Principal's Message

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! CRES Principal Chris Walker-Spencer


I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy this virtually rain-free summer. It more than made up for our soggy June. I can’t wait to get started as we dig into a new year of learning and improving what we do every day. This year we have some important changes and even a few challenges to take on.

Class Placement 

I know many of you are excited to learn who is in your child’s class this year. This week we mailed home class lists along with teacher introductory letters. This is the perfect time to speak with your child about classmates and get ready for the new school year. Of course, if you have questions about class placement please contact me directly. I’m happy to answer your questions. My contact information is below. 

Parents often ask why we distribute the class lists in mid-August. Here’s why: 

  • Our priority is to create balanced classes that meet the needs of all students.
  • There are significant shifts in enrollment that occur over the summer.We need time to make thoughtful decisions about placement.
  • It can be difficult for everyone to make changes once families know about placement decisions.

Student Restroom Renovations Update 

Last year we worked to provide unisex bathroom options for students in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade levels of our building. During our parent forums the feedback was clear - parents preferred the increased privacy that stand-alone unisex bathrooms provide. Since there are many reasons a student might prefer increased privacy, the group identified multiple unisex restrooms as the ideal scenario. 

I have worked closely with our Operations Director, Keith Rose, and developed a plan that increases the number of unisex bathrooms in the 3rd and 4th Grades. The project is underway this summer. 

Below are the floor plans showing the layout in the 3rd and 4th Grades. Juggling many factors including maintaining ADA accessibility and the same number of bathroom fixtures on each level, working within the board approved budget and working around the mechanicals in our floors, ceilings and walls, we will have two completely standalone unisex restrooms per level with an enclosed toilet and sink. We’ll also have two standalone toilets with a shared sink area (open to the hallway). Students may choose the option that makes them the most comfortable. The signage indicates that the restrooms are available to any student. 

The 2nd grade level features a single unisex restroom, four gender-specific fixtures, and gender-specific restrooms next to the Gymnasium. It’s important that we make all students feel safe and comfortable and these changes provide those options for our students. 

Student/Parent Handbook 

Please review our Student/Parent Handbook online at before school begins to learn more about our philosophy, practices, and polices at CRES. It’s important that all families know and understand our school rules and policies. 

* If you need a print version, please call the Main Office at 236-7809 and we will send a copy home. 


I believe that when we work together, and communicate clearly, we can achieve great things. In that spirit, please join us at our Open House on the evening of Thursday, September 12th. Also, look for our monthly CRES Dory News and Friday Flash email updates in your email inbox, and please “like” our Facebook page. 

Parking and Student Safety

While there is a convenient footbridge between our campus and Laugh Loud, Smile Big, it’s not appropriate to park in their lot to pick up or drop off students at CRES. This is a safety and liability issue with delivery trucks travelling through their lot. Please use the parking lot at CRES. Plus, we want to keep our cupcake-producing neighbors happy! 

New Staff

We have a number of amazing new staff members at CRES this year. Please help us give them a warm welcome. I’m thrilled that they will be joining us! 

Katie Bauer – Assistant Principal
Kelly Webber – Kindergarten   
Amber DiLalla – Grade 1
Brianna Alley – Grade 4
Sarah Scordino – Gifted & Talented
Barb Williams – Math Intervention
Amanda Pingree – Literacy Coach
David Turner – Explorers Ed Tech
Sarah Byrnes – Explorers Ed Tech
Madison Clement – Travelers Ed Tech
Patty Novak – Custodian
Bonnie Box – Kitchen Manager
Jessie Rottersman – Occupational Therapist

Parent and Student Challenges 

One of my goals is to ensure learning takes place for each one of our students. I want to revisit some of the challenges I presented to CRES parents and students last year.

  • First, I encourage CRES families to make sure their children read each night. They can read silently or with an adult or sibling. Let’s work together to build strong, joyful readers!
  • Next, I encourage CRES families to volunteer at CRES. I realize there are barriers for many families. However, if you can find a way, please make every effort to get involved. Research shows parent volunteering is linked to student academic gains and it’s a great opportunity to develop or deepen a relationship with a homeroom teacher.
  • Finally, it’s important for CRES students to arrive at school on time. I want every student to be in class before the bell rings and morning meeting starts at 8:50. The transition to begin the day is critical for our young learners as it sets them up for a successful day of learning. Last year we had well over 1,500 tardies, so here are some suggestions and changes that I expect will make an impact:
    • Students who take the bus are never tardy. The bus ensures students arrive on time. Please send your child on the bus if it’s a challenge getting to school on time. In the event the bus runs late, those students are not considered tardy.
    • The Morning Drop Off time has shifted slightly. CRES staff will greet cars dropping off students from 8:30 – 8:45 each morning. Drop off greetings end at 8:45 so students have enough time to walk to their classrooms by 8:50.

School Year Calendar

The 2019-2020 CRES School Calendar is easy to find on our website right at the bottom of the home page at .  Please make of note of Early Release Days when school dismisses at 2pm (about once a month), Workshop Days when there is no school for students, both Parent-Teacher Conference Days (no school for students), and both half-day Early Release Days on the Fridays before February and April vacation. Now is a great time to mark these dates in your family calendar!

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I can’t wait to see you and I’m looking forward to a great year together! 


Chris Walker-Spencer
(207) 236-7809


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