#schoolsafety | Independence Primary School students salute local safety forces

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Independence Primary School students recently took time out from their academic pursuits to honor the local first responders who help keep them safe.

Student Council members spurred the effort, which took place Friday (March 26), though kids throughout the school contributed thank-you notes, drawings and cards. The youngsters also showed their appreciation with delicious “OMG” cookies.

“It was a great gesture by Student Council,” said Principal T.J. Ebert.

The heartfelt tribute stemmed from the school’s monthly exploration of a positive personal characteristic, in this case “courage.” The kids contemplated acts of courage worldwide while acting locally to salute their own hometown heroes.

Masks cannot hide the officers’ enthusiastic response to the heartfelt tribute. (Photo Courtesy of Independence Local Schools)

Ebert credited Student Council advisers Amy Montague, a fourth-grade teacher, and Nicki Lee, who teaches first grade, for facilitating the activities. He also praised the school’s resource officers — Kevin Repicky and Brad Borowy — for helping to inspire the effort.

“We’re blessed to have two really good school resource officers that are kid-focused and want to build a relationship with them and want to be part of the schools,” Ebert said.

Independence Primary School also celebrated 95 days of in-person learning Friday. In spite of mask requirements and social-distancing measures, recent months have been marked by an increasing sense of normalcy.

“A lot of the things we were unable to do last year, we’re going to try to do this spring,” noted Ebert. ‘We’re really looking forward to it.”

A PTO fun run will take place in early May and an art show is scheduled for May 13 at the city’s Elmwood Park. A bridge ceremony is planned for kids moving from preschool to kindergarten and those departing kindergarten for first grade. Independence High School students are building the ceremonial bridge.

As is tradition, fourth-graders heading off to the middle school will be recognized for their achievements. A field day, with pandemic protocols in place, is in the works for the final days of the semester.

Ebert expressed pride regarding the district’s substantial efforts to ensure in-person learning throughout 2020-21, which have provided a level of academic and emotional growth that likely could not have been fully realized via remote learning.

“I’m just glad to be a part of a district that took a chance at the beginning of the year with being in person,” he concluded.

Read more from the Parma Sun Post.

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