GM, Baptist Church to host CAES pupils CAES After School Program moved to Cavendish

Principal Fogg shows how high water rose in the boiler room, which contains two furnaces, electric panels and a hot water tank. Click the photo to launch the gallery. Photo by Cynthia Prairie.

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With the Chester-Andover Elementary School building out of commission for what might be an extended period due to water damage, administrators have announced the steps they are taking to begin school on Thursday.

The official start of school was last Wednesday.

Grades 2 – 6 will be using rooms at the Green Mountain High School, while kindergarteners and first graders will be at the Chester Baptist Church on Main Street.

According to an email from Superintendent Meg Powden, the fifth and sixth graders will occupy the Sam Adams II room, the Maker Space room and the Collaboration room located behind GM’s Library Learning Commons.

Second through fourth graders will be in the classrooms to the left of the library and six high school teachers will be shifting their classrooms to accommodate the move. CAES Principal Katherine Fogg’s office will be located in the library between students, teachers and staff.

With the CAES kindergarten classrooms and first graders will be located at the Baptist Church and they will be using the Whiting Library and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for individual classes or small groups of students from time to time.

“All CAES and GM personnel and local community leaders have been wonderful as we plan for this move,” wrote Powden. “I am very appreciative of everyone’s positive attitudes and collaboration to help us have a successful move.”

On the night before school starts, CAES will welcome parents to the GM cafeteria at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Wednesday, Sept. 5 for a Back to School night. After First Day Packets are distributed, parents and their children will be invited to visit classrooms at GM and the Baptist Church.

After School Program

In a Facebook post on the CAES PTG page, After School Program coordinator Venissa White wrote that the school is waiting to hear on an emergency waiver to allow transporting students in privately owned buses.

Barriers block the entrance to the parking lot of Chester-Andover Elementary School. All photos by Shawn Cunningham

If that waiver is granted, Chester k-6 students will be transported to Cavendish Town Elementary immediately after school for homework club and enrichment activities until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Parents will be able to pick up their students at Cavendish Elementary at any time or wait for a Green Mountain bus to return them to GM between 5 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, parents would have to pick their children up at Cavendish.

“Between licensing standards, bus regulations, and a shortage of buses and drivers at GM this is the easiest, yet costly, option for us to provide programming to working families. Please be assured that providing families with care has been on our mind since early last week-logistics have prevented us from putting out information to our families.”

White said she would send out information as soon as she hears back from the bus company. She can be reached at

Chester-Andover Elementary suffered several blows just before school was to begin, with an equipment failure that sent 12,000 to 18,000 gallons of water into the boiler room, forcing the shutting down of electricity, water and sewer.  Then a few days later, a water main burst beneath two classrooms.

The school is expected to undergo repairs for the next six weeks.

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