Finally! The long awaited day, the last day of school, had come! Unlike other years, when everyone is anxious to leave school for the summer, the best part of the last day of school during this COVID-19 pandemic was actually being able to go to school and see our students face to face after ten weeks of only seeing each other on a screen.
To keep everyone “safe,” we scheduled student families to arrive at school at half-hour intervals. A welcome banner and balloons greeted students at the front door as they entered the classrooms for the first time in two long months. As parents chatted with teachers, students tackled the year-end ritual of cleaning out their desks and lockers.
After textbooks were returned and personal items were collected, Mrs. Denis took pictures of each student while Mrs. Buchholz scooped up ice-cream and sandwiched it between chocolate chip cookies as a final celebratory treat to mark the end of a challenging year. Before students left, they each received a box from Home and School packed with games, a devotional book, and other goodies for summer fun. The teachers had also included end-of-year awards and a personal letter for each student.
As the day went on, families started overlapping at the beginning and end of each visit. Students were so excited to see their classmates again after long weeks of social isolation. The few minutes of time spent together with teachers, parents, and students will be treasured as a highlight of the school year. The last day of school, normally a celebration of leaving, became a celebration of returning.
Jeannie Buchholz, upper grades teacher at Three Angels Christian School