As Naperville kids step off the bus on their first day back, they’ll notice their school in tip-top shape.
For three months every summer, maintenance, faculty, and staff get the grounds ready to welcome new and returning students.
The smell of fresh paint lingers in the hallway at Naperville North High School, like many other schools that have spent summertime preparing for the first day of class.
“We had a new roof put on, we are getting some new fascia on the outside of our building, we would go in and change floor tiles or take up carpeting,” said Lisa Corrighan, North Night High School’s Facility Manager.
Planning for construction can sometimes take months. Corrighan and Naperville North’s maintenance team of 26, start planning in January after the yearly budget is released.
“Every one of us works really hard to give our community a clean, and safe environment for the beginning of class,” Corrighan said.
Right on time, faculty and staff were ready to welcome parents and students to registration where they picked up their class schedules, and posed for their photo I.D.’s.
“I don’t dread it, school is kind of fun, it’s just boring studying for tests,” said NNHS Sophomore, Ryan Sullivan.
For Naperville Mom, Lisa Heckes, this year marks the last-first day back to school for her youngest daughter who is now a senior. “The key outfit for the first day when they show up at registration, because that’s always where they have to make a good first impression.”
Across town, Naper Elementary School opened their doors to new students for a chance to meet Principal Julie Beehler who led them on a tour through the building.
During their visit, fifth grade teacher, Tom Auld, gave them a sneak peak inside his classroom as he made some finishing touches before student’s first day back.
Mr. Auld says it will take about 15 hours of work to have his room ready. “Putting posters back up, bulletin boards, organizing books, name tags on desks, so when the year starts you can just teach you don’t have to worry about organization its there already,” said Auld.
As the school inches closer to being physically ready for class, parents and their kids are mentally preparing.
“During the summer, I just make sure they continue to read and do math so that when school starts they are ready on day one,” said Jean Cush, a Naperville mom.
Cush’s daughter Haley, plans on spending time with her Kindle and iPod before her first day as a fifth grader. “Summer is fun, but sometimes you just want to go back to school and you get to learn new things and meet new friends.”
Third grader, Emilio Perez, hopes to meet other new students like him. “I’m excited but at the same time nervous because I’m not going to know anyone,” said Perez.
Once the school year begins in mid-August, students can look forward to their first day off on Labor Day.
Back to school shopping is right behind Christmas in retail sales. The National Retail Federation expects over $30-billion dollars to be spent on supplies this year.
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