Kindergarten students at St. Cornelius Early Learning Center, part of St. Cornelius Parish in Chadds Ford, wait to receive their diplomas at a June 4 graduation. (Gina Christian)

Students at a Chester County parish recently donned their academic finery to wrap up a milestone academic year: kindergarten.

The St. Cornelius Early Learning Center in Chadds Ford graduated a class of 25 during a June 4 ceremony, with director Abigail Kohlbrenner handing each blue-robed child a diploma as proud parents held up their cell phone cameras.

With Pennsylvania having lifted most of its pandemic restrictions May 31, the indoor and in-person ceremony was an opportunity to show “gratitude to the teachers and parents for all the hard work that went into making this year a success,” said Kohlbrenner.

The school, located on the extensive campus of St. Cornelius Parish, was “very fortunate” to have its students in the classrooms “five days a week this year, full day,” she added, something that was possible through “the cooperation and support of … families and staff.”

A graduate of the kindergarten class at St. Cornelius Early Learning Center in Chadds Ford receives his diploma from director Abigail Kohlbrenner, June 4. (Gina Christian)

For their part, the students were “so resilient through everything,” said Kohlbrenner.

“No matter what changes were made — new rules, guidelines that we had to follow — they took everything with so much grace and a positive attitude,” she said.

Overall, the school had a total of 71 students enrolled in kindergarten, PreK-4 and PreK-3. The curriculum, which fosters children’s academic, spiritual, moral and physical well-being, also features robotics, science instruction, and arts and crafts, along with before- and after-school care.

But for now, students can take a breather from their homework and projects, and just be kids for a while, said Kohlbrenner.

“We hope that they enjoy their summer with fun activities, and get to enjoy time spent with their families,” she said.