Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Last Day Traditions

What traditions do you celebrate on the last day of school?

We normally finish on an early release day, meaning that we release the students after the last lunch shift.  This makes for a short last day.  Since grades have already been turned in, it is a day for celebrations.

Students start out the day with an all school awards assembly where we recognize attendance, participation in extracurricular sports and clubs, and academic achievement.  This year as my collegue and I lined out the awards to pass out, we were both AMAZED at all the students who were so successful!!  (On a side note, we also ran some data for PBIS and found out that 78% of our students did not have a single discipline referral for the 2014-15 school year!)

After our awards assembly, we switch gears and celebrate the talented folks with a talent show.  Our Emcees are 8th graders and they pretty much run the show!  This year's show consisted of singing (groups, solos, duos, with music, and acapella), electric guitar solo, solo color guard routine, and what I will call stick juggling (see picture).  Our talent show always ends with a "surprise" performance by the teachers...usually a dance mix.  This year was no different.  The mix included YMCA, Thriller, Cha Cha Slide, the Superman, the Twist, and many other songs.  The kids LOVE this part!  Boy do they like to make fun of the staff!  :)

After the talent show there isn't much left except yearbook signing and lunch.

And then we send the kids off for the summer.  This is one of my favorite traditions!!  Other schools may do the same thing, but I had never participated in anything like this before. On the first and last days of school, ALL the staff head outside with the students to help the kids get on the busses (the first day they need help finding their busses and the last day they need help getting on them...TODAY!). Once all the students are loaded and the first bus starts to pull away, all the staff line up in a huge row and wave. On the first day we wave and shout, "See you tomorrow!" and on the last day, we wave and shout, "Have a GREAT summer!" The kids smile and wave like crazy. Once all the busses are gone, as a staff we shout and whoop it up! It has brought me to tears each time I've participated. I must add that we do have walkers and car pick ups, but the great majority of our kiddos ride the bus. LOVE this tradition!!!

At the end of the day, we all are brimming from ear to ear with warm fuzzy feelings for the kids we love and the staff who support them.

I just need to stop the tradition pictured below!  I need to leave before the parking lot is totally cleared.  
That's us!  What do you do at your school?