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Seattle Schools Not Closing for Seahawks' Super Bowl Parade

Seattle-Seahawks-Malcolm-Smith-SuperBowl-Lombardi-400px.jpg

Seattle students hoping to express their appreciation for their Super Bowl-winning squad today will have to do so from afar.

The Seattle Seahawks' parade through downtown commences at 11 a.m. PT, but the Seattle Public Schools won't be closing for it, according to a statement on the district's website.

Each school's principal can decide if students who miss school for the parade will be considered unexcused or excused, per the statement.

"We know this is a historic event for our community and we also know that for many of our students their school community is a place where they will celebrate and come together to talk about pride, sportsmanship, and teamwork," said Superintendent Jose Banda. "We encourage our students and staff to wear blue on Wednesday in honor of the Seahawks. "

As noted by the Seattle Post Intelligencer, a Seattle big-four professional sports team hasn't won a championship since the Seattle SuperSonics won the 1979 NBA title. (The Sonics have since been relocated to Oklahoma City, adding insult to injury.)

Thus, Seattle schools shouldn't be surprised if their absence rates soar today.

Last year, the Baltimore Public Schools also decided not to close for the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl parade. School systems across the Baltimore region reported "unusually high absences among students" on the day of the parade, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The district's attendance rate on the day of the parade was 79.4 percent, the paper reported. The year before, the attendance rate on that same day was 90.1 percent.

In years past, school systems have demonstrated flexibility for Super Bowl champions. Schools in Green Bay closed early in 2011 to allow students to attend the Green Bay Packers' parade, according to The Associated Press (via NBC15.com). Pittsburgh schools delayed opening by two hours in 2009 after the Pittsburgh Steelers emerged victorious over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, according to ESPN.com.

UPDATE, Feb. 6, 9:30 p.m. ET: According to the AP, more than 25 percent of the district's 51,000 students were absent in the morning. Roughly 5 percent of students were absent the day before. Students weren't the only ones skipping school, as 565 teachers called out yesterday, too. 

Photo: Seattle Seahawks' Malcolm Smith celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game against the Denver Broncos Sunday, Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

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