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Middle School Celebrations vs. COVID-19 Shut-down

Around the world, high school senior year is thought to be one of the most significant milestones in a person's life, which it is, but there are more experiences than one that lead up to the excitement of Commencement ceremonies.

Graduating from elementary and middle school are also milestones that ordinarily result in a celebration. Elementary school is the transition from child to tween and middle school, although scary for some, is the transition from tween to teenager and young young adult. Sometimes it is forgotten that going to high school can be a nerve-wracking experience for students due to the new system.

Around three years ago, Crossroads North and South added a few events to their eighth-grade celebration giving the soon-to-be high school students a special departure from this milestone and onto a bigger one.

The past eighth grade classes enjoyed a semi-formal and graduation ceremony at the high school as well as Dorney Park and Gettysburg field trips. Due to COVID-19, that was not the case for the graduating class of 2020, and may not be the case in 2021.

Principal Ms. Bonnie Capes from Crossroads South gave some insight into how the graduating class of 2020 kept some of these traditions alive.

She said, "Even though Gettysberg was canceled, our teachers researched...different places and followed all of the social distancing rules, and they took videos and did a complete virtual Gettysburg virtual experience [for the students]."

Principal Capes is already looking ahead to this year's plans as well. She mentioned, "It's more than a trip. It's a milestone in your life."

With South Brunswick schools possibly opening up later in the year, these same events and trips may still be offered to the eighth-grade class.

She spoke on whether or not formal school events would occur or not.

She said, "Right now all events are canceled, we are not making any plans, but if the opportunity comes up, we have to remember the essence of the opportunity … I would be a fan of making that happen."

An upcoming event to look out for is the virtual PATTERNS assembly in December for middle school students and there will be more information coming soon.

Principal Capes referred to the quote from SBHS Athletics Director Elaine McGrath.

"Every day, I want to have a great experience for kids and do all the things right so we can get to the next day."

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