Natasha Knight accepts a gift bag off a hockey stick from teacher Alexis Bates-Smith during the Monterey middle school socially-distanced completion ceremony for Grade 8s moving on to high school. The school had to innovate for the annual event with a walk-through/drive-through/bike-through Wednesday morning. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Natasha Knight accepts a gift bag off a hockey stick from teacher Alexis Bates-Smith during the Monterey middle school socially-distanced completion ceremony for Grade 8s moving on to high school. The school had to innovate for the annual event with a walk-through/drive-through/bike-through Wednesday morning. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

Grabbing a parting gift off the end of a hockey stick was not something Ally Patterson envisioned for her final day at Monterey middle school.

Nor did teacher Alexis Bates-Smith think she’d spend a morning dangling gift bags off a hockey stick.

When school restarted post-pandemic, Patterson came back to class once a week for the final month. She walked through the innovative, socially-distanced Monterey Completion Ceremony on Wednesday morning.

“I’ll miss Monterey, a bit,” said Patterson, noting she heads to Oak Bay High with friends.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

For Kanae Yoshida-Devries it was bittersweet, as her family has moved to North Saanich and she is enrolled for Grade 9 at Parkland secondary.

“I really will miss my friends,” Yoshida-Devries said, noting they’re not too far away.

The drive-through, walk-through, or bike-through event was another instance of creativity as Monterey, like other schools during the pandemic, worked hard to find a way to celebrate safely, said principal Ken Andrews. Each student was given a window of time to pick up a gift and say goodbye.

“We hold this completion ceremony every year and we are so proud of the students and so happy to be able to do it for them this year,” Andrews said.

READ ALSO: Monterey perspective: Interviewing the interviewer

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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