By Laura Mammarelli, Blue Heron School Director
Group time at Blue Heron School is for singing, dancing, yoga, listening to stories, and sometimes for talking it out, all together. During the last week of school, the energy level was high, the volume of voices was turned up, and it seemed harder than it had been to focus on absorbing activities. We sat together at group time, on the penultimate day of school, and talked about mixed feelings. Even as adults knowing how to act and what to say can be a challenge when we are experiencing conflicting feelings, and spring is full of events that provoke these, with graduations, weddings, and other transitional events. It is easy to understand that it is even harder for young children, who are just learning to manage their feelings in appropriate ways, and how to express them with language. So we took a break from all the busy, end of school activities and talked about how we were feeling. The children were excited about the beginning of summer, and, for the older ones, the anticipation of going to "the big school" in the fall. At the same time, over the course of a school year a community has formed, with children, teachers, parents, and the greater Science Center staff. We enjoy the experience of becoming acquainted, and then developing friendships. We can't imagine that we will not continue to see one another every day. We celebrate the wonderful growth and accomplishments of each child over the course of the year, and we acknowledge our sadness that it is time for the child to move on.
However, it is a part of the process of school, and life, that endings come, and lead to new beginnings. We wish the children all the best in the next stage of life and school. We look forward to hearing about their new experiences. We happily look forward to reuniting with returning students in September, when school resumes, and the younger children come back another year older, the new leaders of the class. We know, too, that new families and children will come to Blue Heron in the fall. We look forward to knowing them, and to recreating our community with continuity from last year and fresh energy that new and returning friends bring to Blue Heron.