Preview: Not in Our Schools Week

The Associated Student Body will dedicate Not in Our Schools Week to the promotion of awareness, inclusion and service within Palo Alto High School during its annual event, which runs from April 20-24 this year.

According to the ASB event page, each day of the week will feature a theme with corresponding activities and a color that students are encouraged to wear.

Students who participated in the Day of Silence break the silence by shouting after school. Photo: Mary McNamara.
Students who participated in the Day of Silence break the silence by shouting after school. Photo: Mary McNamara.

On the Friday before NIOS Week, some students participated in the Day of Silence, where they remained silent throughout the day to honor and support those in the LGBTQ community who have had their voices silenced.

Monday marks the official start to NIOS week, and students are encouraged to wear blue. The theme of this day is to bring awareness to stereotypes embedded in “isms,” such as sexism and racism, and learn to “erase” them. Brunch will include a chalk walk activity. During lunch, sophomores Aisha Chabane and Claire Eberhart will perform poetry, and a photo table will be available for students to create their own “erase-isms.”

Tuesday’s theme is ability awareness, and the color of this day is purple. During brunch, ASB Officers will be hosting a human knot, where students grab hands and try to work together and untangle themselves. At lunch, there will be a panel in the Media Arts Center where students with different disabilities will share their experiences.

Wednesday is Sexual Assault Awareness Day, and students are encouraged to wear red. On the quad at brunch, buttons will be handed out and the Paly Women’s Choir, Paly Women’s Choir and Spectrum will prefrom. At lunch, there will be a “These Hands Won’t Harm” poster on the Quad and a trivia game on the Senior Deck.

As a part of NIOS week, Paly students will serve their community in the sixth annual Paly Service Day. Service Day allows students to participate in various volunteer activities both on campus during lunch and around the Bay Area. Students will volunteer at over 40 different off-campus sites, aiding causes that include the environment, the arts, poverty, homelessness, health and safety and more. The off-campus site signups are now closed, but students can still participate in the many service projects available for students during lunch.

Service Day also marks the end of the food drive for Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a local organization that provides food for families unable to qualify for other “safety net” programs. The cans and dry foods gathered over the past week will be collected by YCS-interact Club leaders.

Friday’s theme is health and wellness, and students are encouraged to wear green. The goal of this day is to build unity and friendship within the Paly community. Brunch will include meditation on the quad. Additionally, a photo of the whole school will be taken with a drone. Lunch activities include yoga on the Quad and tie dyeing t-shirts.

“NIOS Week is going to be so amazing and so meaningful this year,” Sophomore Class Vice President Anmol Nagar said. “It [NIOS Week] is really a way for all of us to learn about what makes us different and the hardships that everyone goes through, and overcome those differences to promote a more inclusive community at Paly.”