Moving Up with Words and Music

After the math exam, eighth graders met in the gym to learn the Moving Up song.

Finnegan Courtney

After the math exam, eighth graders met in the gym to learn the Moving Up song.

Shreyas Gorre, Staff Writer

The 8th grade moving up ceremony is one of the highlights of the year for the 8th graders. All 8th graders, and most of their parents, go to the ceremony to celebrate their children’s accomplishment of finishing middle school.

8th graders are always excited for this event. “The ceremony is so much fun. We are all waiting for it. Most girls and boys already have gotten their moving up attire,” said Clara Smith. All 8th graders dress in nice clothes and get ready for the day of the ceremony, but do we really know what goes into this special event?

Ms. McCormick shed light on the event and her role. “I am in charge of helping kids learn how to process in and out of the gym and how to walk up to the podium, shake hands, and receive their diploma. We devote most of one day to rehearse the above including a musical performance of a song accompanied by the 8th-grade string players. The music teachers like Ms. Marnell, Ms. Anderson, and Mr. Winters are in charge of the music. I am strictly in the background, the rehearsal happens on the day of the moving up ceremony.”

This event is so amazing that they are going to have lights, music, and even a whole gym to do it in. Dr. Rosen explains that the ceremony requires, “Quite a lot of logistics, planning, and patience! Every June BMS ‘moves up’ close to 300 8th graders.

With each family receiving tickets combined with our attending students and staff, we have over 1,400 people attend this event each year. For an event this size at Bedford, we transform the gymnasium into an auditorium. The entire gym floor is covered with protective material we store here at the school; we contract with vendors for the seating, sounds, and lights.

As expected, the BMS PTA plays an integral role in all aspects of this event; the PTA treats our newest alumni and their families to a warm reception in our cafe courtyard. The BMS main office secretary, Sue Bastien, manages the process of doling out 1,200 tickets and the myriad special requests for additional tickets for family members.
Our custodial, technology, and maintenance staff work many hours to prepare the gym floor, making sure thermal comfort is addressed and that electricity and connectivity are ready for showtime.

There are teams of parents that spend countless hours pouring through thousands of photos for inclusion in the Moving Up slide show. Our music teachers get into the act by rehearsing the annual Moving Up Class Song, “Gone, Gone, Gone”, which involves every student in the 8th grade.

Even the Westport Police and Fire Departments are both involved. We have police presence throughout the duration of this event and the Fire Marshal inspects the grand set up in the gym within hours of the event.

The BMS Moving Up Ceremony is a well-run operation and appears to be simple in the end due to the efforts and dedication of many members throughout our school community.”
The time, effort, and coordination have so much dedication into it. The 8th graders and the staff can conclude that this event is one they don’t want to miss.