Like schools across the city, yesterday’s last day of school at Robertson Elementary School was bittersweet. Many sixth graders were sad about leaving the school and slightly apprehensive about what they face come this fall. And, too, there were many students ready to leave the books and the papers and vacation with their families.
The last day of school was scheduled for June 13 but was pushed back by Tropical Storm Irene. Classes started on Sept. 6 rather than Aug. 31. The last day for most high school students was Friday when they finished their final exams.
Yesterday was a special day for many of the department’s 5,298 elementary students. During the last lunch of the academic year, students of all grades lined the cafeteria benches with their yearbooks opened patiently waiting for them to be signed. Groups of graduating sixth grade girls cheered and kicked an original chant representing their Robertson School pride.
At a table with more than a dozen second graders, student Charles Kebarian stood out among the rest with his funky hair style to represent his past year in school. Charlie had a Mohawk that was tie-dyed green and blue, with stars and stripes alongside his temple. With the help from his mom, this is the second year he has sported crazy hair on the last day of school.
Fourth grade teacher Anita Boyd held a pizza party for her students after a showing of the movie “Sandlot.” She said they had earned it with their good behavior. In the third grade class of Nicole Greene, students played board games, including chess.
Graduating students were excited about transitioning to Winman Junior High School but are going to miss recess at Robertson the most.
“Our school is more like a big family,” student Kaitlynn Slattery said. “I am going to miss all of our activities that we would do.”
In contrast to other years, faculty noted there were fewer teacher gifts this year, a fact they attributed to the economy.
Students like Shelby Brooks bought gifts for her teachers as a token of appreciation for all they have done throughout the year. These included restaurant gift certificates and Alex and Ani bracelets that were given to her preferred educators.
“I like to bring my teachers gifts to thank them for all they have done,” Brooks said. “Every year I give a gift to my teachers.”
For Principal Lynn Dambruch, preparing for the last day of school is a melancholy experience. More than 50 students are graduating this year while nearly 300 students will return in the fall.
“It is sad to see the students go,” Dambruch said. “Everyone is excited for vacation time but I know the kids will miss school.”
During the summer, a lot of the students are excited for their vacations they will be taking in the months to come. Excursions to Lake Compounce, Florida and New York are just a few destinations the students will be visiting with their families.