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Taking The Kids Out of School

rileyspaw

New Member
I've noticed that many families plan their vacations at all times of the year not just in the summer when most kids are out of school. As a retired school teacher I was simply wondering if anyone has ever faced any negative feedback from their school district when asking to take your child out of school for an extended period of time?
 

svickersart

New Member
I was divorced last year and my ex had two kids, both now grown. We took them out of school for family vacations a couple of times. Both were smart and did well in school when they wanted to. We notified the school in advance and it was never a problem. Both have since graduated high school and one is serving in the Navy. Now I am with the woman I should have married many years ago and she has one child who is 11. He has some learning disabilities and really needs the structure of school and she doesnt like to pull him out of school for any reason so we plan all our trips around his schedual. We went to WDW last August and had a great time, but she doesnt do well in the heat and humidity. I Have been there in April and November and found both times of year quite nice so I suggested a winter vacation. We originally planed Christmas week while her son was out of school but we didnt want to be away from the rest of our families that time of year. She wasnt able to get Thanksgiving week off so we settled on the week before thanksgiving. There is one holiday that week and a "teachers education" day that week and 3 minimum days so she thinks this will be acceptable for him to miss. I think the decision to take kids out of school for a family vacation must be dependant on the kid and how well they can handle making up the work. I think the kids that are in well structured homes and have parents that are willing to take them on vacation and spend time bonding as a family tend to do better in school and it really isnt an issue to takew them out for a week or so. I find it funny that 5 unexcused absences causes legal problems, things must really be different around the country, to excuse a kid from school around here it just takes a phone call to the school from the parent Little Jimmy will be missing next week, or was sick or whatever and excused. I'm sure if it was weeks at a time someone would want documentation or something but a week shouldnt be questioned.

Also I attend college myself full time and this will more than likely require me to also miss a class or two. I always give my professors plenty of advanced notice when I go on vacation. Since I'm not a kid living at home and I work full time they usually understand when I need to go on vacation. Get someone notes or whatever and good to go. Even had one prof a couple semesters ago pull out his attendence book, ask me the dates and marked it an excused absence, he told me he understands everyone needs a vacation. (I booked my trip to WDW before I enrolled in the class)
Steve
 
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drp4video

Well-Known Member
My DD is 19 now and at Michigan State, so this is not an issue, but, when she was younger, yes, we took her out of school. NOt so much in high schoo, but in elementary we did. We did it for only three days at the most tho, not a week. She missed too much for a week, even in elementary school.

One time we took her to the Grand Canyon, and there is a volcano nearby, so we stopped. She was studying volcano's with her class at the time, and she was tickled to be able to bring back real volanic ash for her classmates.

I guess it depends on the child and how they do as to how long they miss. I tried not to take her out for too long, not because she could not do the work, she was an awesome student, but just that it put pressure on her to get the work done, and she didn't want to miss non-subject fun time in the classroom.
 
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figmentmom

Well-Known Member
My husband and I both teach school. Our kids always had the same vacation weeks as we did, so we never had occasion to take them out of school for a trip to Disney. However, I can tell you that as long as you've given your child's teacher PLENTY of advance notice, the majority of teachers will be happy to help out with missed work, extra assignemnts, etc. It happens quite often in both our schools.

Thirty-five years of teaching - congratulations!!! :sohappy: :wave:
 
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Dwarful

Well-Known Member
We did once. We have decided we are going to do so again next winter. We are going to pull the girls for two days so that we can have a quick trip between Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of going over Christmas/New Years. But the older they get the harder it is to miss time from school.

Side note: for some kids it doesnt matter if they are in the building or not...they still aren't 'there'. My oldest is in Fifth grade. Her teacher made Science Fair mandatory..biggest part of their science grade. 9 kids completed their projects...out of 27. Most of the kids had regular attendance so being in the building wasn't an issue. Good kids will do well at Disney or in the class. Slackers with slacker parents won't do well if they don't feel its important enough.
 
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Waldo.Pepper

New Member
Excellent question...

Our school district decided it needed to send up an old head teacher to lecture the parents about such practices at the beginning of the school year. That really got my temperature up, growing up in a teachers household we never took school year vacations. But the districts have to realize that times have changed, and economically it is sometimes more advantageous for families to vacations at 'inconvienent' times of the year. Besides, my kids have never traveled, even to WDW, that portions of their travels were not dedicated to aspects of their country that they can, and do learn from.

I think with some districts it comes down to a few, 'we know whats better for you kids that you do' people, that makes this an uncomfortable subject sometimes. At the end of the day...everything...including education is and should be foremost about family.
 
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Hakunamatata

Lets go Brandon!
Premium Member
I think with some districts it comes down to a few, 'we know whats better for you kids that you do' people, that makes this an uncomfortable subject sometimes. At the end of the day...everything...including education is and should be foremost about family.

This statement has a whole bunch of validity, not just with the public school system who thinks it knows whats better for your children than you, but the government in general. Perfect example is the non-spanking legislation that is being introduced in California. Regaurdless if you believe in spanking or not, the goverment needs to stay out of raising kids and stick to what it does best, deliver the mail and organize a national defense.
 
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H20Babie

Well-Known Member
Things that make you go hmmmmmm

Very interesting topic, and bravo to everyone for being confortable enough to share their experiences and opinions. Being a pre-service teacher and a parent, I can see both sides.

Personally, I was pulled out of junior high for five weeks to go on a family vacation to Florida. We spent eight days driving (both ways), a week in Disney, a week on the east coast (Daytona, Coco) and a week on the gulf (Madiera, Clearwater). It was the most memorable trip I have ever had (including my Disney honeymoon). However, it was late April/early May, and both my brother and I were good students with good attendance. Being that time of the year, there was no chance that either of us would be failing our respective grades by June. My parents gave the teachers and school about 3 months notice (we knew we were going at Christmas) and both of us worked on extra assignments and independant studies in the months prior, as well as taking work with us. Eight days in a car pretty much covered that.

In the end, I think each child and situation is different and needs to be considered as such. As a future teacher, I will only be able to take vacations while school is out, so it not much of an issue for me personally. In fact, DS and I are going March spring break--it's the only time we can go as I need to work fulltime during the summer to save for my final year of studies next year!

:wave:
 
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slacker

Member
Lil'mermaid, I have been given the journal thing too!! I then had to read it out loud to the class. I HATED reading aloud when i was younger too.
 
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TwoTigersMom

Well-Known Member
When DS-5 started school this year, the handbook said to give notice as soon as possible to the teacher and the elementary principal. So I told the teacher we would be going to WDW in April and DS would be missing 7 days of school for it. She said just to remind her a week before and she'd have his assignments ready on his last day. We're also taking my niece who is 16. I asked her mother to let the school know she'd be missing 6 days of school. Her principal said she'd have assignments prepared for all her classes a week before we leave so she'd have time to get most of her work done ahead of time. She has several teachers who are Disney fanatics, like us, who said they had some "special" ideas for assignments for her to do on her trip. I'm curious to see what they come up with.
 
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pinkrose

Well-Known Member
When DS-5 started school this year, the handbook said to give notice as soon as possible to the teacher and the elementary principal. So I told the teacher we would be going to WDW in April and DS would be missing 7 days of school for it. She said just to remind her a week before and she'd have his assignments ready on his last day. We're also taking my niece who is 16. I asked her mother to let the school know she'd be missing 6 days of school. Her principal said she'd have assignments prepared for all her classes a week before we leave so she'd have time to get most of her work done ahead of time. She has several teachers who are Disney fanatics, like us, who said they had some "special" ideas for assignments for her to do on her trip. I'm curious to see what they come up with.

Heidi, how cool that you are able to do that! You guys are going to have so much fun!

I guess a lot depends on the principal as to how they will report the absence. I had a Dr.'s note explaining my daughters condition and how the extreme temps causes flare-ups so the hotter months aren't an option for us. That's the only reason ours was excused. I know of other people who were turned down for their vacations. We don't get a fall break anymore (last year was the first/only one, actually).

I made each child an activity book/journal. I printed out our route and put it in there also (map skills). I decorated the jouranl pages with clip art, and copied pages from my WDW activity book and put them in there. Both of my kids teachers loved them. My daugthers teacher let her tun hers in in place of a reading assignment. She also had her write a paper on her favorite ride in place of a test she was going to miss.
 
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MouseMadness

Well-Known Member
Our teachers have always been WONDERFUL about helping us take family vacations during the school year, and we'd actually had one planned for, well, RIGHT NOW :)() but I cancelled because I didn't feel that my 2nd oldest was keeping her grades up well enough for me to feel comfortable taking her out.

I may still do it next year, though, if she continues her improvement. (Guess taking away a Disney trip was enough to push her to want to work harder. :lol: It was a punishment for me, too, though :lol: )
 
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justducky78

New Member
I understand education is important, but honestly, how much is a child going to miss if they happen to be gone on a family vacation for a 1-2 weeks? Especially if the kids are in the primary/middle school. IMHO, I feel family time is more important. Life isn't perfect, not everyone can take vacations during winter/spring/summer break and not everyone WANTS to!

My parents took me out of school when I was growing up and some of the teachers could be real pills about it, but we went anyway. I did some homework before I left and when I got back - but my parents didn't want me taking homework while ON vacation. Afterall, it was a vacation - and they saw no reason I should be stressing about homework when this was "family together time." I remember those trips far more than any school I might have missed.

Personally, I don't like taking vacations during peak times (spring break/winter break) because it's more expensive, there are too many other families on vacation at that time, etc. It just makes for a more stressful time, which is the opposite of what a vacation should be.
 
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disneyracefan

New Member
just take the kids out of school ! Every time we go when school is out its always a terrible time and when we go when the kids are in school and take our kid out of school for the week its very quiet and as much as it costs to go i prefer to go when most other kids are in school. now this should only be done if they are getting good grades i always tell my kid that if you get a and b grades we go if they slip we dont go seems to be working so far.
 
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Lil'mermaid

New Member
Lil'mermaid, I have been given the journal thing too!! I then had to read it out loud to the class. I HATED reading aloud when i was younger too.


I didnt have to read it out loud, so I was lucky. It was the year that we learned how to write in script, and since I had broken my right wrist earlier that year, I was already behind the rest of the kids because I couldnt hold a pen. She just wanted me to practice my letters.
 
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saltmom1

New Member
Where I live, if my daughter has more than 3 absences in a term( dr's notes are NOT considered an excused absence) ,she gets no credit for her classes. She then has to go before a board of parents , students and administrators to plead her case. Then they MIGHT give her credit for her classes. It doesn't matter if she had straight 100s, she would fail the courses.
 
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Lil'mermaid

New Member
Where I live, if my daughter has more than 3 absences in a term( dr's notes are NOT considered an excused absence) ,she gets no credit for her classes. She then has to go before a board of parents , students and administrators to plead her case. Then they MIGHT give her credit for her classes. It doesn't matter if she had straight 100s, she would fail the courses.


Wow, thats pretty strict. We were allowed to miss 20 for a year long class and 10 for a class that was a half year before we could be denied credit. There were exceptions though. I missed 12 one semester my senior year and had 2 taken off my record because I was out of town for a college visit.
 
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slappy magoo

Well-Known Member
My wife is a teacher with a strong work ethic, so when we do have kids it'll still be a moot point-she can't/won't leave work for a week to go to WDW on the off-season. But I understand and agree with the concept that you need to do special things with kids once in a while, it makes great memories, strengthens bonds, totally get it.

The problem I have is with parents who give a teacher so little warning or no warning before taking their kids out of class. To me, that, more than taking your kids out of class, is what shows a disrespect towards education or educators. Worse, parents who just call the kids out sick. If you want to take your kids out to a vacation anywhere, tell the teacher as soon as possible. And instill in your child a sense of responsibility, maybe do more work before the trip so they;re ahead when they leave and the rest of the class can catch up. Hell, at my job, there are things I do that would be difficult for anyone else to do, so I plan ahead and get stuff done early before I leave, and leave copies with other people in case it needs revision or review. If possible, a kid could and should read ahead, do assignments ahead of time. Then when it's trip time, they don't have to do much extra work. But it involves the child and the parents accepting that they have responsibilities, and honoring those responsibilities is sometimes inconvenient, but always necessary. I would guess most teachers would appreciate a kid wanting to learn faster, show a willingness to learn. And a trip to WDW seems like an excellent incentive to get kids to think that way.
 
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saltmom1

New Member
A college visit and an appointment for a driver's license are considered excused absences. A friend of my daughter's went on a special program in Washinton DC for a week- a leadership conference that earns college credit for high school students so now he has no credit for his HS classes. Anybody else live in Massachusetts and have these rules? We were told it is state wide, but I doubt it.
 
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tink68

Member
I am having the same problem right now. We are planning a trip in Oct, Nov or Dec. Our daughter will be in 6th grade then. Before it was not too much of an issue to take her out for a day or two and we always tried to go when they would have a staff holiday on a Monday or Friday so we would have that one extra day over the weekend. I plan on setting this up early with all of her teachers and making sure that no major projects will be going on while we are gone. My daughter makes good grades and only misses up to about 2 days of school a year so I do not think we will have a problem. We cannot go during the summer because I think it would be too hot and crowded for our 2 year old. As long as your child does all of the make-up work and has good attendance before and after the vacation I do not think it is a problem.:)
 
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pinkrose

Well-Known Member
I am having the same problem right now. We are planning a trip in Oct, Nov or Dec. Our daughter will be in 6th grade then. Before it was not too much of an issue to take her out for a day or two and we always tried to go when they would have a staff holiday on a Monday or Friday so we would have that one extra day over the weekend. I plan on setting this up early with all of her teachers and making sure that no major projects will be going on while we are gone. My daughter makes good grades and only misses up to about 2 days of school a year so I do not think we will have a problem. We cannot go during the summer because I think it would be too hot and crowded for our 2 year old. As long as your child does all of the make-up work and has good attendance before and after the vacation I do not think it is a problem.:)

I agree. My husband wassn't very happy when I told him that had they not excused our kids absence, then they would not have been allowed to make-up their work and would have recieved zero's. I think that's going overboard and that our school system should take it case by case and not umbrella it.
 
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