Kindergarteners reconnect with teachers at Decas School

Jun 12, 2020

Kindergarteners and their teachers at Decas Elementary School reconnected on Friday, June 12 for an end of school year celebration, after months of being separated due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

From 10 a.m. to noon, students and their families drove through the school’s parking lot to see teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff, who waited in front of their cars decorated with signs and balloons. 

The educators set up their own stations spaced out in the parking lot, and decorated their cars with their own artistic flair and sense of style. Many also gave out goodie bags with books, snacks, and school supplies to last for the summer. 

“It’s awesome to say goodbye and reconnect with [the students] for a few minutes,” said teacher Michele LeFrancois. 

One of LeFrancois’ students, Jordyn Hall, was joined by her mother Erica Hall, who also had LeFrancois as a teacher. 

For Erica, the multi-generational reunion was an emotional one. “We’re all crying,” she said. 

Kindergartener Kaiden Clifford said it felt “pretty good” to see LeFrancois again. “I missed all my friends,” he added about having to switch to remote learning this year. 

Many of the teachers agreed that remote learning is especially tough with younger kids, because of the need for face to face interactions. 

“So much of Kindergarten is hands-on,” said Wendy Nault. 

Kerry Peterson brought her daughter Taylee to reconnect with Nault. She said that it was good that her daughter got to attend Zoom meetings with her teacher and classmates, but that it was nice for them to be able to see each other in person again on Friday morning. 

Assistant Principal Joanne Gibbs said that the idea for the parking lot celebration came together after getting input from all the teachers on what they wanted to do for the annual celebration this year, while still maintaining social distance. 

During Friday’s celebration, participants wore masks and spread out across the large parking lot to avoid dense crowds or lines. 

First graders will reunite with their teachers in a similar celebration on Monday, June 15. Second graders will do the same on the following day. Both of those events will also be from about 10 a.m. to noon.