Surrendering to public pressure, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda has chosen not to rain on anyone’s parade, especially one that celebrates the city’s first world championship in 35 years. Twenty-four hours after declaring that any parents “who wish to take their students out of school can, but per state regulation, it will be treated as an unexcused absence,” Banda has left it up to his school principals to decide.
Here’s the full statement Banda sent out this afternoon to school principals:
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.
Do you think there’s a single principal in the Seattle school district who’s going to give a kid an unexcused absence if he or she attends the parade?