When San Francisco Giants players rolled through the city Wednesday with the World Series trophy on display, many young faces absent from Bay Area classrooms were grinning with excitement, enjoying the unofficial day off from school for the parade.
School districts throughout the region reported lower than usual attendance rates on Wednesday, which also happened to be Halloween.
Throughout the San Francisco Unified School District, records at about half of the district's 72 elementary and K-8 schools, 12 middle schools and 15 high schools showed attendance rates dropped compared to average school days, especially for older students, according to district officials. High schools saw 75 percent attendance rates, down from the usual 96.4 percent, while middle schools dipped to 86.6 percent from the average 97.7 percent attendance. San Francisco elementary schools saw a slight drop with 93 percent attendance compared to the average 96.7 percent.
The day before the parade, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza emphasized that students should stay in school and not ditch or get pulled out by parents to attend the parade. "Every day and every minute of instruction counts," Carranza said in a statement.
"So we encourage families to make sure their child is in school and ready to learn."
The district sent a reminder to students planning on celebrating Wednesday that all public schools would be in session.
The dip in attendance for this year's World Series celebration was similar to when the Giants won the title in 2010, district officials said. Rick LaPlante, spokesman for New Haven Unified School District in the East Bay, noted that attendance was down by about 165 students at Logan High School in Union City compared to the previous Wednesday. About 4,000 students attend the high school.
LaPlante said there were no noticeable attendance changes Wednesday at district middle and elementary schools.
The spokesman said the fairly large number of high school students not in class was likely because of the Giants parade but said it was difficult to be certain because it was also Halloween.
Officials at Marin County's Mill Valley School District, which is comprised of elementary and middle schools, noticed minimal attendance issues at the elementary level, but did record more elevated than normal absenteeism at middle schools.
Specific district numbers were not immediately available. However in Oakland, home of the Athletics baseball team, who made it to the postseason but were eliminated by the Detroit Tigers, school district spokesman Troy Flint said there was no noticeable absenteeism. "We did not notice a huge change in attendance," Flint said.
"It wasn't an epidemic or major problem for us." The district did not have daily attendance rates immediately available.