Southborough schools say goodbye and hello, working to ease transitions

High school graduates aren’t the only ones saying goodbye this spring. With schools split by grade, students transition to new Southborough schools every 2-3 years. Usually, there’s lots of in-school hooplah to celebrate kids moving up and out.

Here’s how the K-8 schools are handling things this year.

The Wave

Each school has a car parade planned. On Monday morning, the elementary schools will have events for kids to wave to teachers and staff on the sidewalk cheering them on from the sidewalks. The overlap should make it easier for some families with students in more than one school. For these events kids must remain in the cars.

8th grade farewellThe special farewell for Trottier 8th graders on Tuesday will be a little fancier.

In addition to waving to teachers, the kids can stop for a photo op at the school’s entrance. Since the event is meant to replace the annual banquet, students who wish to are encouraged to dress up for the photo. Families are also encouraged to decorate cars with kids’ names. This event will be phased over three hours, with families split by alphabet.

Helping kids adjust to more change

Finn School is responsible for the youngest students. That means they’re seeking to reassure incoming Kindergarteners and their families. (Some of the children may have never been inside a classroom.) Today, Finn posted an orientation video for parents here.

Every year, Finn asks their students to help welcome and inform incoming classes with special videos. This year, they look a little different, with contributions recorded by families at home. You can view videos for incoming preschoolers, Kindergarteners and first graders.

Finn also needs to say goodbye to students, including ones who have attended Finn since early pre-school. (Yesterday, I shared how Woodward teachers are using bitmojis to welcome new students. You can read that here.) Finn posted a presentation “Supporting Students with Transitions” advising parents on how to help kids make the shift from Finn to Woodward. You can read that here.

With no step up days or orientations this spring, Virtual Tours of the K-6 schools are available on their websites. Finn’s and Neary’s each seemed strangely quiet and empty. Woodward’s was clearly recorded earlier this spring or in a previous year.

Trottier’s Video Celebrations

TMS Talent Show

Normally, the Rotary Club holds a talent show at Trottier in the spring. Most of the performers are usually Trottier students. To substitute this year, the school invited students to send in their video contributions of talented performances. 

The pandemic made it more difficult for some of the collaborations students have had in the past. But the format also allowed for unique performances students couldn’t normally make on stage. (Including one on horseback and screen recording of a student’s video game performance.)

The video was shared via Google drive for students and families.

Virtual Awards Ceremony

The middle school’s annual ceremony to recognize student achievements won’t be in the auditorium or even over zoom. Instead the school, is producing another special video. It includes footage from previous zoom sessions with award winners. It also includes pictures of students accepting some of the bigger awards during surprise visits. The video will incorporate some musical performances by students. It will be posted for students and families on Monday afternoon, as will links for individual award presentations.

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