Saying Goodbye to Another Incredible School Year

26 Jun

The last weeks of the 2013-2014 school year were filled to the brim with last hurrahs, proud presentations, and bittersweet goodbyes. We would love to share with you some snapshots from AGC’s 6th season finalé, with stories and photographs collected by our incredible parents and teachers.

Our students soaked up sun and each other’s company on their last field trips of the year. Our current Kindergarteners took their last field trip of the year to the Department of Natural Resources, where they learned to build structures, explored the natural environment and practiced fishing!

Our current 2nd graders took their last field trip of the year to the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center to wrap up their unit on ecosystems.

Each of our 350 students participated in a field day, playing active games together and enjoying the company of their siblings and friends in another building. Being split between two facilities, our students don’t often get to gather as an entire school, so field day is a special treat.

Students in all grades presented learning to excited parents and peers: students of all ages made poster boards. This was great practice for our youngest students in collecting sources, identifying and addressing central questions and presenting their knowledge in a clear and organized fashion. Students presented their research on ecosystems, healthy habits, and important historical figures, to name a few.

And, of course, our students shared their extracurricular talents in our talent show, which featured singing, dancing, gymnastics, sign language, and karate!

Some grade levels enjoyed special end of year rituals. Kindergarten held a Celebration of Learning ceremony, where they presented (in English and Spanish) some of the things they learned this year in the form of a leaf for our tree of knowledge.

end of year kinder celebration of learning

This year’s 2nd graders will be moving from our K-2 building, a former barrel factory on 47th street, to our 3-7 building, the Annex building on the campus of Hearst Elementary school a few blocks away. Parents, teachers, and their peers orchestrated a send off and welcoming ceremony with a high-five train on both ends. Our rising 3rd graders spent the afternoon at the Annex building, exploring the gardens and checking out their new classrooms.

5th grade marks the end of the Primary Years Program in our International Baccalaureate Framework, so the outgoing 5th grade class held a special exhibition in May, during which they presented months of research conducted in small groups with the help of a mentor on globally relevant social issues like mining, cyber bullying and and celebrated their graduation to the Middle Years Program with a pinning ceremony and individual awards.

6th grade, our oldest students and first cohort of 1st graders, spent a day exploring their origins at AGC with a visit to a Kindergarten classroom and walk down memory lane with Ms. Helma, who made an appearance at their request as her alter-ego, Ms. Green. Our incoming 7th graders also spent a portion of their last week in strategic planning sessions, helping to shape their 7th grade experience with Principal Gillespie.

end of year 6th grade

Finally, the last days of the 2013-2014 school year were full of wonder and magic, as our garden, which the students helped to design and plant from seed, has exploded in a flurry of shoots and blossoms. K-2 Wellness Teacher, Arathi Jayaram shares this interaction with a 1st grader: “The amount of passion and enthusiasm that was exhibited when telling me that there was strawberries growing in out garden was amazing. [He] was almost hyperventilating with excitement, ‘MS. JAYARAM MS. JAYARAM STRAWBERRIES! STRAWBERRIES! COOMMMME LOOK! STRAWBERRIES! Oh don’t eat them they are green.” Founder and Executive Director Sarah Elizabeth Ippel shared a similar story of wonder, as a student, upon learning that the snap peas had reached maturity and were ready to be harvested, began squealing “We eat the garden! We EAT the garden!”

 

We will miss our students creativity, energy and love for each other and the earth and look forward to seeing many of them in a few weeks for Summer Camp!

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