On the last day of school around the Island, students and teachers of all ages and sizes greeted their new-found freedom with cheers, smiles and even some tears.

In West Tisbury, the moment was marked with a cacophony of tambourines, maracas, drumsticks, beeps, and other noise makers as students streamed out of the building at the end of the half-day.

Parents on parade at the last day of school pick-up - with bubbles.

Janice Frame, former art teacher at the school, stood outside with other parents and caregivers to greet her grandniece, Harper Cash, and say hello to colleagues.

“She really rolled with the punches,” Ms. Frame said, referring to how Harper navigated the pandemic school year. “She really enjoys school; she just loves to learn.”

The younger grades were let out first, bustling about with backpacks filled with belongings accumulated over the year, then the older kids joined the party, eager to start their summer vacation.

Mariel Garcia, the school psychologist, celebrated the moment with a maraca send-off.

“Our kids are very resilient,” she said. “They were faced with challenges, and they really persevered throughout the year.”

Next question - what to do first?! — Albert O. Fischer

As per tradition at the Tisbury School, the fourth graders celebrated the last day by cooking s’mores in solar ovens they created themselves as part of their energy curriculum.

First graders competed in an egg race and seventh graders played a boys against girls kickball match. According to Sabrina Alves, Alyssa Guarino and Sabrina Muniz, the boys had an unfair advantage.

“I think that the boys are winning, but obviously there are a lot more guys right now,” the girls said, gesturing to the mass of seventh grade boys clustered around home plate, facing a more sparse gathering of girl classmates in the field.

For the girls, the prospect of heading off to eighth grade was a bit daunting.

Leave no plant behind.

“I’m happy, but at the same time I’m also really nervous for what’s to come and upset at the same time,” Alyssa said. “I’m just nervous about boys and stuff and like drama and also the work.”

A full year of in-person learning beginning in the fall was also on their minds.

“I’m scared for the work because I feel like seventh grade wasn’t that bad because we were online most of the time so it was kind of easier,” Sabrina Alves said.

Amy Kirkpatrick, mother of a second grader, was happy to be able to gather in person on the last day, underscoring her son’s need for “socialization.” She also praised how the teachers handled the past school year.

See you in the fall. — Albert O. Fischer

“I have to just commend the teachers, the unbelievable job that they did. I can’t say enough,” she said.

And as the games ended, the s’mores melted and the students headed to buses and waiting cars, music teacher Jessica Sanseverino sent them off to summer with a song and ukulele farewell. The live music arose as a result of technical difficulty, she admitted.

“I couldn’t figure out how to get a better speaker out here, so I just figured I’d create the music.”

More pictures.