Over 34 percent of Palo Alto High School students were absent on Friday for Safe and Welcoming Day, a minimum day dedicated to preparing students for emergency situations and reminding students of school protocol, according to Attendance Secretary Karla Larson.
Students who attended school on Friday are now equipped with knowledge for dealing with future potential problems, after participating in Code Red and earthquake drills and discussing the Paly handbook, the academic integrity policy and bullying on Friday.
While the day may be review for many students, administrators believe there can never be too much preparation.
“It’s important to go [to these drill days] because they [the teachers] go over a lot of important stuff,” Larson said. “So if anything does happen, you’re prepared. It’s kind of like studying for a test.”
According to Larson, the numbers of this year’s Safe and Welcoming Day attendance are similar to those of last year’s. The surge in absences may have been caused by the prospect of a four-day weekend.
“We tend to have more absences before long weekends,” Larson said. “So with it [Safe and Welcoming Day] being right before Labor Day, that may have had an impact.”
Despite the low attendance, some of those who showed up saw Safe and Welcoming Day as a valuable use of time.
“Today [Friday] was a reminder of what we should all know,” senior Hegene Lee said. “I thought it was worth coming to school for.”
The Paly Voice received the following attendance data from Larson.