Summer Officially Begins with Laughter and Tears

Downtown School big and little "buddies" share letters on the last day of school.

Downtown School big and little “buddies” share letters on the last day of school.

The last Des Moines Public Schools school to dismiss for the summer did so this week, officially beginning the district’s summer break.The Downtown School operates on an alternative calendar, ending the year on June 19. The school’s fall session begins on August 13, a week before the traditional calendar schools.

Although they’d waited the longest for summer to begin, Downtown School students were reluctant to leave.  At an assembly in the Central Campus gymnasium, laughter was plentiful and tears weren’t far behind.

“What a memorable last day of school,” Principal John Johnson said.

The assembly opened with the school song, accompanied by a parent/staff band and moved on to photos of Book Character Day, when all of the students dressed up as their favorite literary character.

The most emotional part of the assembly came when students presented a video they created for outgoing 5th graders.

“The last All School Sing generated a lot of emotions – both happy and sad,” Johnson said.  “The 5 and 6-year-old buddies sat with their 9 and 10-year-old buddies.  Some held hands while they sang.  After the All School Sing the younger and older buddies had time so share letters with one another.  The younger children wished their older buddies good luck in middle school and thanked them for their help in getting started off on the right foot at school.  Older children gave their younger buddies some last-minute advice and asked them to carry on some of the great traditions at the Downtown School.”

Principal Johnson said he’s confident the outgoing students will do well next year.

“Our fifth graders are well-prepared for middle school.  We are proud of them!”

Today students are celebrating the first day of summer vacation with an eye on continuing to read, write and take in all the world has to offer until they meet again.  School starts soon!  See you on August 13.

View Photos of Last Day at Downtown School

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
View Video Created for Students

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