Washington School

As parents and high schools across the country try to find a way to celebrate graduating high school seniors, some middle schools are also trying to think of ways to help celebrate another rite of passage for students — promotion from middle school to high school.

In Cloverdale, Washington School eighth graders will be receiving recognition in a similar way to some of what’s being planned for their senior counterparts. Each student will receive a sign to place in their front yard that reads, “Proud family of a Washington School graduate, congratulations class of 2024.” The school is also putting together a slideshow for the students, which will be posted on the school district website and shared with students.

“I was being optimistic in hoping that we could have some kind of ceremony in August,” Washington principal Mark Lucchetti said. “The waters got murkier and murkier as time went on, but I figured we needed to do something.”

Lucchetti is still holding out hope that the school may be able to host a delayed promotion ceremony in August, but there’s a slim likelihood that people will be allowed to host large gatherings by then.

“We are also working closely with the high school in case there is the opportunity to have a normal promotion before we come back to school in the fall, but that will be contingent on what the health department says,” he said.

For now, the middle school is hoping to keep as much normalcy as it can for its students, 117 of which will be promoted into ninth grade.

The school will still be giving out awards to students, per regular end-of-year tradition. Lucchetti said that some certificates have been mailed out to fifth graders already, and Eagle Award winners have been chosen.

“I would say it’s more important now than in normal times,” Luchhetti said, when asked about continuing to give out the awards without an award ceremony. “For them, that is important — consistency, that we’re still thinking of them, that they’re still important to us, that they’re our priority — I just think it’s crucial. I think it’s crucial to all of us that we continue a routine.”

Lucchetti said that he hopes to have the eighth graders pick up their yard signs when cleaning out their lockers on Thursday. 

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