HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) — St. Peter School sent its students off in a special way Thursday after a difficult two months of being closed.
“Typically today, on a normal schedule this would be our Field Day,” describes St. Peter School Principal Ron Albino.
But the school year has proven to be anything but normal after schools were shut down in March by the governor to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Teachers put their heads together to figure out a way to see their students one last time.
“We wanted to send them off into summer with something happy,” says 5th grade teacher Kimberly Collins.
“Ms. Collins and Miss Espy, the two 5th grade teachers, said hey we’ve got an idea,” says Albino, who went along with it. “We decided to invite all the families to drive through the parking lot and have all the staff along the sides.”
One by one, car after car rolled in to say hello and good-bye to their teachers again. Students were greeted by some familiar faces they hadn’t seen in more than two months.
“I came into school every day to work, and what I missed most was– when I walked into my classroom it was empty. It was me and desks. So I tried to imagine my students sitting at those desks learning, but I didn’t see their faces,” recalls 5th grade teacher Linda Espy. “I’m very excited that St. Peter was able to make this happen. This is always a big week for St. Peter School anyway because we have Field Day and 8th grade graduation and there’s lots of events going on, and the students are missing out on that. So this was our way of bringing that to them.”
For 8th grader Charli Sproles this was a milestone year.
“It was pretty disappointing because at the end of the year we’re supposed to have all of these big 8th grade moments that everybody looks forward to their whole life here,” admits Charli. “I was definitely looking forward to my 8th grade walk through and saying goodbye properly and having a proper graduation.”
Thursday’s drive-thru served as a substitute, giving those inside cars and outside a little bit of that interaction they’ve been craving.
“We get to see them on the computer, but it still, it’s just not the same,” states Collins.
Each student also received a bagged lunch.
“It was really fun to see them all again and just enjoy a few seconds with them,” says soon to be 5th grader Jon Carter Sproles.
Though an atypical end to the school year, it’s one this group of students and teachers will likely always remember.