Celebrating the End of the School YearOn June 18, 2020 by Calgary's Child
by Trista Arney
It is nearly summer and that means the end of the school year! While it looks hopeful that the new school year will be back to nearly normal, this year has certainly been a challenge for many families.
Normally the last weeks of school would be full of fun wrap up opportunities – school concerts, sports day, themed days, and more! While it’s just one more thing that is different, it can feel disappointing and anti-climatic. Just because we’re finishing the year at home instead of with classmates doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the end of the year!
This is a traditional and a yearly transition from school to summertime. This year especially I think we need to celebrate and be proud of overcoming the challenges associated with distance learning.
- Throw your own sports day in the backyard or neighborhood park! Get some classic freezies for afterwards and fun events like obstacle courses and races.
- Have a digital class party with classmates. Say goodbye, share stories, play games together, or just have a dance party.
- Create your own spirit days and get the whole family involved. Have crazy hair day, wear school colours, dress backwards, or get out some Halloween costumes.
- If your family normally takes Last Day pictures make sure to carry on the tradition. There are many fun printable signs created online to use as props for these pictures.
- Celebrate by doing something special on the last day. Get an ice cream, go camping, make a celebration cake, visit the Zoo or another attraction. Customize this for your family’s comfort zone and remember to stay safe by washing your hands, maintaining physical distance, and consider wearing a mask.
Say “Thank You”
- Have your child write a letter or card, or even just draw a picture for school staff that have supported them this year.
- If you would normally send a gift to school for the end of the year, there are many digital options. Send a virtual gift card by email, donate to a charity on your behalf of your teacher or school, or find another way to express your gratitude.
- Thank your children with special or silly awards. “Super Reader”, “Master of Google Meet”, “Extraordinary Effort”, “Positive Attitude” are some ideas. There are many award templates available freely online.
- If you’ve been filling in LONG Creations Covid time capsule there are some great pages about distance learning and the end of the school year.
- Create a Memory Book about this year of school. Here is one example template, or create your own.
There are many excellent stories for the end of the school year which can be found in physical or digital format, or even as recorded read alouds on platforms like YouTube.
- Last Day Blues – by Julie Danneberg
- When It’s the Last Day of School – by Maribeth Boelts
- Lizzie and the Last Day of School – by Trinka Hakes Noble
- The Invisible String – by Patrice Karst
- My Teacher Likes to Say – by Denise Brenna-Nelson
- Last Day, Hurray – by Nancy Poydar
No matter how your family chooses to celebrate, congratulations to you and your children for reaching the end of a truly unique school year!
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