At 3:00 pm on March 6th, the 1,400 students of Noah Webster Schools walked out of their classrooms excited for Spring Break vacation. Little thought was given to the pencil left on top of their desks or the little scraps of paper placed between the pages of the book they were reading as a class. There might have been a fleeting thought of the basketball that was left under their chair or the violin they should have brought home to practice during the break. With expectations of returning in one week, the children knew everything would be there, just as similar items had been waiting for them each year when they walked backed into their classroom the Monday after Spring Break.
When Governor Doug Ducey made the announcement to close Arizona schools, priority was placed on supporting students and families. Noah Webster Schools administration, teachers and staff immediately worked on ways to continue the education of their students. Online curriculum was rolled out through virtual classrooms and printed materials were made available for those families without online access. But what about that favorite jacket still hanging on the back of the chair?
The Reverse Parades were a way to give the children back those items left behind. They were also about giving everyone from Noah Webster a safe opportunity to tell each child and family how much they are missed and let the children know Noah Webster will still be here for them.
On the day of the parades, teachers filled the parking lots of Noah Webster with signs of encouragement, balloons, streamers and bubble machines. Staff stood ready to safely hand out student belongings, as families drove through the school’s parade. Everyone was ready with big smiles and virtual hugs to let the students know how much they cared. As the first of hundreds of vehicles began to pull into the parking lots, the staff stood shocked because the Reverse Parade had been just that…Reversed! Cars covered in signs, notes of love written on windows, balloons waving at everyone outside sunroofs and best of all, students smiling at teachers and staff, letting them know they are still there for Noah Webster.
For more information about Noah Webster Schools please visit their website at noahwebster.org or email [email protected]