Park Street Intermediate students took a day off their regular classes Oct. 5, but not from learning.
The school's second annual Choices Day covered topics that affect students both inside and outside the classroom.
Students spent the day participating in activities designed to help teach them "the importance of making good choices and the consequences of making bad choices," Principal Clint Rardon said.
The idea for Choices Day came from an initial desire to address safety and behavior issues that arise on school buses, he said.
"But as we talked about it, we decided we wanted to expand the program to include all of our students, and not just our bus riders," Rardon said.
Many of the same issues that can occur on a bus can also occur in the classroom or cafeteria or any place where students are with each other, he said.
Choices Day began with an all-school assembly, then students were split into groups of bus riders and non-bus riders.
Students who ride buses participated in team building activities, bus evacuations, a bus safety presentation and a driver simulation activity.
Non-bus riders learned about such issues as walker safety, stranger danger and bike safety.
In the afternoon, the students were able to choose to participate in one presentation from each of three categories -- health, safety and character.
Health topics included CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, preventing sports injuries, concussion awareness and healthy food choices.
Safety topics included sessions relating to the Internet, being at home, weapons, fire, animals and pets and water safety.
Character topics included resistance skills, building good friendships, being a leader, sportsmanship and cultural differences.
The day concluded with a self-defense presentation led by Park Street student Molly Manning, a double black belt in karate, and her father, David.
The topics covered on Choices Day were developed and selected by a team of teachers, Rardon said.
More than 60 volunteers from the community took part as did representatives from the Grove City Police Department and the Jackson Township Fire Department.
"We couldn't do this without their help," he said. "We're really excited about this program and are looking forward to building on it for next year."