Some students learn lessons from Cubs, but not at school – Chicago Tribune
Parents may have to choose between history class and celebrating history Friday, with the parade and rally commemorating the Chicago Cubs‘ World Series win conflicting with school in many suburban districts.
If Thursday’s tardy turnout at area schools is any indication, Cubs-rooting students and parents may have a second day of festivities getting in the way. Several schools Thursday reported a higher than usual amount of students either late or absent, with parents blaming a late night watching the team clinch the World Series title.
Richard Aquino, of Libertyville, said he was considering bringing his 7-year-old son, Bennett, to the Cubs celebration instead of school, if he wants to go. That’s after he dropped his son off at school an hour and 15 minutes late Thursday morning after letting him stay up late watching the game.
“For him, it’ll boil down to what they’re serving for lunch at school tomorrow,” Aquino said.
While Chicago Public Schools students already have Friday off due to a previously scheduled teacher professional development day, some suburban students are lobbying for the chance to skip school to attend the city festivities. Online petitions asking administrators for a day off from school were created for Hinsdale’s District 86 and Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
“The Students and faculty of our school should be able to experience the history we have made at the parade and rally tomorrow without being penalized by District 86. Let’s go Cubs!” read one petition.
While District 86 officials said they were aware of the effort, school would go on. Administrators reminded staff that the Cubs parade and rally was not an acceptable use of sick or personal days, said Domenico Maniscalco, chief human resources officer.
“We had a lot of inquiries asking about it,” he said. “It is an expectation to be a role model to our students. While the student (absences are) uncontrollable, we can control the staff attendance.”
And, although CPS students have the day off, one principal jokingly said it’s just an issue of how many teachers show up.
Being tardy for school Thursday was a small price to pay to see a once-in-108-years Cubs World Series title, Aquino said.
The father of three boys decided to let Bennett, his oldest, stay up late Wednesday night — past a game-tying home run, a rain delay and an extra inning — until the Cubs sealed their victory just before midnight.
“I knew this was a big thing,” Aquino said. “It was probably something he would remember for the rest of his life.”
On Thursday morning, when Aquino signed Bennett in late at Libertyville’s Butterfield School, he wrote “Cubs” as the reason — just like other parents.
Some Chicago-area schools reported increases in tardiness and absences, with officials chalking it up to the Cubs’ thrilling 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Photos on Twitter and Facebook taken by parents showed sign-in sheets such as at Aquino’s school. And, some parents’ social media posts admitted their late-night celebrating had an impact on their children’s arrival time at school, or their attendance altogether.
Parents said witnessing a historic event, in this case, trumps sleep or school.
In making his decision to let Bennett go beyond his normal bedtime, Aquino vividly recalled being a 9-year-old Detroit Tigers fan, staying up past bedtime to watch that team win the 1984 World Series title.
“I wanted him to have a day like that to remember,” he said.
He wasn’t the only one. About 10 percent of Butterfield’s 515 students were absent or late, district spokeswoman Robin Kollman said. About half of those students’ parents admitted it was due to the Cubs game. And, at least one other school in the district reported more than normal absent or tardy students because of the Cubs, Kollman said.
“Although attendance suggests students might have stayed up late watching the victorious Cubs, I hope they learned much from the experience — hard work, dedication and committed teamwork lead to remarkable success,” District 70 Superintendent Guy Schumacher said in a statement.
At New Trier High School’s upperclassmen campus in Winnetka, there were 208 tardy students — that’s three times the normal amount, spokeswoman Nicole Dizon said. At the freshman campus in Northfield, 70 students were late Thursday; about 15 to 20 is typical, she said.
In Naperville’s District 203, a spokeswoman said Naperville Central and Naperville North high schools had increased absence and tardy rates Thursday.
The Cubs’ victory may have had an effect on attendance at some schools on Chicago’s North Side, though it wasn’t immediately clear how CPS fared overall.
At Hamilton Elementary School in Lakeview, Principal James Gray said the school had double the number of tardies Thursday than it did Wednesday. Absences were about 1.5 times higher, he said.
Another Lakeview elementary school principal said 10 percent of the building’s students were tardy Thursday, but there were only a few more absences than normal.
Other North Side principals said there wasn’t much of a noticeable change in attendance, which was somewhat of a surprise to some of them.
Attendance was good at Lincoln Park High School, with lots of Cubs gear visible through the building, Principal Michael Boraz said.
One teacher who hails from Ohio did take the day off, Boraz said.
“Tribe fan,” he said.