After the last school bell of the year rang Tuesday at Daybreak Primary School in Battle Ground, doors were flung open and 620 gleeful students erupted, transforming the calm into jubilant chaos.
Wearing a sparkling “Dazzling Dragons” T-shirt, Principal Jill Dutchess led her staff, teachers and parent volunteers in the school’s “Bubble Bye,” a traditional send-off for the last day of school.
The annual bubble event began when Daybreak Primary opened six years ago.
Using a variety of bubble-making devices, the adults created showers of bubbles that the students chased and jumped through. The school’s mascot is a dragon.
Students wearing bulging backpacks clutched report cards and said their goodbyes.
As students approached Dutchess, she said, “Bye, dragons! Have a good summer, Victoria! Be safe!”
Chants Harris, 14, who just completed eighth grade at Daybreak Middle School that shares a campus with Daybreak Primary, stopped by to see Dutchess and his former teachers.
“I’ve known you since you were little,” greeted Lisel Johnson, a resource room teacher. “Are you ready for high school?” she asked Chants, who will be a freshman at Prairie High School in September. “What are you doing this summer?”
“Ridin’ my four-wheeler,” he answered, turning to go. “And sleeping in tomorrow.”
Although the majority of the students walk to school, several buses were pulling out of the parking lot for the last time. Shelly Whitten, principal at Daybreak Middle School, was joined by Dutchess and teachers and staff from both schools. They’d congregated on the sidewalk to direct their “Bubble Bye” toward the departing buses, horns honking.
Through open windows, gleeful students waved and shouted, “Bye! Happy summer!”
Last week students from Green Mountain, Hockinson, La Center, Ridgefield and Woodland released their students for summer vacation. Students in Battle Ground, Evergreen and Vancouver had their last day of school on Tuesday. Today, the last two districts in Clark County, Camas and Washougal, will release students for summer vacation.
Battle Ground students have 77 lazy summer vacation days stretching into the horizon. The first day back to school in the district is Sept. 4.