In Japan, every fall there is a traditional chrysanthemum festival to celebrate the late blooming before winter. People travel to view the beautiful flowers and celebrate the changing of seasons. There are horticulturalists that work eleven months of the year to prepare for the festival, creating large, spectacular floral arrangements. The festival is a time to celebrate what’s next and reflect on what came before.
Each year, the fifth-graders at D-E participate in a ritual that helps all of them acknowledge and celebrate their Lower School experiences as they prepare to embrace new ones. This is done in a final gathering affectionately known as the “Butterfly Assembly”.
Our Butterfly Assembly is a time to celebrate what’s next and reflect on what came before. Celebrated each year on the last day of school, fifth-graders have a chance to reflect and speak about their time in Lower School. A tree is planted, butterflies are released, and the fifth-graders sing a heart-stirring goodbye song. We know these fifth-graders will visit, but they won’t be quite the same. Our time with them – and all of our students – is once in a lifetime. We have cherished our time with them and are prepared to let them go.
We will truly miss this class of fifth-graders, and we know that although they are ready to enter middle school, they will miss us.