A concerned Kathlene Thomson kept an eye on the weather forecast.

The Pine Strawberry Elementary School principal didn’t want to go to plan B, but when snow blanketed the ground on May 23, she and her staff figured out a contingency plan.

“We were going to move everything into the gym with no water activities,” Thomson said. “But we didn’t have to go with it. We are truly blessed. They would have been really disappointed.”

Sunny skies and warmer temperatures greeted excited students and staff on the final day of the school year the next day.

The final day of school at this pre-K through eighth -grade institution is special with a field day featuring some 20-something activities — half dry and half involving water.

Even with temperatures in the high 50s, everything went on as planned.

Among the most popular activities is the giant water slide.

“We have a good time with the kids,” Thomson said. “It’s just a way to celebrate the end of the year.”

It’s something the school has done for decades.

“We’ve been doing this since I was in school here, so over 30 years,” said PSE executive secretary Megan Ward. “We’ve just always let the kids have fun at the end of the year.”

There’s one thing school officials can count on each year.

“We have good attendance on the last day of school,” Ward said.

She said parents and community members really step up and make the day possible by donating items. And more than 40 teachers, staff and teacher aides worked the event, as students in each class moved from one activity to the next. They enjoyed snow cones between the dry and wet activities. A half-day ended with a barbecue.

“It’s crazy, but the kids enjoy it,” said teacher Brett River. “And the teachers enjoy it, too, because you’re not stuck behind walls all day.”

Contact the reporter at

Contact the reporter at kmorris@payson.com

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