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Seniors 'cut' days at Pleasanton high schools cost district $42,417

Original post made on May 31, 2013

Senioritis is in full force as 12th-graders at Foothill and Amador Valley high schools continued the tradition of "cut days" with unauthorized absences.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 31, 2013, 6:44 AM

Comments (46)

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Posted by Sounds like a plan
a resident of Birdland
on May 31, 2013 at 8:31 am

Is it the unexcused days that the school doesn't get paid? Or is it for both? I can see the parents anti up for nonexcused days, but if a child is truly sick, then I think not.

If you are going to yank your kid out to go to Disneyland or for some other event that isn't truly necessary, then I think it is only fair to pay the district and consider it part of your vacation expenses. The whole district suffers when students miss school for non-excused absences.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Downtown
on May 31, 2013 at 8:40 am

This is a non-issue. Senior cut day happens every year. It is a right of passage thing for the seniors. All school systems should anticipate this occurring and budget accordingly. To those who say parents should pay the school any "lost" money, I say that you are forgetting that it isn't the schools money, it's the taxpayers money.


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Posted by PUSD Parent
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 31, 2013 at 8:41 am

God I am so tired of the whining about losing funding when my students have spent far more time out of class on "school sponsored" activities, often without my permission. Senior cut day has been a tradition for decades. Plan for it. It's one day in 4 years. And if I choose to take my kids to Tahoe or Disneyland during the school year, consider it payback for all the weekends and holidays we've given up working on school projects.


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Posted by Sirena
a resident of Valley Trails
on May 31, 2013 at 8:46 am

I would gladly pay the district back after I subtract for all the poster boards, stickers and ink cartridges I have bought for numerous projects that were unneccessary this year. In fact I am going to take this up with a 7th grade teacher at Hart. I have never seen a 7th grader color, print out pictures and use time that could have been better spent on reading and studying. One more project is due on June 11th. A written paper and a speech is all that is neccessary, but she has to create another poster. Last night she had to draw a picture of a tree and music notes placed around the tree because the teacher said they would understand the book better. Another waste of time and paper, especially since she had math to do.


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Posted by Jessie JoJo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 8:48 am

There is a very good solution to cut day. Give exams worth a noticeable portion of their grade in all classes that day. It's been tried before and it was very effective.(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


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Posted by get over it
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 9:11 am

Jessie, I know it's probably been 50 years since you left high school, but you need to drop the self righteous attitude. You missed cut day becasue none of your 'friends' wanted to invite you to their activities.
One day in 4 years to enjoy cut day tradition is not too much to ask, even for you union supporting money grabbers. Spare us the threats...you're as bad the grafitti 'artists' leaving threatening scrawls on the school walls.


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Posted by Sueme
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

Sirena, I could not agree with you more. Stop the time wasting, coloring projects and assign learning projects.

They could also stop wasting class time with propaganda movies like "The Story of Stuff". This is a political film that has no business in a Science class. No science in it AT ALL.

Regarding this article, if the schools know the seniors are going to skip school and it happens every year, either plan for it or do something about it before it happens. Don't whine about it when you knew it was coming.


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Posted by It hasn't been 50 years
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

It's been 23 years since I've left high school, but I completely agree with Jessie. Give them something they can't miss, and students will be forced to come to school. Each teachers does it, with full support of the administration, and parents will not know who to complain about.

My high school got rid of Senior cut days when I was there. Was I frustrated about it? Yes! Did I think it was unfair? Sure! Did my parents support the school? You better believe it! Has it affected my life today? Not in the least!

Students don't deserve a Senior Cut Day. They deserve an excellent education which will prepare them for their future.


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Posted by Stravinsky
a resident of Birdland
on May 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

OOOH! SCHOOL SPONSORED RITES OF PASSING? In that case, we should have the schools provide hotel rooms so that students can have sex. That is a rite of passing. How about giving everyone their first beer? Another rite of passing.

Also, it's rite not right. If you bothered to go to school on Senior Ditch Day, then you might have learned that.


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Posted by jaynie
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 31, 2013 at 10:04 am

@get over it - wow. your comment is so rude.

My child participated last year in the sr ditch day - the reason I'm not a big fan is not so much that they're missing one day of school, provided your child is a good student otherwise and doesn't miss regularly throughout the year, but that the camping trip is a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, this year it didn't wait to happen...it was not a good scene. Even if you graduated "50 years ago" you should know there's risk in having that many teens driving to a campground with absolutely no rules or supervision within miles!


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on May 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

Give me a break! Pleasanton knows about this. Plan for it. Budget for it. When my child came home on May 30th he said he had two "free periods" because they had nothing to do in class. It is obvious to me that "we" are more concerned about money than educating our children.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 10:14 am

Dear Parent, who states
"It is obvious to me that "we" are more concerned about money than educating our children."

I am very concerned about both, but especially money because where would we be without it? Where will you children be without it. Add up the senior ditch days. I have calculated that over 100 years that will amount to every Pleasanton family paying an additional $1,385 in taxes, all because some parents are unable to act in a fiscally responsible manner.

Of course, both irresponsible parents and their children are taking their cue from teachers, whose salaries and pensions promise to leave us buried beneath crushing waves of debt, most likely multiple tsunamis that will change life on this planet. Look at Calpers and Calstrs. Add senior ditch day, and you'll no doubt begin to hear the upcoming roar of an impending wall of water.


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Posted by Amazon
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

This is clearly about money. Assume Pleasanton school district sent out a PR notice on this and it got picked up by PW staff or something like that So let's all view this with the desired context. About money. That's what we did. Our son at FHS took off senior day and we brought a check to the FHS office for $50 that same day. Done.


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Posted by Cholita
a resident of Las Positas
on May 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

(Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.) My students are in a few AP classes and tell me they are doing nothing since the AP test have been taken. It's amazing that the teachers complain that they don't want to teach to the tests but they do teach to the tests. Let school out after the Ap tests if this is the way it is going to be. It's a waste of everyones time and money. I'm disgusted by this teaching style.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm

$42K for Senior cut day, approx $70K in lost attendance revenue due to the threats posted at the two high schools. The amount contributed by the school board to supplement the PPIE money for 1st grade CSR was $112K. 2nd grade CSR isn't happening due to lack of available funds. So, while this may be a 'rite of passage', the cumulative effect of these types of actions have direct and indirect impact on programs. Arnold -thanks for your contribution.


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Posted by Eric
a resident of Avila
on May 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Classic example of children who have never been said no to, do something constructive if you want senior ditch day. Go mow some old persons lawn, there are enough days squandered through the year as it is, $43,000 for a ditch day, I'll remember that when the tell me that schools need more money.


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Posted by Ben Johansen
a resident of Birdland
on May 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm

My understanding is that the school districts do not get paid for excused absences anymore. A law was passed in the late 90's eliminating payment for excused absences to force the school districts to track absences better.
What the state really needs to do to secure more money is change how our property taxes pay for schools. Why should I have to subsidize the family down the street, in the same house as mine, who has four kids in school, paying the same property tax as I am, while I have only 1 child. In essence, 3 of their kids go to school for free!


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Posted by PUSD Parent
a resident of Birdland
on May 31, 2013 at 2:04 pm

The AP teachers have to teach to the test because the tests are given on a certain day. The date is not up to the school. The same date for all schools throughout the state. If they don't teach all the material by the test date then the students would not be prepared. My student is in one AP class and they are doing projects now. Hopefully putting their studies to good use. And the stress is gone from that one class.

With regard to Cut Day. Yes it is a tradition, but at what cost? The money the school lost does affect the total population of the school. What about being a responsible student? Responsible parent?

My child went to school - didn't party it up the day before and wasn't recovering from a hangover on Senior Ditch day.


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Posted by Ben Johansen
a resident of Birdland
on May 31, 2013 at 2:27 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm

How about the cost of senior ditch day comes out of the cost of graduation- that way it only affects seniors. Can always post them their diplomas.....


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Posted by Senior Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 6:09 pm

There is no money for Graduation, at least not at Foothill. We have received phone calls and letters begging for donations. No surprise.


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Posted by Birdman
a resident of Avila
on May 31, 2013 at 7:17 pm

My kid is in several AP classes and only one class is still doing work. He said he is doing nothing in the other classes (he's in 4). I just asked him for specifics and he said the teachers ask the kids to bring video gaming consoles for tournaments and cards to play card games.
I realize the test is on a certain day but you can't tell me that there is NOTHING else my child could be learning? It does not have to be high stakes, high pressure like before the test but they should be doing something of educational value. Why not just stop teaching all classes after the state testing?


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Posted by Great idea, parent!!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I completely agree with you parent - the cost of Senior Ditch Day should come out of the cost graduation. An excellent idea!


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Posted by Bobbi
a resident of Birdland
on May 31, 2013 at 10:06 pm

The comments about PUSD budgeting for senior cut day are comical. I can see it now, "we've cut class size reduction in the primary grades to accomodate senior cut day". (Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.) There are a fraction of the parents in this town that need to start acting like grown ups.


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Posted by Joyce
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm

There is an easy fix to this issue and I know that the district can't or won't advertise it and I understand why. The students just need to go and sign in for a limited amount of time, then get called out of school by their parent(like you normally do for a doctor or dentist appointment). The district gets paid because the students were at school for a time. Most do not know this and I'm not certain how long they need to attend.


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Posted by Agree with "Amazon"
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Thanks to "Amazon" for some common sense.


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Posted by Eat this
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm

So send your kid to school on cut day and see what happens. My daughter went to class three years ago when she was a senior. There was an average of 8 students in each of her classes and they watched movies and played cards all day. Hey, at least they teachers and their union got their funds.......it's funny how you whiners about school funding don't care about the quality of education, only that we all throw more money to your masters. Grow up, libs.


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Posted by Roslin2016
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 1, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Everyone here is a clueless parent. Senior cut day is not a right of passage. It's not a hangover recovery day. It's not any kind of deserved break. It's just dumb kids thinking that they can get away with not going to school because they think it's funny and/or cool. No matter what, it's detrimental for the school and the students.

Also, AP classes tend to do "nothing" after the AP tests because the students just spent almost a whole year rigorously preparing for a near impossible and stressful test. I think it's acceptable for those kids to shut their brains off for the last month of school.


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Posted by Questionable
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Jun 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm

@Joyce.

You wrote: "There is an easy fix to this issue and I know that the district can't or won't advertise it and I understand why. The students just need to go and sign in for a limited amount of time, then get called out of school by their parent(like you normally do for a doctor or dentist appointment). The district gets paid because the students were at school for a time. Most do not know this and I'm not certain how long they need to attend."

Yes, let's do this! Let's teach our young people that if the laws and rules that govern us all prove inconvenient, they can find ways to cheat and "game" those laws and rules. That's the very best lesson young people can learn to prepare them for the "real world". This will be excellent preparation for hiding corporate profits in offshore accounts and evading their fair share of taxes.

Don't worry that a state audit of attendance records would reveal this scam and bring the school or schools in question under severe sanctions, perhaps even loss of accreditation, not to mention a smear on the reputation of the schools that did it. Contemplating consequences is for losers!


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Posted by Sleepy
a resident of Avila
on Jun 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

@roslin,
Are you crazy? Shut off their brains for a month????? If that's the way it's going to be I don't need to pay 6 teachers 90k + per year to babysit them. That's garbage. They should still be learning. Period. You are wrong.


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Posted by Jack
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 2, 2013 at 10:03 am

Jim Mora anyone? "Senior Cut Day! Senior Cut Day? You wanna talk Senior Cut Day!?..." Or how about some John McEnroe? "Senior Cut Day? You have got to be kidding me!" Or how about Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men? "You think Senior Cut Day is the problem? Your home values ride on the quality of education the town provides and then you question the manner in which they provide it! I'd prefer you just say 'Thank you.'"


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Posted by new mom
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 2, 2013 at 3:36 pm

The real issue that should be addressed is the way the state pays the school district. Paying for the number of students in school each day is ridiculous. There are many factors that are beyond people's control...a flu epidemic can reduce the population for a good couple of weeks. Absences are going to occur for a variety of reasons. It shouldn't affect state funding.
The state should be reimbursing based on the number of students enrolled in the school Some states do it based on the 14th day of school, some do it based on the enrollment for the previous year. But to pay the schools based on how many kids show up each day has to be an accounting mess and expensive. Only California could come up with something like this.
Instead of whining here, everyone should contact our state legislators to change the way the schools are funded in the first place.


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Posted by Roslin2016
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Simmer down, Sleepy. I still had essays and labs every week for my AP classes, just without the stress of tests and the pressure of a college-level workload. They've had a boatload of information shoved down their throats for eight months, and those teachers did what they needed to do in that time to prepare them for the exam. Good luck on your quest to make sure kids are learning 24/7.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

Senior Cut Day could not happen if the parents in Pleasanton didn't support it. Like many times, they fall into the trap that everyone else is doing it. I do NOT think cut day is a rite of passage nor an entitlement and did not support participation of it with my child. I told him he was welcome to organize a camp out with his friends whenever he wanted but I wouldn't support a long drive with a zillion other kids who are tired, wired from a variety of substances whether it be alcohol, drugs or Caffeine drinks. It's just a forum for trouble waiting to happen. I've lived here for 15 years and have never heard a year that something major did not happen. Alcohol citations, arrests and worse. Why support this when you know our schools are already losing valuable funding dollars. I just don't get it. When my son did show up for school - there were minimal numbers of students in most of his classes. Ridiculous.


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Posted by pusd
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Jun 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

When there are only 6 kids in a class on senior cut day, there is no teaching that can be done because it will only have to be repeated the next day when all students are back. Therefore, yes, videos and card games are about all that can be done. Teachers also can't give a test or anything with substantial points attached because all the kids that had their parents excuse them (which is pretty much all) will still have the opportunity to take that test, or get those points, because of the excused absence. There is nothing that can be done about it. It hurts the students that do come to school because they are bored in class all day, and it hurts the school because they lose money.

And let's stop calling it a cut day because most students will get their absence excused anyways.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

For all those shouting "It happens, budget for it!!!" - They do. It doesn't change the fact that the district is losing a substantial amount of money.

And to PUSD parent who says "consider it payback for all the weekends and holidays we've given up working on school projects." - perhaps you should teach your child to use the time in class or during the week to do their work. Oh I forgot, they don't have time for school during the week because of the 5 hours of soccer practice each day or swimming and homework just gets in the way of family time.


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Posted by LicensetoIll
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

"And let's stop calling it a cut day because most students will get their absence excused anyways."

Exactly! You are not cutting school if your parents call you out. But that would mean the students would have to take responsibility for their own actions (like missing a test) which is unacceptable.


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Posted by Criticizer
a resident of Civic Square
on Jun 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Maybe you should relocate where the school dance take place. Most students shouldn't be driving over 50 miles to some dance and relocate it here in Pleasanton like most schools. All parents should know what happens in the next day do you.


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Posted by Joanne
a resident of Val Vista
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:42 pm

The district is worried about losing money. They can just charge more for the students parking fee next year. Do the teachers pay to park? How about employees at the district office?


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Posted by lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jun 3, 2014 at 5:33 am

Senior Cut Day has been going on for a long time and PUSD continues to survive.
I attend school many years ago in a different state and we had Senior Cut Day.

Let the kids have there fun they have earned it.

They will soon be joining the rest of in the workforce.


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Posted by simpleminds
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 3, 2014 at 11:27 am

It's kind of like a prep course when they become a Muni or BART employee


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Posted by Dirk Diggler
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I must laugh at all of these folks who have such an issue with Senior Cut Day...so much so, that they present it as a personal affront to their well-being. Give me a break. I would venture to guess that each and every one of you who have posted about how much of a travesty it is that these kids cut one day of their Senior Year (OH NO), yes, YOU, all did the SAME exact thing when you were in high school. Oh here we go..now the posts will come flying in about how that just isn't the case, and you NEVER would have cut a day in your life. LOLLLLLLLL. People on these threads continue to amaze and astonish at the self-righteous drivel that is spewn. Guess what? If I want to take my kid to a PORTA POTTY to go to the bathroom, I will take them out of school without hesitation. Same goes with Tahoe, Disneyland, or Timbuktu? WHY? Because they are MY kids. Not yours. Not the district's. And not the school's. As soon as you want to start paying for MY kid's shoes, clothes, food, roof over his head, and future college education, then I will be more than happy to let you tell me when he is allowed to cut school. Until then......SHUT IT.


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Posted by Here's Jonny
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Dirk Nailed it. These are our kids, and we raise them, not the school. Yes they educate them, but that's it. I'm grateful for the hard working teachers that put kids first in regards to their education. It's very frustrating that the PUSD complains that the senior cut day will cost over 40k, but they've blown way over that amount for the scandal at Walnut Grove. The district need better leadership


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm

old news...doesn't happen anymore...


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Why does PUSD insist that my child come to school when all the teachers are doing is showing movies or letting the students play games during the final month of school? What a waste!


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Posted by HS
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm

This is hilarious that this thread happens every single year, since my kids were in school and that was years ago. From what I have heard is even with excused absences the school doesnt get paid. I think the money should come out of the pockets of the teachers who take sick days and vacation days off and the disctrict has to hire subs, so basically we are double paying for subs who just basically sit their and babysit.. since elementary school we have been told not to take family vacation during school days since the school doesnt get paid for the days my child would be gone, boohoo it goes both ways teachers.

I know a few teachers who knew their students would be out for senior ditch day and called in sick, ha so the numbers the district really lost is much higher since they had to get subs for those teachers right.

The school should just call that day a teacher work day and no classes for the seniors done.


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