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Messages of thanks and waves through windows as school supplies returned
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Parents of Spout Springs School of Enrichment students drop off equipment Monday, May 11, 2020, and pick up more supplies. They were greeted with thank you signs placed around the school. - photo by Scott Rogers

Those returning checked out school items to Spout Springs School of Enrichment Monday afternoon were met with a message of thanks from Spouts Springs teachers to all parents, grandparents and caretakers. 

Items checked out from Hall schools, like laptops and library books, are being returned this week, offering staff a chance to — from a distance — see some students and family for the first time in weeks. At some schools, parents drove up to return supplies as masked staff members greeted them and waved excitedly at students sitting in the backseat.

At Spout Springs, teachers wanted the experience to be special for the parents. So before every day of the six-day dropoff period, a group of Spout Springs teachers will be placing signs and balloons around the outside of the school thanking the parents for all they’ve done to make school from home run smoothly. 

“We have a very, very supportive parent group,” said fifth grade teacher Michelle Blaylock. “So we just felt like we needed to show them some appreciation.” 

Blaylock said it was important to her and the rest of the teaching staff to communicate that they understood the parents’ struggles. 

Despite much of the community suffering from the effects of COVID-19 throughout the last couple months of the school year, Blaylock said Spout Springs students were almost always at their virtual classes on time. 

“We realize that some of these parents have lost their jobs,” Blaylock said. “Some of them are going through some very challenging times that we don’t really know about. But yet, every day, these kids have been logged in. They’re doing their digital assignments. They’re logging into their Zoom meetings with their teachers. … (the parents) have been a very, very important part. They’ve done a great job.”

Mia Yeager, parent of a kindergarten student at Spout Springs, said both she and her kids enjoyed the unexpected welcome waiting for them at the school. 

“I thought it was very special and meaningful,” she said. “I feel like (the teachers) are the ones that really have done most of the work. But it did make me feel special.” 

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Spout Springs School of Enrichment staff hand school supplies to parents Monday, May 11, 2020, at the school. Parents were greeted with thank you signs placed around the school. - photo by Scott Rogers

Blaylock said dropoff May 18 — designated for the return of materials checked out by fifth graders — will have a bit of extra flair. Teachers will be putting out extra signs, including messages like “Reach for the stars,” “You did a great job,” and “Next stop, middle school.”

Spout Springs would typically celebrate the graduation of fifth graders to a new school with a cookout, so teachers there wanted to provide at least something for those students and their parents letting them know they will be appreciated and remembered as they move on to middle school.

“We just felt like it was something that we needed to show some appreciation to them,” Blaylock said. “Unfortunately, it’s a different way than it usually is. We’re hoping that this shows them some appreciation.”

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Spout Springs School of Enrichment staff move supplies outside Monday, May 11, 2020, as parents drop by the school to return school equipment. - photo by Scott Rogers