April 29, 2021 - Racing to the Finish

Fasten your seatbelts, my friends. Even though it’s still April, the end of the year with all its many events and celebrations is upon us. This coming Monday represents one month until the end of the school year. And the students, teachers, and staff are working extra hard to finish the year strongly.
In kindergarten and first grade, the students are studying life cycles and habitats. The kindergarten is observing the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly, and the first grade has been incubating eggs that are now hatching into chicks. In fifth and sixth grade science, the kids are performing dissections. The sixth graders will be dissecting both frogs and squid since they were unable to do this part of the curriculum last spring. For the lower school next week is Field Week, a creative adaptation of Field Day brought on by social distancing restrictions. Kudos to the entire K-4 team in general and to Rob Woods, lower school PE teacher in particular, for working together to make this happen.
As the end of the year races toward us, our thoughts also turn to next year. The fourth graders will soon make their first official visit to the middle school. They will have a chance to look around and get acquainted with the changes that come with moving up to the middle school--lockers, changing classes, and team sports, among other things. For parents of these rising fifth graders, we will once again be conducting a Zoom meeting to acquaint them with fifth grade and to answer questions - date to be set in the coming weeks. Parents of rising fifth graders last year found the information provided to be quite useful.
While preparing to welcome the rising 5th graders to middle school, this time of year is full of preparations to celebrate and bid farewell to our graduating 8th graders. Plans for a graduation ceremony at the Academy Center of the Arts are in full swing as our soon to be graduates wrap up their time here and prepare for exams.
This time of year is a rush--both exciting and busy. It is also a rewarding time as we celebrate all the students' accomplishments and growth at James River since August. I look forward to seeing all they can achieve as we finish this amazing year.