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“Hands-On Learning Week” Was Macy School’s Swan Song

Jul 30, 2015 06:00AM ● By Amy Bartelloni

Shown (L-R) are Hailey Burnett, Alivia Benedetti, Emily Koulopoulos

written by Amy Bartelloni, Contributing Writer
On Tuesday, June 23, Clara Macy Elementary School closed its doors after 49 years.  As part of the district’s plan to cut costs and streamline services, the decision was made to close Macy school and relocate the approximately 236 students to Stall Brook and South elementary schools, with the fourth grade moving up to Bellingham Memorial Middle School.  Though the decision was made early in the year, the Macy staff was as dedicated as ever this year, and their theme was “make every moment count.” Indeed, if you visited Macy over the last year, you would have noted the “Keep Calm, Macy Will Live On” shirts worn by the staff and students. Still, the end of the year was bittersweet, culminating in a “clap out” on the last day. Traditionally, Clara Macy graduates are applauded as they leave on the last day of the school year. This year, all students and staff were celebrated as they paraded through the Macy neighborhood on the last day.

The difficulties of the last two weeks of school were made easier by a decision by the Macy PTO and principal Jamie Slaney to bring in various enrichment programs for “Hands on Learning” week.  The goal, explained Mrs. Slaney in an email to parents, was two-fold.
“First and foremost, with the generosity of the PTO fundraising, we are able to bring in dynamic learning programs to expand the students’ learning base, expose them to different formats of learning and build background knowledge on various topics. Second, with the closing of Macy School, the classrooms are starting to look physically different. We want to minimize the impact of the closing of the school on our students as much as possible. With the hands-on learning week occurring the last full week of school, the students will be out of their rooms for much of the day and their minds will be engaged on exciting, new learning, not on the physical changes of the building.”

    As part of “Hands on Learning Week,” the students experienced various programs such as a Frisbee workshop taught by Bellingham resident Todd Brodeur.  Other events included a family cookout and touch a truck event, Animal World Experience show, Big Ryan’s Tall Tales, Science Spectactular with Lasermania, Pumpernickel Puppets, and Bubbology show.

    Though the future of the Macy School building is uncertain, the communities at South, Stall Brook, and the middle school are ready to welcome incoming Macy students in the fall. And thanks to the generosity of the PTO, the last week of school was one of celebration.

Be sure to check out the Hands-On Learning Week photo gallery (above).




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