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Muirlands Middle School hosts drive-through celebration for 8th-graders moving on

Cars full of Muirlands Middle School eighth-graders wait for the school's drive-through promotion event June 12.
Cars full of Muirlands Middle School eighth-graders wait along Nautilus Street for the school’s drive-through promotion celebration June 12.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Muirlands Middle School handed out yearbooks and promotion certificates to its departing eighth-graders June 12 with a bit of music and color as a way to help them celebrate after the usual in-person ceremony was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The students watched a pre-recorded ceremony June 9, the originally scheduled promotion date, but Principal Geof Martin said the La Jolla campus wanted to do more.

“We’ve always thought about how kids were going to have to drive by to pick up stuff, get their promotion certificates,” Martin said. “There was always going to have to be some sort of opportunity for them to come by and get things.”

When the school received word that the yearbooks, delayed for weeks due to the pandemic, would arrive the day after school ended, officials planned for eighth-graders to drive by and pick them up along with their promotion certificates.

“We thought, ‘Why don’t we have some teachers that volunteer to come, we do some posters, some banners?” Martin said.

Teachers who volunteered for Muirlands Middle School's drive-through promotion event cheer on the students June 12.
Teachers who volunteered for Muirlands Middle School’s drive-through promotion event for eighth-graders cheer on the students June 12.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The students already had come in staggered times over two weeks to clear out their lockers and return textbooks. “Ideally we would have done it all in one day,” Martin said, “but there was just no way.”

When eighth-graders arrived June 12, the Nautilus Street curb was decorated with balloons and a photo background where students alighted from their cars for a picture, received their certificates and then traveled to the lower parking lot, where music played and teachers greeted them with cheers and signs.

The faculty and staff of La Jolla High School celebrated the graduating Class of 2020 on June 2 with a unique drive-through celebration in place of a traditional commencement ceremony as orders against large, close-up gatherings remain in effect due to the coronavirus pandemic.

History teacher Pete Lawrence said he was glad “to be able to see the kids. It gives closure for the end of the school year. It’s been a crazy school year!”

Eighth-grader Logan Schroeder said the drive-through promotion felt “really good. I liked seeing all my teachers supporting me.”

Logan’s mother, Chesi, said she appreciated the school’s efforts to recognize the students. “In the event we’re in, they’re doing the best they can.” ◆