Schools celebrate 5th graders moving up
Posted on 05/26/2020
Teacher waving to student in car

With traditional fifth-grade promotion ceremonies cancelled for this academic year, schools across the district came up with creative ways to celebrate their fifth-graders and send them off to middle school. All of our schools have found ways to celebrate their students, accomplishments and promotions. Here are highlights from a few from around the district:

At Catalina Elementary, Principal Seth Daub, teachers and other staffers handed out yellow gift bags stuffed with cake pans, cake mix and icing to students last week. Upbeat music played, and the parking lot was decorated with balloon sculptures.

“Between now and Friday morning they will bake the cake,” Daub said. “We will have a virtual moving-up celebration Friday morning. We thought this would be a great kickoff for that.”

At Dr. Phillips Elementary, staff delivered yard signs to student homes. The blue and gold signs for each of the Flying Eagles read “Hats Off! #DPStrong 5thGrade.” Students smiled and posed for pictures with the signs, and the school compiled the photos into a video. “It was very heartwarming to see students surprised as we told them we missed them and congratulated them on being promoted to middle school,” said Principal Christine Rogers.

Castle Creek Elementary plans to host a drive-through ceremony, with students separated by classroom.

Ethan Hooper, a teacher at Catalina, explained why he wanted to be part of his school’s 5th grade event.

“We haven’t seen the kids in person in a long time and this is a huge milestone,” he said. Hooper had a message for the fifth-graders: “I’m here for you. I’ll still be your fifth-grade teacher, even when you go on to middle, high school or college. I want them to hear that in person.”

Ja’lial Lawrence drove through the Catalina parking lot with mom Toni McWhorter. “Ja’lial started here in kindergarten and went all through fifth grade and it was amazing. He was a struggling learner, but we made it through with all As and Bs. His behavior is great. The teachers are great. This is a big accomplishment and I’m a proud mom.”

Ja’lial thanked his teacher, Ms. Hayes, and said he was proud of his performance in math and reading.

Principal Daub said his teachers came out voluntarily for the socially-distanced celebration.

“Our fifth graders are the best in the district and they deserve the best,” he said. “To take with them to middle school – to know that whatever obstacles comes their way, they can get through it.  A lot of our families do have obstacles and if they can get through it they will be successful in life.”