Seattle Public Schools has just gone public with a clarification about its policy regarding absences tomorrow. Now SPS superintendent José Banda says each individual school can decide whether absences will be excused or unexcused. The district has released a message sent to principals – who then should be advising their respective school communities how they will handle it (below it, we’ll be adding whatever we hear from individual WS schools):
Thank you for your participation in the District Leadership Team meeting today, and for taking the time to talk collectively about student achievement.
I enjoyed our discussion around Wednesday’s Seahawks parade, and I applaud your efforts to build a sense of community and celebration at each of your schools tomorrow. I know how important it is for our students and staff to celebrate this historic Super Bowl win. As I mentioned, our schools are a place of home for many of our students, and I know our kids will be fired up to celebrate tomorrow. This Seahawks season has taught us about teamwork, practice and community pride. Watching part of the parade together during lunch is a great activity. I hope you will share photos and stories of your school celebrations.
That said, I do understand the implications on students at different grade levels. I want you to have the flexibility to do what you feel is best for your school community. Under state regulation, you do have the discretion to decide if students who miss school tomorrow for the parade will be considered unexcused or excused. I will support your decision.
Principals, if you need additional supports tomorrow, please work with your Executive Director of Schools.
Here’s our original Monday story with Banda’s first statement plus views from Mayor Murray and two local school employees.
We will add information here with anything we find about individual local schools – any schools reading this, please let us know if you send out a message; we’ll also check schools’ websites.
6:41 PM: So far, we have heard that Schmitz Park Elementary, Alki Elementary, and Pathfinder K-8 are excusing absences. This is from Pathfinder principal David Dockendorf:
In the spirit of community involvement and support for the NFL Champion Seahawks, Pathfinder K-8 will allow excused absences for students to attend the parade on Wednesday. Like any absence, please contact the school by telephone or note to excuse your child.
Pam shared the statement from Alki’s principal Shannon Stanton:
It’s no secret that at Alki, we support the Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks! This year, I have shared with students some of life’s lessons we can learn from our local team during our Alki Way assemblies: goal setting, perseverance, teamwork, kindness, and now celebrations! The best, and most high functioning teams, take time to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments. Our students have signed posters declaring that we are “All in, 100%” for “Learn Mode”. Our posters can be seen in the main hallway and in our lunchroom. Please come by to see them.
On February 5, parade day, Alki Elementary will open its doors to our students, as we do each and every school day. Students and staff are invited to make it “Blue Wednesday” and wear Seahawk or Alki colors to school. We are making plans to have an indoor recess option for interested students during their lunch recess where they can elect to watch the parade together to share in the celebration along with many other citizens of our city and community.
If you are planning on attending the parade with your Alki child(ren), please call the absence in as you normally would to the attendance line, 206-252-9054. As another principal shared earlier this week, we are like the Seahawks, “Safety First”! We want to make sure we have accounted for all of our students. And please note that your child’s attendance at this historic community event will be excused from school.