Saying goodbye to Elementary School

Thursday, Jase had his last day of Elementary school. Wow. Six years of learning, growing and fun have occurred in these walls. (He even shed a few tears as we left.) I remember the spring before he started kindergarten. He swore he didn’t want to go to the “big” school. He was perfectly fine at his small, intimate preschool.

Now, he seems to have mixed feelings about leaving this place. Part of him is excited to go on to Middle School, but that is a bigger school. A much bigger school. His fifth-grade class had 123 students. Three elementary schools pour into the middle school so that means each grade probably has close to 400 students. That is 1200 students at the school compared to 600 this year.

But getting to pick some of your classes has to be exciting. Each sixth grader gets two electives. Jase chose orchestra (he began violin instruction this year with the middle school orchestra teacher) and AIM – a study hall class that goes beyond just having time to do homework. They offer tutoring as well as teach organizational and other practical school-related skills. (Since he hasn’t officially taken a class, I don’t know what to expect with this, but it came highly recommended by his teacher and other parents.)

Since this was his fifth-grade year, there were quite a few extra events to fill up the last weeks of school.

  • Tour of Middle School – On Jase’s birthday, he spent the morning at the Middle School getting acquainted with the layout and what will be expected of him next year. There will be a half-day “camp” in August that will go over even more things!
  • Grade Level Panoramic Photo – Every class gets their picture taken in February, but only fifth grade gets to take a panoramic picture of all the fifth graders, their teachers and the principal and vice principal. They did two photos – a serious one and a funny one.
  • Come Alive Theatre – One of their big end-of-the-year projects is to put on a living theatre. Each student picks a historical figure and then dresses up as that person. A button is placed before each participant and whenever someone presses it, they have to give a short speech about their famous person. Jase was author F. Scott Fitzgerald. (photo of event to the right)
  • Pool Party – I think the biggest, most anticipated event is the fifth-grade pool party. The kids spend the day at a neighborhood pool – eating Chick-fila, swimming, jamming to music and just having a blast. (And this year – I was in charge of the party. Glad it turned out great – despite an ambulance being called to the pool twice.)
  • Field Day/Egg Drop – The whole school participates in Field Day – a half-day event full of obstacle course, relay races and snow cones. Fifth grade went in the morning, so they could participate in their science contest. They had to develop a way to drop an egg 15 feet without breaking it. Jase said his team’s egg made the drop three times without breaking.
  • Graduation – The last day of school brings us to fifth-grade graduation. Each student is called on the stage to receive a certificate. Any accolades and awards – honor roll, presidential service award, and such – are presented. Most parents then take their fifth grader home or out to lunch to celebrate. We went to Jase’s favorite place – Olive Garden.

And now it is over. No more elementary school for Jase. Next school year I will have kids in two different schools. And I will be on two different Parent-Teacher Associations. It will be exciting and fun, and I can’t wait to see what the next school adventure brings into Jase’s life.

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