A week full of activities and commendations took place for the 5th-grade students at Monterey Hills Elementary School who will be moving on to SPMS this upcoming school year.
To commence the honors, MHS’ final Friday Assembly was devoted entirely to the 5th-grade promoting class, wherein each class presented something special to share with the rest of the school.
Students regaled the virtual audience with tales ranging from encountering skunks to experiencing a rare snowfall to field trips at the Aboretum to learn about nature. Others gave school survival tips and life advice, reciprocating the positivity learned at MHS. As one student so eloquently waxed philosophical, they aimed to enlighten, saying, “Mortal greatness is not being immortal and not being popular. It’s fighting for the greater good and I would love to spend my life focusing on the positive and holding on to hope.”
In-person events were also part of the festivities celebrating the class that pulled through to the finish line with pep in their stride, holding a car-parade, complete with a Roadrunnermoblie and student-families enjoying the afterglow of completing a hard-fought school year for a hard-won summer.
The safely curated parade of cars which the school ensured was aligned with safety CDC and LACoE guidelines, scheduled specific time slots for each 5th-grade class, which included: Maestra Howard, Mrs. Tull, Mrs. Detterich, Mrs. King, Ms. Freitas, Mrs. Foudy, and Mr. Millar. Decorations and behind-the-scenes work were all assembled thanks to the 5th Grade Parent Committee, PTA Board and, of course, MHS staff.
A parent-sponsored carnival also was a highlight that celebrated the promoting class. Games, water balloon fights, and a foam party were all part of the campus-based event.
Additionally, students who worked to achieve accolades in: Bilingual/Biliteracy Award, Cultural Awareness, Dual Immersion Pillar Award, Presidential Academic Award and Presidential Achievement Award, were all recognized in a Virtual Awards Ceremony.
And to wrap it all up, a virtual promotion ceremony full of slideshows, messages from teachers and faculty, and more was provided to simulate what students would have experienced had they been able to gather in person.
In it, MHS Principal, Dr. Laurie Narro, gave a final message to her Roadrunners:
“I address you today, Road Runners, with some mixed feelings. A little melancholy, excited anticipation all wrapped up in great hope.
A little melancholy. Well, that comes at the end of every school year for me, as I have to say goodbye to a group of children who have been my inspiration for six years. MHS 5th-graders, do you realize that I have known some of you for half of your lives? That is not lost on me. The honor of seeing you grow from tiny kindergarteners to bigger-than-life, 5th-graders, I have a bit more sadness to deal with this year, because I feel I was cheated from having your positive energy on campus for a year, some of you even longer because of the pandemic.
Excited anticipation. For me this feeling is ever present. And whether you spent your entire fifth grade year in distance, or you were able to come back to school in a hybrid model, I have held this feeling all year long.
I asked myself at the beginning of the year, how will the 5th-graders adapt to their learning environment? Did you become a fluent reader, writer, mathematician? Did you grow your curiosity as a scientist, technologist, artist? Were you able to maintain friendships over Zoom? Did you take advantage of your new schedule to learn to cook, craft and care for your new pet? Were you able to spend fun time with your family?
Over the school year, I was excited to hear the responses from your teachers when I asked: ‘How’s it going?’, and they shared stories of your successes in the Zoom rooms.
Over the school year, I heard from your teachers about the skillset that you had developed in your digital classrooms that kept up our excitement and at the end of this year, I had the chance to see many of you return in the hybrid model.
You are the strongest group of 5th-graders I have had the pleasure of knowing.
Great hope. Is it your developed resilience, your budding independence, your superior technology skills? Is it your deep thinking, your problem solving? Are those the things which make me hopeful?
Of course, it is your emerging skills as analysts and allies that give me even more hope. You have a skill set that provides your parents, your teachers, and me huge hope in our future world.
We have a great hope that you will go on into your studies as young scholars and activists. We have great hope that you will be our leaders who will work diligently to make improvement in our world, to address issues that will call upon your science and technology skills and use your knowledge about history about advocacy and about ally-ship to change our world.
So Roadrunners, know that we will miss you. But at the same time we are proud of you and excited about your future and ours. You offer us hope and we will count on you. Follow our school rules, be safe, be responsible and be respectful as they will guide your decisions. Please come back and visit us. Tell us what you’re learning how you are doing. And let us have the pleasure of continuing to see you grow. I wish you great success. Remember, you will always be part of our learning family.