Sanibel school kicks off start of new year with pep rally
The Sanibel School is back in session this week, with students adjusting to some changes to their learning environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To add a little excitement to the non-traditional school year, the Parent Teacher Association, school leaders and teachers helped kick it off last week with a non-traditional event.
On Aug. 26, the school’s parking lot played host to a “Drive-Thru Pep Rally” aimed at getting the Sanibel students and their families excited for the return to the classroom.
More than 100 cars lined up and rolled through the rally, making several socially-distanced stops along the way. Students received a warm welcome from newly-promoted Principal Jamie Reid and new Assistant Principal Jennifer Lusk. Dozens of teachers and staff members lined the route to welcome the students back to the school for the first time since March.
Treats were distributed, including breakfast sandwiches provided by a Sanibel school family and Organic Hawaiian Shave Ice donated from the crew at Joey’s Custard. School shirts were sold, Sanibel Recreation Center after-school program applications were accepted and food donations for the food pantry at F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva were collected.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the car decorating contest. About half of the families who attended the rally decorated their cars with themes ranging from back-to-school to beach scenes, covered in everything from rainbows to ribbons. The winner of the contest — the Schafer family — won the grand prize: a cruise for four to Cabbage Key, donated by Sanibel school families the Randos and Junghans at Captiva Cruises.
The Sanibel School has been shut down since Spring Break in March, when the School District of Lee County transitioned students into a remote learning program when lockdown orders were issued.
School leaders expected about two-thirds of its enrollment — about 180 students — to be back in class for face-to-face learning on the first day on Aug. 31. Those students arrived to find new safety protocols in place, aimed to keep all students and faculty safe and healthy. The remaining students opted for one of three home study options offered by the school district.