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Students cap off another year
Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School teachers waveas students in Gainesville head home after the last day of school - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The last school bell for the 2008-09 school year has rung and it’s time to blare the rock anthem "School’s Out."

Hall County and Gainesville students burst out of school doors Friday after enjoying a casual last day of school.

Kim Davis, assistant principal at Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School, said children were sent home on buses as usual despite the chaotic morning Friday in which city school buses did not run. Gainesville school buses did not take children to school Friday due to an early-morning fire in the system bus parking lot, where eight buses were destroyed.

Davis said though many parents had to drive their children to school Friday while other students walked, Fair Street still had 500 of its 635 students show up.

"They came by taxi, they walked, they came in cars, packed cars ... because they really wanted to come to school today," she said.

Davis said students knew a teacher "Fear Factor" fundraising assembly benefitting Relay for Life was to be held Friday at which eight prizes would be given away, including a PlayStation Portable game system.

"That was a really big incentive," Davis said. "... Everybody got to say goodbye to the teachers, sign yearbooks, clean all their desks out and get their books."

Fair Street fifth-graders ceremoniously rang the bell in the school yard, as tradition dictates.

After school let out at lunchtime, many Gainesville parents picked up students who typically take the bus home, Davis said.

Nathaly Sosa, a Fair Street second-grader, said she wasn’t quite ready for the last day of school. She’s moving to New York this summer and will not return to Fair Street for third grade.

"There aren’t a lot of jobs here, so my parents are moving there," she said. "I don’t really want to leave. I want to come back here because I have a lot of good friends here. I’m going to miss my teachers, all of them."

Many other students, however, were overjoyed to trade in homework assignments for lazy days by the lake.

Hall County teachers’ last day of work is Wednesday; Gainesville teachers finish up Thursday.

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