Collier County parents celebrate end of unprecedented school year

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Collier celebrates ldoc
Credit: WINK News

It has been a tough year for students in Collier County as they had to adapt to new ways of learning throughout the pandemic. On Friday, both students and parents alike were just happy to finish this school year.

Parents had signs and teachers sent their students off with claps and waves, all to celebrate the end of a school year none of them will ever forget.

Jason Jarrett, a parent of a student at Veteran Memorial Elementary School, said this school year was “interesting.”

One student did have positive remarks: “It was really good! I learned a lot.”

Cathleen Wald is the mom of a student at North Naples Middle School. “Brave …just you know, exciting, different.”

“Different” to say the least. From wearing masks to social distancing to missing out on some activities, parents said their students pushed through all of those changes.

“Even with masks on they’ve never complained,” said Kimberly Smith, a North Naples Middle School parent.

“They’ve persevered. They’re resilient but it was tough,” Jarrett said.

“I feel like just as a district and even as a state, we ruled it,” Wald said.

For parents like Alex McGrath, this is a cause for celebration. He decked out his car and filled it with balloons to show his son Carter how proud he is of him.

“We just wanted to go all out on the last day because it was a whole new set of rules this year and we were really impressed and he did great, so we wanted to celebrate him on his last day.”

As parents and students say goodbye to this school year and say hello to summer, they hope next school year is an A+.

“I would like to see the masks come off,” Smith said.

Jarrett wants to see vaccine expansion. “Hopefully vaccinations will be available for under 12.”

“Hoping we can continue to return to normalcy. Go back to letting kids be kids and having a good time,” McGrath said.

The Collier County School Board said masks and the COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary for the next school year.

Parents said they’re grateful for teachers and school staff because they made this school year so safe and successful.

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