1.60
Reduced-rate meals breakfast, 30 cents
Adult breakfast, $2
• Milan Village School lunch, $2.60
Reduced-rate meals lunch, 40 cents
Adult lunch, $3.50
Lunch and milk money for those who wish to participate during the first week of school should be brought on opening day for the first few days of school.
Free meals and reduced-rate meals will be provided at the beginning of school for those students who qualified and who attended Gorham, Milan or Errol schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Applicants for free and reduced-rate meals for new families who have recently moved to the community will be processed during the first week of school and begin on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Gorham Randolph Shelburne Cooperative
Cascade and Glen Road Bus Runs
Middle/high school bus will depart at 6:41 a.m., pick up Glen Road, Stony Brook, to the middle/high school. The bus will proceed to corner of Spruce and Hamlin streets, pick up students on the east side of the Berlin/Gorham Road, enter Cascade Flats, and Cascade Hill, pick up students living on the west side of the Berlin/Gorham Road, and back to the high school.
Elementary school bus will depart at 7:35 a.m., pick up at Smith Street, corner of Spruce and Hamlin, and on the easterly side of the Berlin/Gorham Road, enter Cascade Flats, Cascade Hill, pick up students on the westerly side of the Berlin/Gorham road, and to the Edward Fenn.
Glen Road elementary) bus will depart at 7:35 a.m., pick up westerly side of Glen Road, to Stony Brook loop, pick up esterly side of Glen Road, Mill Street, Washington Street, Libby Street, Main Street near Common, and back to Edward Fenn.
Jimtown Bus Runs
Middle/high school bus will depart at 6:50 a.m., picking up on the wstbound side of Lancaster Road , the corner of Crestwood Drive, Candy Lane, Spring Road, Jimtown Extension, Gorham Hill, Gorham Heights, pick up the eastbound side of Gorham Hill and Lancaster Road, corner of Evans and High Streets, Gateway Mobile Park, back to the Middle/High School.
Elementary school bus will leave at 7:31 a.m., picking up students on the westbound side to Lancaster Road, the corner of Crestwood Drive, Candy Lane, Spring Road, Gorham Hill, Gorham Heights, pick up on the eastbound side of Gorham Hill and Lancaster Road, corner of Evans and High Streets, Gateway Mobile Park, back to the Edward Fenn.
Shelburne Bus Run
Middle/high school bus will depart at 6:45 a.m., to North Road, (across from Wildberry Inn), to Maine State Line, to Meadow Road, Sunrise Drive, Hayes Road, R-F Drive, Route 2, Village Road, cross Meadow Road to Route 2, pick up along Route 2, Bangor and Lower Main Streets at 7:14 a.m., then to the middle/high school.
Elementary school bus will depart at 7:17 a.m., the Maine State Line on North Road, Meadow Road, Route 2, Sunrise Drive, Hayes Road, turn around, Village Road, cross Meadow Road to Route 2, Pick up along Route 2, Bangor and Lower Main streets at 7:51 a.m., and to the Edward Fenn Elementary School.
Randolph Bus Runs
One bus for both Edward Fenn and the middle/high school will depart at 6:55 a.m. to Pinkham B road, 1416 Route 2, Durand Road, Eastbound side of Gorham Hill, Raycrest, to the middle/high school and to the Edward Fenn Elementary School.
• Kindergarteners may also ride the elementary bus on their route to and from school.
• All routes will be done similarly in the reverse order departing from middle/high school at 2:20 p.m. and Edward Fenn at 2:55 p.m.
• Bus routes based on actual bus routes from June 2017. Subject to change as needed.
School bus schedules in Errol will be distributed to parents by Terri Ruel.
Milan and Dummer
Students from the Milan and Dummer school districts will all be transported by Foreast Transportation. The bus routes for both districts will remain the same. Any new families in the area who are not sure of the routes should contact the carrier, Mike Fortier, at (603) 449-2126 or (603) 723-6012.
Kindergarten Ttansportation
Transportation for the Gorham Randolph Shelburne Cooperative. Errol and Milan will transport kindergarten students to and from school,
Transportation Inquiries
Further inquiries regarding transportation routes may be made by calling the following people:
Milan — Michael Fortier, (603) 449-2126 or (603) 723-6012.
Dummer — Michael Fortier, (603) 449-2126 or (603) 723-6012.
Errol — Terri Ruel, (603) 482-7784.
Gorham Regional School Cooperative School District, David Goyette (603) 466-2776 for Gorham Middle School and Gorham High, and (603) 466-3334 for Edward Fenn School.
Visit the website at for postings.

Fall events planned at Berlin Recreation Department

Here are some events to look forward to at Berlin Recreation Department.
Little Tykes Playground: A program of fun, learning and activities. Limited space available for potty–trained 3- to 5-year-olds. The seven-week program will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. at the Berlin Recreation Center. First session begins Tuesday, Sept. 12. The price is $84 per child, first-come, first-served.
Berlin Recreation hockey development meeting: Hockey season is just around the corner. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, at Berlin Recreation Center starting at 6 p.m., there will be a hockey equipment swap, registrations will be taken for the 2017-18 season and coordinators will be available to answer any questions. Berlin Recreation hockey is open to any child age 5 to 15. Further details of season will be discussed on Sept. 26.

Fall indoor yard sale: The yard sale will be held on Saturday, Oct, 28, from 8 a.m. to noon. The event is already filling up with vendors. Limited room is still available. Cost $10 for a 10-foot-by-15-foot space.

Tennis Anyone? Thanks to a generous donation from Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Ruediger, Berlin Recreation has four racquets and tennis balls available for anyone to borrow. Want to try the sport but not make the commitment of buying the equipment just yet? This is a good way to try your hand at the game. Basic rental agreement is required when borrowing the equipment. Visit the Berlin Recreation Department to sign the rental agreement and pick up the equipment. Please call ahead at (603) 752-2010.
Berlin Recreation gym activities are on hold for two weeks. There will be no gym activities during the weeks of Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 so that the maintenance crew can varnish the gym floor.

Brown School holds Meet the Teacher on Aug. 29

New registrations are now being taken at Brown Elementary School in Berlin. The student’s birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization records and a current physical are required. Bus passes are being distributed as well. School offices are now open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
All parents and students, grades K-2, are invited to “Meet the Teacher” on: Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 from 2 to 3 p.m.
School officially opens on Wednesday, Aug. 30. New student instructional hours are: 8:45 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. Bus schedules will remain the same, and students may still enter the school building at 8 a.m. if they are eating breakfast.
All other students assemble on the playground at 8:20 a.m. and line up for entrance at the 8:45 bell. Bus students are to report to the school cafeteria upon arrival. Walkers and non-bus students should NOT arrive on the playground before 8:20 a.m. That is when there is school personnel available to supervise students. Walkers and non-bus students are dismissed at 2:55 p.m. Bus students are supervised in the school cafeteria until their designated bus arrives.
For the safety of all the children in the building, parents are refrained from going to any classroom. All parents are expected to check in at the office.
It is recommended that all students have a backpack daily, and sneakers for physical education. Please note that flip-flops are not safe for playground use or in stairways.
Lunch applications for free, and reduced hot lunch will be sent home on the first day of school. Hot lunch will be served on the first day of school. Daily lunch price is$2.80. Weekly price: $14. Snack milk can be purchased for 50 cents per day and/or $2.50 per week. Breakfast is available daily from 8 to 8:30 a.m. The cost is $1.80 per day, or $9 for the week. All lunch and snack milk monies are collected weekly on the first day of every week. There will be no credit on breakfast or hot lunch if it is not paid on the due days.
After-school programs will begin Monday, Sept. 5, and run through Friday, June 1. Applications are available at the school office or can be sent home by request.
Student/parent manuals will be sent home on the first day of school. Please review these manuals, as they are the guidelines for the Berlin elementary schools. The last page of this manual must be signed and sent back to school.
SCHOOL PICTURES: Individual student pictures and class group pictures will be taken on Monday, Sept. 11. Package details will be sent home on or after the opening day. Barksdale School Portraits is this year’s school photographer. Picture retake day will be on Monday, Oct. 23.
The elementary school calendar for the 2017-2018 school year includes early dismissal days for staff professional development. All students will be dismissed at 12:15 p.m. on the following dates: Nov. 22, 2017; Jan. 9, 2018; Feb. 5; March 7; April 5; May 25; and June 12 (last day of school)
Again this year, there will be a district-wide parent/teacher conference day on Friday, Dec. 1. There will be no school for students that day so that parents can conference with their children's teachers.
SAFE SCHOOL ZONES: In keeping with Safe School practices, security systems are in effect at all school entrances. All school doors remain locked during the school day. Access can be acquired by a buzzer and an intercom stating your reason for entry. All visitors who are permitted to enter must report to the school office to state their business. Parents are not allowed to walk their child anywhere in the building, other than to the office. Prearranged visitors will be given a visitor pass for building access. Failure to comply can be reported to Berlin Police Department for trespassing.
All parents/guardians must stay outside the Main Street fence, on sidewalk, or on Norway Street sidewalk during school hours, 8:20 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. Non-school personnel are not permitted in any parking area or student assembly areas, such as the playground, when there is school supervision, between 8:20 a.m. and 2:55 p.m.
PARKING: Parent parking is permitted in the following areas for entrance, dismissal and visits: Main Street school side, NOT at all on the river side; Norway Street, NOT from fence to corner of Eighth Street as this is a bus zone; Eighth Street north side, NOT in designated handicap parking area. The purpose is to prevent children from crossing traffic on Main Street/Route 16 at school entrance and dismissal. Please make every effort to comply and help us provide safe school zones.
To help alleviate some of the traffic, school officials are excited to be able to continue the initiatives from the Safe Routes to School grant by continuing with the “Walking Wednesday” school bus. The parking lot across from the VFW has been designated as an alternate location for parents to park away from the school to alleviate congestion at drop-off and pick-up times. Brown School staff members and/or parent volunteers will be at the designated area at 8:15 a.m. to assist the students with walking to school. They will also assist the students with walking from school and arrive at the designated area by 3:10 p.m. Please look for more information to be provided and a permission slip to sign if you are interested.
All students were told on the last day of school who their children's teachers will be, and incoming kindergartners were mailed a postcard during the summer. Please call the school if you have any questions. Approximately 250 students for this upcoming school year.
Here is a list this year's tachers:
Kindergarten: Mrs. Alton (Room 109), Mrs. Imperial (Room 110), Ms. Thompson (Room 111) and Mrs. Packard (Room 107).
1st Grade: Mrs. Frizzell (Room 305), Mrs. Leborgne (Room 112) and Mrs. Styles (Room 404).
2nd Grade: Mrs. Griffin (Room 106), Mrs. Moore (Room 402) and Ms. Poirier (Room 401).
Multi-age: K/1, Mrs. Lambert (Room 301); and grades 1-2, Ms. Bugeau (Room 303)
Your teacher will meet students on the playground on the first day of school.