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ONLY 60% OF STUDENTS SHOW UP FOR MAKEUP DAY

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Alpine School District officials weren't really surprised that almost half of the students enrolled either didn't show up to school Monday or left part way through the day.

School was held on the holiday as a makeup for Jan. 25, when heavy snow and blizzard conditions closed the schools in the district."We didn't know what to expect. We've never done this, at least not for 30 years or so," said Mike Robinson, spokesman for the district. "We had a day out a few years ago, but the makeup day was waived. We didn't have to go."

This year, the district had no choice. By law, it must hold school for at least 180 days for its 43,000 students.

Because Alpine School District has another year-round track starting today, the makeup day had to occur before that.

"We had very little choice, really," said Robinson, who fielded "probably 400 calls from mothers - all mad."

Robinson believes holding the makeup day on a Saturday would have brought in even fewer students. Salt Lake school districts reported fewer students showed up in some schools when they held a Saturday makeup day.

The average Alpine attendance, according to Robinson, was about 60 percent across the district.

Oak Canyon Junior High had the highest number with 77 percent.

American Fork High School had only 31 percent by 10 a.m., and it fell off after that, said Robinson. American Fork Junior High started with 59 percent of its students, and according to secretaries in the attendance office, "half of those checked out after lunch."

"I don't know what happened in American Fork," said Robinson. "I don't know if the word didn't get out or what. We saw a lot better attendance in the rest of the district."

Shelley Elementary, located in American Fork, did not hold the makeup day because it is on the Centennial School schedule.