Photo by Joel Reichenberger
Soda Creek Elementary School third-grade teacher Rebecca Dybas sprays her students with silly string after the final bell sounded Friday afternoon.
Steamboat Springs Children gearing up for summer weaved through boxed-up classroom supplies at Strawberry Park Elementary School on Friday as teachers finished up a month-long packing effort for summer construction.
All classroom, personal and student supplies and belongings had to be packed and ready for storage within eight hours of the last bell of the 2007-08 school year.
"It's been very busy and a little frustrating, but we're all getting there," said Carol Deschermeier, a teacher in the school's Gifted and Talented program. Deschermeier said she spent the past few weeks preparing for the move, which will make way for an 18,000-square-foot, 12-classroom addition to the school.
"With trying to finish up end-of-the-year traditional stuff and then packing on top of that, it has been a challenge," Deschermeier said. "And at this point, we're all kind of working around a box jungle."
On Friday, Strawberry Park students played outside and around the school, gathered belongings, attended an awards ceremony and celebrated the start of summer with classroom parties.
Across the parking lot at Steamboat Springs Middle School, sixth- and seventh-graders donned "wacky tacky" outfits in bright colors and out-of-the-ordinary fabrics as they lined up in the school's side lot and fields area for a buffet-style cookout lunch.
Sixth-grader Myrissa Pyle, wearing neon striped tights and a tutu, said she coordinated outfits with friends and fellow sixth-graders Bailey Pugh, Maggie McElhiney and Kayla Guettich to give added flair to the last week of school. Even with all the excitement for summer vacation, Pyle said her first year as a middle-schooler seemed like it had just started.
"It doesn't really feel like the last day of school, because the year has flown by really fast. And we don't want to leave all our friends for the summer," Pyle said.
Turnout was lower than in years' past for the school's annual end-of-school field day, which included games of softball, soccer and volleyball, silly foot races, art projects and card games, said Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter. About noon, he hoped the weather would hold out long enough for the students who were able to come to school to enjoy the day.
"We run a normal school day in the morning, and try to keep things as normal as possible, and then we have a field day, then we have a giant tug-of-war in the gym, and it's just crazy," Buelter said.
Physical education teacher Wendy Hall, who was busy setting up a volleyball net at the far end of the school's playing field, said the students who participated were sure to have a good time.
"Kids leave here with a smile on their face, and I think teachers leave here with a smile on their face, too, because it's just as much fun for them as it is for the kids," Hall said.
The middle school also will undergo renovation and expansion during the summer. Buelter said aside from moving sports equipment from one section of the building, the only hurdle for middle school faculty will come once construction starts, when summer school classes will be held at Steamboat Springs High School.
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