BRADENTON, Fla. -- It’s been a challenging end of the school year for everyone. That’s why the Manatee County School District wanted to do something special to celebrate staff and students on what was supposed to be their last day of school.
"Today really is the last day of school and we had a lot staff that wanted that opportunity to say goodbye to the students," said Gary Sawyer, Director of Transportation for MCSD.
A convoy of school buses, some full of teachers and staff, paraded in front of dozens of schools across Manatee County. Students and parents stood at the schools holding signs and waving goodbye.
School staff members say it's been hard not seeing the students.
PHOTOS: Bus parade celebrates Manatee County students and staff
"It's been heartbreaking. They left for spring break with the intention of being off for a week and now, as far as my 8th graders... you don’t get any closure," said Richard Daenell, Lee Middle School teacher.
But on Thursday, there was some closure. Although it's not the end to the school year that anyone expected.
It's the beginning of an appreciation that students and staff won’t soon be forgotten.