Giants parade helps set record absence numbers

Joseph Compagno

The San Francisco Giants World Series Parade left classrooms feeling hauntingly empty this Halloween.

Redwood students recently set a record for the most absences in the school’s 55 year history.

On Wednesday, Oct. 31, over 900 students did not attend school, of which more than 600 were excused absences. A “Giants fever” had struck.

This “fever” arose from the fact that a parade was scheduled in San Francisco that same day to celebrate the San Francisco Giant’s World Series baseball victory.

“Only a handful of parents called in saying their students were at the parade,” Mimi Bennett, attendance clerk, said.

According to Bennett, the phone in the attendance office was ringing all day as parents excused their children from class.

“I took my last call at 20 minutes to four o’clock, and I get to school at 7:30 a.m.,” Bennett said. “My [message] machine doesn’t count to over 100, so it would just say ‘you have more than 100 new messages.’ After that it was just a black hole. I listened to the messages and ate lunch.”

Wednesday’s attendance bested the low attendance recorded two years ago, when the Giants had their first World Series parade in San Francisco.

Liz Chacón, assistant principal, said that the administration never really considered canceling school merely because it would not have been possible.

“Some private schools were able to cancel school,” Chacón said. “But since we are a public school, we have to fulfill a certain amount of instructional minutes. I wish more students had been here, but we can only do what we can do. Hopefully there were some good times at the parade, and a little bit of learning.”