It almost sounds like something out of a police blotter - a group of eight Kennedy Middle School students shaving their principal's head.
But, in this case, it was all part of a celebration.
Kennedy Principal Dave Paliughi told his students at the end of last year that if they could raise the school's Academic Performance Index (API) score by at least 40 points, he would let them shave his head.
Well, they doubled that, and raised Kennedy's score an unprecedented 81 points.
"This is so exciting," said Redwood City School District Superintendent Jan Christensen, as the school prepared for the head-shaving event Thursday. "We are just so proud of Kennedy - and not just of [Principal Paliughi], but of the work of all the students, and everything."
When the scores came out roughly two weeks ago, the school's staff got together and planned a day of celebration, including a large party area on the campus complete with five bouncy houses and two-story inflatable slides, and, of course, getting to watch Principal Paliughi's head being shaved by his students in front of the whole school at 12:30 p.m.
"Kennedy's academic gains are very significant, and the result of a lot of hard work on the part of staff and students," said Director of Communications Naomi Hunter.
When asked where the idea of bargaining with the students to have his head shaved came from, Paliughi told Patch, "We just wanted to do something fun, but also to stimulate the adolescent mind. We wanted them to take a different look at taking these tests."
"When it comes to the average sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grader, improving in the area of Language Arts is not always the first thing on their mind," he continued. "But this could make it fun for them, and inspire them."
Eight students were picked to hold the coveted razor and shave a part of Paliughi's head for the festivities on Thursday. The students were picked for either having the highest overall score on last year's Caifornia Standards Test (CST), or for having the highest improvement in their score.
The eight students were: Clara (7th grade), Laurel (7th grade), Luis (7th grade), Jesus (8th grade), Ricky (8th grade), Sofia (8th grade), Owen (7th grade), and Jared (8th grade).
When asked what his family thought of the fact that he would be letting his students shave his head, Paliughi said, with a laugh, "My daughter is so embarassed."
See our short Patch Clips video of Kennedy Middle School Principal Dave Paliughi getting his head shaved by his students, as well as a photo slideshow, above.
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