Our little elementary school learners have sure been building resilience in the last year and a bit. While younger children may not even really be aware of how different our lifestyles have been recently, many elementary schoolers do remember life before COVID – and you can be sure they miss the end-of-the-school-year rhythms and festivities.

While we’re yet to see whether our children will be able to return to school at all, we know that even if they do, distancing and other health protocols will be required.

To help them celebrate their achievements this school year and feel more closure, here are three ways your family can celebrate the end of the academic year.

  1. Mark the occasion with an official photo. Instagram and Facebook feeds are loaded with happy smiles on scrubbed faces on the first day of school; do the same for the last! The first day of school is about potential – and the last is about accomplishment. Share your pride and your child’s growth with the people who love them… we guarantee they’ll be happy to see it! Most importantly, it will make your child feel special, too.
  2. Have a special family meal in honour of your little academic. Eat it in the dining room like a “special occasion” dinner – or on the floor of the family room – or on a blanket in the park… whatever your student would prefer! Serve all the child’s favourites, and make a toast to their hard work and accomplishments this year. If you have more than one elementary-school child, have a separate occasion for each one!
  3. Thank the teachers who made a difference. It’s never too early for kiddos to learn to express gratitude to those who help them, and to build the habit of doing so at the conclusion of a project or undertaking. In this case, thanking the teacher also gives your child a chance to reflect on their positive experiences from this year, and to say goodbye in a way that will help them mentally move on (even if the in-school experience didn’t give them the chance to).

If it helps, you can download our “teacher thank-you,” and then help your child complete it as best they can. You can even make a little ceremony of walking together to the mailbox to mail your child’s note(s), and lift them up to personally deposit their envelope in the mailbox. You can find all the mailing addresses for Pembina Trails School Division schools here.