Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Friday marks the official last day of school for Columbus Catholic schools.
While the start of summer vacation looks different this year due to COVID-19 and school closures, teachers and staff found a way to celebrate with students by lining up along S. Columbus Ave. with special signs and inviting families to drive by and honk their horns.
Photos by: Branden Bodendorfer
“We wanted to offer the opportunity for students and teachers/staff to see each other one last time, to celebrate the end of the school year and kick off summer vacation — even if it’s from six feet apart!” said Angela Loucks, Director of Giving and Events.
Students were informed on March 13 not to return to school because of Governor’s new Emergency Order which closed both public and private K-12 schools. On April 16, with the extension of the Safer at Home order, they were told they would be finishing out the school year at home.
“To have this opportunity to see my students in person after two long months brings me so much joy and peace,” said Chelsey Strack, fourth grade teacher at Our Lady of Peace Intermediate School. “It’s been hard knowing that we’ve missed out on hearing each other’s stories, celebrating our successes, enjoying some laughter, pushing each other to do our best, and our growth together in kindness and faith. I’m so thankful for this celebration to give us some closure as we say our goodbyes and be together one last time.
Columbus schools transitioned to virtual learning during the school shutdowns. Teachers and staff met on Monday, March 16 for training in remote teaching and began connecting with students by the next day.
“Throughout this ordeal, we’ve maintained a consistent line of communications with students and parents and were able to stay connected via social media. We don’t see times like this as an obstacle but an opportunity to learn, grow, discover new talents and overcome difficulties,” Loucks said.
“The series of events that caused us to shut down for the rest of the year was disappointing and certainly not what we imagined, but how we, the Columbus Catholic Schools family, reacted and coped with this difficult situation speaks volumes to our commitment to students,” she said.
The school is proud of students for adapting to the new format.
“The Columbus family truly is just that — a family, that sticks together through thick and thin, bonded by faith,” Loucks said.