You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Despite the Pandemic, "Wave Out" and "Welcome In" Build Community and School Spirit

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Mr. Crisafi

Mrs. Andrea Dumont and Mrs. Chrissie Ferguson welcome sixth graders with signs during the drive by "welcome in" on August 13.

Ms. Lazarus places a bag of supplies into a car for sixth grader Jordan Lytal during the sixth-grade “welcome in” on August 13. (Mr. Crisafi)

This year’s school year began the way last year’s ended – with families driving by to pick up supplies and drop off items. Last year’s farewells included yearbook pickups, parting gifts from the administration, smiles, and congratulatory signs from teachers. This year’s hellos provided students with art supplies, school-issued binders, and a chance to drop off school forms. Either way, it was a sign of the times during this months-long pandemic.

“The drive by ‘wave out’ and ‘welcome in’ achieved a couple purposes,” said Head of Middle School Mr. Charles Hagy.  “One, it was an exchange of belongings, but number two, it was a way for, particularly our students, but [also] our teachers, to say goodbye to each other because we had developed very close relationships. So that was a great success,” Hagy said.

 For the May “wave out,” students, specifically those in eighth grade, decorated their cars, made signs, and took the opportunity to say goodbye to their teachers one final time. 

Current ninth grader Nathan Andersen drives through Red Dot during the eighth-grade “wave out” on May 21 with signs thanking all of his teachers. (Mr. Crisafi)

“The End of the Year Drive by was very meaningful to me because I got to see all of my teachers one more time and I said goodbye to the Lower School Campus in an enjoyable, safe way,” said current TBS freshman Nathan Andersen.

“I think the drive by [events] both this year and last year were a great way to introduce a new chapter that the school is going through,” said eighth grader Vanessa Zito. “They were very helpful, and all of the teachers were very helpful and nice while the cars were driving around,” she said. 

“I mean they were great,” said seventh grader Owen Olbers. “I definitely liked how I could see my teachers.”

The “welcome in” was especially meaningful for those new to TBS.

“I liked the student drive by [at the beginning of the year] because as a new student, it made me feel welcome, and I got to see a few of my teachers and classmates that I was going to have this year,” said Zeta Kujawa, a new sixth grader. 

Since school started remotely this year, it was difficult  to welcome everyone and build school spirit and a sense of community, but the drive-by “wave out” and “welcome in” certainly helped. 

“The school has really tried to make everyone feel welcome given the circumstances, and these drive by [events] were definitely a big help towards that,” said Science Department Chair Mrs. Stephanie Oster.