By Sarah CR Clark
St. Anthony Park Elementary School’s fifth graders won’t visit Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center this year as has been the case for previous fifth grade classes. And their end of the year celebration will look different than in prior years.
In mid-May, as the Bugle went to press, Principal Karen Duke said a committee was planning a celebration for the school’s graduating fifth grade class that would meet state safety guidelines.
While this spring semester has been dominated by the challenges of distance learning, Duke said SAP’s fifth grade teachers are characterizing this year’s fifth graders as “the class that rose to the occasion of having to adapt quickly” to those changes and still maintain a hunger for learning. This year’s fifth graders stayed connected with one another through Google Meet birthday parties, phone calls and notes sent through the mail.
Fifth grade student, Oliver Brasel said he will remember the end of his time at SAP as “weird, challenging and different.” He’ll miss attending the annual St. Paul Saints baseball game for patrol students. But he said he’ll be happy to remember “the atmosphere of SAP Elementary and how kind everyone is.”
As for moving on to middle school in fall, Brasel said, “I don’t know what to expect from a new school. But I am excited to make new friends.”
Hafsa Muqtar, another SAP fifth grade student, feels a little nervous about going to a new school next year. She will remember SAP Elementary as a fun and friendly place. If she could gather all her SAP teachers together, she said she would tell them, “Thank you for teaching me new things and saying ‘hi’ to me in the hallway even when I wasn’t in your class anymore!”
In a joint statement, the fifth-grade teachers said their students were a resilient class. “Even though we had a different way of learning, they left prepared for the next stage in their educational journey.”