Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | June 25, 2012

End of School

Okay, so school has been out since Wednesday, but I’ve not had time to blog. The kids suffered through the last day of school photo – you can see how fake their smiles are – I threatened them to get this photo:

We hate you for taking this photo, Mom!

Alternately, here was the first day of school this year:

We hated you then too, Mom!

The fifth grade has no “graduation.” Instead they have an awards ceremony that lasts an hour. Each 5th grader gets a Certificate of Appreciation from the principal, for their service to the school. Huh? Just call it a damn graduation, or promotion or moving on ceremony. But a Certificate of Appreciation? Really?

Then we sat through the PE awards, the All-City band, orchestra and chorus participation certificates, the Safety Patrol participation certificates, the community service group participation certificates, and a bunch I’m sure I missed. Each class teacher presented math, science, language arts and social studies award certificates (3 per subject, 3 teachers) plus one class merit winner. I know you’re jealous you didn’t get to attend too.

Dori was mad at me that I made her dress up. We had a fight about it on the way to school the day before. I should have saved my breath, because her teacher told the class that very same day that they should dress up, and of course, Dori was then all over that.

On the last day, school tradition is to have a “clap off” which is just about the worst name for a ceremony ever. The idea, though, is sweet, and admittedly in past years it brought tears to my eyes even though I didn’t know the graduating (er, Certificate of Appreciation) students. The 1st through 4th graders line the school hallways, and clap (continuously) while the 5th grade classes walk from the 5th grade corridor (air conditioned!) through the unairconditioned 4th, 3rd and 1st grade corridors (2nd grade is out of the way and kindergarten is a different school now). They exit the building where they started as little itty bitty kids, to be greeted by paparazzi, otherwise  known as parents. The thoughtful ones bear balloons and flowers and video cameras. The rest of us just take regular pictures.

Traditionally the school plays music intended to make you cry (the school theme – some fake Native American song the kids learn starting in 1st grade, complete with hand movements). However the music wasn’t working. Between that, the temperature (about 3,000 degrees outside), and Dori’s excitement of being done with elementary school and moving on to middle school, it was not so moving this year. I shed a tear, but that was it, and the heat quickly dried it as it came out of my eye. Plus Dori came out so quickly (and covered her face to avoid my camera) that I didn’t even get a good shot.

At least she posed for a picture with her teacher, who is the world’s most adorable teacher ever.

We went for ice cream with friends after school.

Then to the pool, where it was likely the busiest day of the year.

The line of minivans in the parking lot was endless (we had to park on the street – it was so crowded).

The kids had a class party that night, and then it was ciao to 5th grade!


  1. Congrats on “graduation!” 🙂

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