The typical school year sometimes ends in late May, and definitely by sometime in June.

Rebekah Seewald

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Bethel Park School District reading specialist Rebekah Seewald displays a warm greeting for Abraham Lincoln students.

Of course, COVID-19 made 2019-20 different than any year preceding it.

When students throughout Pennsylvania left their schools on the afternoon of March 13, they didn’t know they wouldn’t be returning.

For fourth-graders at Bethel Park’s elementary schools, that meant they would be heading for Neil Armstrong Middle School later this year, without a real opportunity to say goodbye to their teachers and buildings where many of them had spent the past five years.

And so the teachers have been coming to them.

Abraham Lincoln Elementary School kicked off June with a parade on the first day of the month. Led by Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company trucks, the process included faculty and staff members who traveled through the community, waving and wishing the fourth-graders and other students well.

Throughout the region, similar events have been organized to help compensate for the school year’s abrupt conclusion, at least as far as attending classes in person. And the big hope for everyone is that when 2020-21 starts, attending in person will be possible again.


Harry Funk/The Almanac

Abraham Lincoln fourth-graders are headed to Neil Armstrong Middle School later this year.