GRPS drops below 75% on Day Without Immigrants; must use snow day

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Public Schools will have to declare Thursday a snow day because of a large number of absences due to the Day Without Immigrants campaign.

The national campaign called for immigrants to stay home from work and school to protest President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

John Helmholdt, Executive Director of Communications for the schools says that today's attendance numbers will not likely reach the required 75% level for an instructional day to count on the school calendar.  He says that Buchanan Elementary, Cesar E. Chavez Elementary, Westwood Middle, Harrison Park School, Burton Elementary and Middle, Union High School, Innovation Central High and the SWCC all had absences of around 50%.

The district has five total snow days to use without having to make up time later in the year.  So far, they have used two days. This would be the third.

The district is making a round of robocalls, texts, emails and posts on social media urging 100% attendance on Friday.

"We certainly honor and respect our students and parents who participated in this national event. Now, it’s back to school time! So I am calling on all parents and guardians to join me in helping to ensure our kids are back to school tomorrow.”

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