What a way to begin summer break – at Battle Monument and Pine Grove Middle!


It's one thing to revel in the prospect of summer when the final bell rings for the final dismissal on the final day of the school year. But revelry got taken to a whole new level this year at two BCPS schools, whose staffs pulled out the stops to wish their students well for the summer break.

At Battle Monument School in Dundalk, which serves southeast area students who have multiple disabilities, it has become a tradition to send students off on summer break with a curbside celebration. After buses load for the last time, they will blast their horns and circle the school's bus loop several times as teachers and staff cheer, wave, play music, sing and dance for their students.

It's a last-day tradition that dates to well before 1990, says Principal Jerry Easterly. "Although it's celebratory in nature, it can also get pretty emotional for staff," he adds, "especially for those who have close relationships with students who have graduated and will not be returning."

True to tradition, this year, as buses circled the loop at Battle Monument, horns blared, and staff whooped and waved and hugged and cried.

Battle Monument Flickr Photo Gallery

The day before, another end-of-school-year celebration had materialized for students at Pine Grove Middle School in Parkville. As students boarded their buses on Thursday, June 13, the school's administrators, teachers and staff gathered under the school's canopy and formed a "flash mob" to sing and dance to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

"Everyone, including the students, certainly had a good time," said Pine Grove language arts teacher and Good News Ambassador Dorienne Plait. The school's sign language interpreter (and Zumba Dance instructor) Dionne Mayers had created the choreographed dance moves, Plait says, and "the staff had practiced for a month to perform this special dance to commemorate another successful year at Pine Grove Middle."

No doubt that for students at two Baltimore County schools, at least, the final days of the 2013 school year will be ones they will remember for a long time to come.

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