Whether via Zoom or in person, El Paso ISD pulled the plug on the anything-but-traditional 2020-21 school year on Tuesday.
By noon time, classrooms throughout the District (and computers back in homes) were silent and ready to take on what families hope will be a more traditional summer break.
For some, the last day of school was even more sentimental as they said a final farewell to their campuses, which thanks to the EPISD modernizing bond will consolidate into new and state-of-the-art schools at the beginning of the upcoming school year.
El Paso ISD’s Bonham, Crosby, Dowell and Roberts will close their doors this summer, as students transition to new 2016 Bond funded campuses.
Bonham will grow into MacArthur Prek-8, while Crosby and Dowell will combine for the new Archie Duran Elementary.
Early grades at Roberts will join Bond Elementary until the new Haskins Prek-8, which will be home this fall to the upper elementary students, is officially complete.
“It’s a bitter-sweet day,” said Dowell principal Yeni Ontiveros, who will become principal at Duran. “It was a year of a lot of challenges, but we overcame them. We’re sad because it is the end of a legacy since 1959 but were very excited for what the future brings at the new Archie Duran. I can’t wait for all of us to move in and welcome our students next school year.”
Students at the campus sported t-shirts celebrating the legacy of the 62-year-old campus including second-grader Sofia Rivas, who joined with her classmates upfront to wave at a virtual student. The students in Stormy Daniels second grade class carted their virtual classmates to the front of the building via iPads for a socially distant visit with their virtual friend and classmate Victor.
“I have great memories here,” she said. “It’ll be exciting to be at a new school. I look forward to finding more exciting things and having a new experience with others.”
Across town at Roberts Elementary, it was a more normal day. The students and staff had already celebrated the legacy of their campus last week. But the thought of moving to a new school remained on their minds.
“It’s going to be difficult for sure, trying to get to all our classes,” fifth grader Sabastian Salgado said. “It’s going to give us more chances. We’re going to get to meet a lot of new people and teachers.”
Sabastian, who enjoyed chatting and joking with the principal, admits he’ll miss his old elementary school.
“I’m going to miss the teachers here, the principal, the coaches and the way the school is and the nice people that are here,” he said. “It’s a good school for sure.”
Crosby and Bonham elementary schools planned activities prior to the last day of school to celebrate their respective legacies and say a proper goodbye.