Mountain View Sixth-Graders Reflect on School Experiences in Annual Exit Interviews | School Zone

About 50 sixth-graders dressed in their best business casual attire on Friday morning at Mountain View School as they spoke with local community members for the school’s annual exit interviews.

While the Goleta Union School District’s official last day of school is next Thursday, the exit interviews mark the completion of one of the students’ final projects before heading off to junior high.

According to sixth-grade teacher Susana Yee, most of the students have been at Mountain View School since kindergarten, so the interviews give them a chance to reflect on their time at the school.

“The kids spend a couple weeks before [the interviews] reflecting about their years at Mountain View, areas where they grew, areas that they feel proud of,” Yee said. “It’s really a time of celebration and also reflection. … I’m really proud of these kids.”

The students — who wrote letters to the interviewers beforehand — were divided into groups of two or three to be interviewed by local leaders, educators and other adult members of the public.

Some of the interviewers included Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte; Mary Kahn, Goleta Union School District assistant superintendent of instructional services; Dos Pueblos High School Principal Bill Woodard; Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen; and Carin Ezal, Goleta Union School District board president.

“It’s one of my favorite things to do every year,” Woodard said about participating in the interviews. “There’s a mixture of nervousness, enthusiasm, pride, and they’re going into junior high, they’re leaving behind this world that they’ve known for a long time. These questions get them to reflect on how great the school is and how great their experience was.”

Students prepared work samples from throughout the school year and were asked questions ranging from their favorite memories at Mountain View, how they felt about different school subjects, their goals for junior high, their favorite books, and their favorite projects while at the school.

“One of my favorite memories of Mountain View is probably the first couple days and pajama day when we got to go to school in our pajamas,” one student said.


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Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte asks sixth-graders about their time at Mountain View School during the annual exit interviews on Friday. (Serena Guentz / Noozhawk photo)

Another student said he’s going to miss the friends he’s made over the years, since some of them are going to different junior high schools and he won’t see them as often. He added that one of his favorite memories was watching “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on a Run” with his friends in fifth grade.

Other students talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic, which started when the students were in fourth grade, affected them and the way they learned.

This year’s exit interviews were the first to return to in-person after the pandemic shut down in-person learning for much of 2020 and 2021. For last year’s event, sixth-graders had their interviews with community members over Zoom.

“[The interview] went good. It went surprisingly fast,” one student told his teacher afterward. “It was kind of fun.”

— Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @TheSunnyPictures, @TheOozhawkNews and @BrothersHawkeye. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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