Giants fever strikes Redwood: how teachers respond to absences

Aya Kawawa-Beaudan

The hallways were noticably less crowded on Wed. Oct 31 as many students traveled into San Francisco to attend the Giants parade.

“Okay, I just need to take an honest poll–you’re not getting in trouble,” AP Biology and Integrated Science teacher Alison Kittay said Monday morning. “How many of you will be out on Wednesday for the parade?”

About half the students in third period raised their hands. In contrast, only two students in Kittay’s first period class said they would be coming to school at all on Wednesday, Oct. 31st.

When the Giants won the World Series two years ago, a large number of Redwood students attended the celebratory parade rather than school. This year, Kittay and several other Redwood teachers are planning for expected absences by changing class schedules.

“I decided to cut my losses rather than go ahead with the lab I’d planned for Wednesday because it’s really a collaborative effort, and it’s the first lab that is totally self-directed,” Kittay said. “It would be a nightmare to try and have kids make the lab up, and it seems more efficient to just do something else.”

Teachers in various other departments are also adjusting their lesson plans. Economics teacher Paul Ippolito and Economics and History teacher Ann Tepovich, for example, are both moving tests to accommodate for the absences.

Other teachers, like Physics teacher David Nash, do not see the large amount of absences as a reason to alter plans.

“When one kid is absent, he’s absent. He’ll make up the work and get the notes he needs. If he doesn’t, then he might miss a question on the next quiz, or maybe have to study harder. A large volume of absences works the same way,” Nash said. “Unless there’s a special circumstance, like the H1N1 scare a few years ago, then my class schedule doesn’t need to be changed.”