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London students, teachers celebrate school year ending on a more normal note than it started with

Teachers at F.D. Roosevelt Public School waving goodby to students on the last day of school in London Ontario June 29, 2022. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

The 2021-22 school year may have started with many pandemic restrictions, but students and educators at F.D. Roosevelt Public School are happy the year ended on a more normal note.

For the fire time in two years, graduations resumed, and class field trips came back — much different from the last two years, which were a mix of in-person and online schooling.

“I arrived at Roosevelt in September of 2019. So this is the first year I have actually been in school as a principal in June, so it’s been fantastic to be able to get back to more normal activities,” said F.D. Rossevelt principal Jennifer Floris.

“It’s really interesting how the year has evolved from the real restrictions that we had in September through obviously the one week of online learning that we all did right after the Christmas break. Then the last few months, from the beginning of April till now, have been much more what we expect school to look like.”

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Looking back on this last year, Floris said the students were “absolute troopers” through online learning, but this year shows how valuable it is to be back in a classroom.

She says it’s interesting to see how students react to gathering together again for an end-of-year assembly, with some excited and other younger students apprehensive, having only gone to school during COVID-19.

F.D. Roosevelt Public School London Ontario. June 29, 2022. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

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The end of the year brought mixed feelings for F.D. Roosevelt Public School students who spoke to Global News.

“We did have some minor mishaps along the year, but other than that I’ve had a great year, and honestly, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to let that go, which is, I like it that way,” said Grade 6 student Liam Ruck.

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Looking to the summer, Ruck said he is excited to hang out with friends, and is looking forward to making some new ones next year.

Grade 4 student Alyssa Barrett said she was happy that classes were in person this year.

“I liked it more than doing online school. It was just nice to talk in person than on a computer,” Barrett.

“I’m excited (about the end of school), but also I’m a little sad because I don’t really want to leave the class that I am in right now.”

When it comes to the fall, she said she is excited to meet new friends and move up to an older grade.

When asked what he was most looking forward to this summer, Grade 2 student Trevor Barrett said he is excited to spend more time with friends.

From Left to right F.D. Roosevelt Public School in London Ontario students Liam Ruck, Trevor Barrett, and Alyssa Barrett on the last day of the school year June 29, 2022. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

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F.D. Roosevelt Public School music teacher Trish Brooks is also happy to see things returning to normal.

As a music teacher, she has had a lot of changes to her curriculum because of pandemic restrictions.

“We were allowed in the fall to sing, but we couldn’t play wind instruments, and so the end of the year has ended on a high note because we are now back on instruments, and the kids are playing with a full music program,” Brooks said.

“It’s been a sometimes difficult road, but we’ve been able to navigate through it, and we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that’s for sure.”

After almost three years without being able to hold concerts or any in-person performances, Brooks is hopeful for the return of the whole music program in the fall.

Looking to the fall, principal Floris is optimistic students will get more of a return to normal.

“To be able to have those experiences where they get to have things like sports teams, music, clubs and those kinds of things is so important to student education that I think that’s a huge piece of where we need to continue to build once we come back in September.”

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