The school year came to a close and students are moving on to their next grade level.

On Tuesday, June 15, Oneonta Elementary School, part of the South Bay Unified School District located in Imperial Beach, hosted a Sixth Grade Drive-Thru Farewell Parade, promoting those sixth graders on to middle school.

The school had held a Zoom promotion on Monday, June 14, with Oneonta Principal Guadalupe Solis and sixth grade teachers Mr. Weisbart, Mrs. Sanchez and Mrs. Gonzalez overseeing the effort.

That ceremony featured music, student speeches, recorded messages and awards announced for recognized student leaders.

The farewell parade wasn’t the sendoff they anticipated at the start of the school year last July, but administrators and teachers came up big this week at Oneonta, determined to give sixth graders a memorable promotion despite the coronavirus pandemic.

As vehicles cycled through the school bus pickup and drop-off area, the drive-thru ceremony hopefully won the hearts of those students and family members inside their cars as teachers manned different booths decorated with balloons and streamers collecting electronics and library books, handing out promotion certificates and assorted awards. The Oneonta PTA handed out gift packages, followed by a drive-thru photo stop. Teachers and staff eagerly waved and wished the students and their families well.

Many vehicles carried signs decorated with supportive messages and pictures of students as teachers and students reconnected if only for a brief moment through a car window.

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