Washington fifth-graders ready to move on

They were the big kids this year at Washington Elementary, but this fall Lauren McLean and Josh Kesler and their classmates will be the youngest students at Jim Hill Middle School.

“I’m looking forward to the lunches,” said Lauren, who said there will be a lot more options during the lunch period once she’s officially a middle school student.

Fifth-graders at Washington had a chance to visit Jim Hill earlier this spring and attended a school party.

Josh said he is looking forward to the school parties at Jim Hill.

Both of the graduating fifth-graders said they have enjoyed attending Washington Elementary.

“I like all my teachers,” said Lauren, who added that they make learning fun. She has attended the school since kindergarten and thinks it is the nicest elementary in the district.

During the last day of school on Thursday, principal Kendo Carlson said the teachers honored the fifth-graders by handing out special awards for academic and extracurricular achievements and good character.

The afternoon was a time for individual classroom fun. Josh said his class was celebrating with a pizza party and a movie.

Lauren and Josh are looking forward to a summer full of fun activities. Lauren will be a camper again this summer at Camp Metigoshe and Josh thinks his family might go on vacation to Minneapolis, where they will visit a water park.

Washington was forced to use portable classrooms outside the school building this year because of a population boom, but Carlson said enrollment is down a bit since classes opened in the fall. Washington started the school year with about 500 students enrolled and had about 476 children enrolled on the last day of classes Thursday. Carlson said the end of the year enrollment is pretty consistent with what it was in the spring of 2012.

Though Thursday was the last day of school, the end of the school year will be marked with the Minot High School graduation ceremony, set for 2 p.m. Sunday in the Minot State University Dome.