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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?
 

wcj1968

New Member
I would not have thought one typo would lead to such criticism of my form, as they appear quite frequently in many of the responses here. My wife is a teacher so I have a bit different perspective.
 
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wcj1968

New Member
Educational success has two parts. The teacher is the obvious part, but only half of the equation. Parental involvement and attitude is in most cases the more important piece of the puzzle. My children attend a Top Tier private school and have always been among the top of their respective classes. I don't however see that as even relevant in this discussion. This thread is IMO about the parental attitude and not the school system or teacher involved.
 
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MickeyTigg

New Member
Educational success has two parts. The teacher is the obvious part, but only half of the equation. Parental involvement and attitude is in most cases the more important piece of the puzzle. My children attend a Top Tier private school and have always been among the top of their respective classes. I don't however see that as even relevant in this discussion. This thread is IMO about the parental attitude and not the school system or teacher involved.


It's relevant because you made it relevant....yes, parental involvement is very important to educational success and so are the teachers. But the educational system in this country is not failing because some parents that their kids out of school to go to WDW...it's because we have a bad educational system...not necessarily because of the good teachers, but because bad curriculum and bad school administration (district and state).
 
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wcj1968

New Member
I guess we must then agree to disagree. You cannot say that education of your children is a high priority unless it interferes with our vacation. Those are contradicting points. My wife as I stated earlier is a teacher in a good school district. From that perspective, it is painfully obvious how important parental support is to a child’s success.
 
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GoofyFan1

Active Member
You gotta be kidding me. We just do a crummy job of teaching our kids the basics. Britney and Jose can't do math, read or write because the curriculums are bad and don't teach it very well....not because some parents choose to take their kids to WDW for a few days.

Funny...my kids were in private schools and we took them out of school for WDW trips...we made up the work....the private schools kick the public schools butts in performance testings.

We home school the kids now...we have a trip planned for 28 days....we've been making up a little work at a time for a few weeks. It's not that hard.

We at the Public Schools take all comers, we don't pick and choose so that we can "kick butt", that's a tired argument. Apples and oranges.
 
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Raven66

Well-Known Member
Last Feb. we took our DD out of school. She was in the 3rd grade. We sent a note to her teacher 2 months in advance and then a reminder note 2 weeks prior. Her teacher sent a butt load of homework with her that had to be finished on the day she returned. The night before we left we were in a hotel and she did some. She did most of it on the airplane and on lay-overs. She had all of it done, before we even got back. Her education is the most important thing, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Some people can only afford to go during the "cheap" times. Most of my family, including my sister, are teachers. They are so underpaid it's crazy. You have these actors, actresses and sports figures that make millions and they are on covers of magazines looking like they just came off of a 7 day bender, but the people that help mold the next generation get paid diddly squat. :mad:
 
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PotteryGal

Active Member
And once again, this is descending into a teachers vs. the parents discussion...sigh. I think we can sum up the basics, here.....if your kids are good students, taking them out of school for a few days will not hurt their overall performance. Asking for work ahead of time is simply so they can keep up with their work and make up all tests/quizzes missed. Communication with the school and involvement in your kids' education are a given if this will be successful, regardless of whether it's public, private, or homeschool. I will also add that it is better to do this at the elementary level, as opposed to middle or high school, as the workload increases. Also, you need to check your school's schedule and make sure there isn't any major state required testing that will be happening at that time.
Bottom line? Common sense and good communication are key. If that happens, then enjoy WDW and time together as a family.
Thank you. Class dismissed. :D
 
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isitingood

New Member
I leave for WDW in the morning and my daughter will miss 12 days but actually only 6 school days counting weekends and 2 teacher days. The school had no problem with me taking her and wants my daughter to do a report on Disney World. As for my niece she hasn't missed a single day in 8 years.



In 24 hrs I will be at the world:wave:
 
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DisneyDragon

New Member
Wow - those are some draconian situations out there. Sounds like band-aid solutions without addressing the root cause issue.

Ultimately, though, I get confused by the following concepts:

1) How government can dictate # of absences before withdrawing credit. If some kids are allowed to be home-schooled, doesn't that mean their education is worth nothing in the eyes of the government?

2) Saying it's okay for military to pull their kids, but not other people. I am pro-military (so please don't get me wrong - I support my friends in Afghanistan), and appreciate the effort, but it sounds very 'Starship Troopers' (the book, that is) if a serviceperson is given benefits that other citizens aren't.

I've taken my DD out of school twice for trips to WDW...in September namely because the first 3 weeks of grade school is usually just going over previous years' learnings. Since we keep our kids mentally and physically active over the summer, this period is marked by extreme boredom anyways by the kids.

Just tough when a blanket rule reduces legitimate parenting roles.
 
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tigsmom

Well-Known Member
While our official district policy is that they discourage taking kids out of school for any vacation, they do realize that not everyone can schedule vacations according to the school calendar.

In the past we have taken the kids out for one day on either side of a long holiday weekend and they have made up the work or have taken it with them.
This year we will be taking princess #2 out of school for 6 days (she is in 7th grade) as that coincides with her sister's spring break and her dad's vacation.
We will be working with the teachers to make sure she doesn't fall behind.

It really comes down to a case by case decision and I say that while school is very important so is family time. With many parents working full time and kids in daycare it is important for them to connect, whether that be in WDW on a cruise or a camping trip to the woods. Not everyone can be blessed with the choice to be a stay at home parent.

There are more ways to learn than just sitting in a classroom and there are many instances to connect what you learn in the classroom with those in WDW. Do what you have to do and don't let anyone make you feel guilty.

and thats my 2 cents...take it for whats its worth. :lol:
 
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2) Saying it's okay for military to pull their kids, but not other people. I am pro-military (so please don't get me wrong - I support my friends in Afghanistan), and appreciate the effort, but it sounds very 'Starship Troopers' (the book, that is) if a serviceperson is given benefits that other citizens aren't.
Please don't think that I was saying because my husband was military that we should get treated any different or have a different set of rules. That is not what I meant at all. I just wanted to point out that it's not always "because it's cheaper" or that education is important only if it doesn't cut into Disney time as a reason kids are taken out of school for a family trip. Believe me, if it meant that my husband could be home with us instead of over in the middle east somewhere, we would gladly pay the higher prices and the larger crowds for our trip to WDW. Unfortunately that isn't the case for us. I don't think it means we are lesser parents or that we don't feel education is important. It just means that we want some family time and a special family trip whenever possible before Daddy is gone.
Our upcoming trip, my husband won't be going with us, so the kids will not be taken out of school. We'll be going during the kids spring break during peak time, but the kids will be out of school the week before their Father leaves spending just as much time as possible with him.
 
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pinkrose

Well-Known Member
You gotta be kidding me. We just do a crummy job of teaching our kids the basics. Britney and Jose can't do math, read or write because the curriculums are bad and don't teach it very well....not because some parents choose to take their kids to WDW for a few days.

Funny...my kids were in private schools and we took them out of school for WDW trips...we made up the work....the private schools kick the public schools butts in performance testings.

We home school the kids now...we have a trip planned for 28 days....we've been making up a little work at a time for a few weeks. It's not that hard.

Not all public school systems are like that. There's a good many excellent systems in this country.
 
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pinkrose

Well-Known Member
While our official district policy is that they discourage taking kids out of school for any vacation, they do realize that not everyone can schedule vacations according to the school calendar.

In the past we have taken the kids out for one day on either side of a long holiday weekend and they have made up the work or have taken it with them.
This year we will be taking princess #2 out of school for 6 days (she is in 7th grade) as that coincides with her sister's spring break and her dad's vacation.
We will be working with the teachers to make sure she doesn't fall behind.

It really comes down to a case by case decision and I say that while school is very important so is family time. With many parents working full time and kids in daycare it is important for them to connect, whether that be in WDW on a cruise or a camping trip to the woods. Not everyone can be blessed with the choice to be a stay at home parent.

There are more ways to learn than just sitting in a classroom and there are many instances to connect what you learn in the classroom with those in WDW. Do what you have to do and don't let anyone make you feel guilty.

and thats my 2 cents...take it for whats its worth. :lol:

That's how I feel. That's why it makes me so mad that our system is so strict and won't let kids make up work if the absence was unexcused (which the teacher can't excuse it. The Principal has to).
 
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maelstrom

Well-Known Member
How government can dictate # of absences before withdrawing credit. If some kids are allowed to be home-schooled, doesn't that mean their education is worth nothing in the eyes of the government?

Homeschooled kids, at least in New York, have to prove that they have learned such&such by a certain point in time via intermittent progress updates with the school district. NY is very big on having their homeschooled kids do way more work than the kids in school ever do (they have a say until the child turns 16 at which point they can drop out and homeschool on their own, like I did). So basically, they know homeschooled kids are getting things done, but most kids in school are wasting a lot of time, so they need to make sure they're there as often as possible. That's how I see it.
 
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slappy magoo

Well-Known Member
I would not have thought one typo would lead to such criticism of my form, as they appear quite frequently in many of the responses here. My wife is a teacher so I have a bit different perspective.

It's not about pointing out typos so much as pointing out irony. If you're going to talk about the merits of education in a post with typos, people are bound to chuckle. Like when Roger Ebert complains about a script, knowing he has "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" on his resume. I've done it, too, you just have to suck it up.

As I said, my wife is a teacher, too. When we have kids, we won't take them out of school as long as she's teaching because her work ethic (and her school system) would never allow it. But if she ever switched careers or retired, I'm not sure she'd ever be as cool about taking kids out of school, either.


As far as your original post about compensating teachers for all that extra time, this might seem O/T, but I'd suspect most people on the forum have been known to do something outside their job description, for no extra pay, if the situation required it. Sometimes, my job requires I work extra-long hours in order to get a certain project done on time. And it's not (necessarily) laziness on my part. Last Friday, I was given an assignment at 10:30 am that had to be done before I left, but it also required the participation of other people (sorry, trying to keep what I do for a living vague), and I had to wait until they were available before we could all work on the project. I didn't get home until 10pm that night. But it's what happens sometimes. Didn't expect the assignment, didn't necessarily want it, but it had to be done and fell to me and a few other people to do it. And every single person on here probably has a similar story. To me, that sort of overtime is only unforgiveable when the employee is paid hourly and does not get compensated for that extra time. Otherwise, it's part of the job, even if it's not on the job description. And it happens to teachers, too. If it's not a packet of homework for a student's trip to Disney World, it might be a packet of homework because a child is visiting dying relatives in Altoona, or Mommy's drying out in detox and the kid has to spend a week or two with their grandpa who lives in another district. Or it might be a trip sanctioned by another department in the school (Band's going to Disney World, but the math teacher is planning an algebra test the day after they return). Or the kid is falling behind and desperately wants to catch up.

What's important is that hopefully the student and the student's parents recognize that a trip isn't a "Get out of homework free" card. That being a student should be treated like a job, and whatever your job is, you're always supposed to strive to do it well. My wife gets a little angry (and a little jealous) when students or parents tell her about vacation plans 2 or 3 days before they happen (or even less). But a student with parents who genuinely give a crap as to how their kid is doing, who let teachers know months ahead of time what the plan is and genuinely want to help out? Most teachers are thrilled when parents are that interested & involved.
 
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MickeyTigg

New Member
It really comes down to a case by case decision and I say that while school is very important so is family time. With many parents working full time and kids in daycare it is important for them to connect, whether that be in WDW on a cruise or a camping trip to the woods. Not everyone can be blessed with the choice to be a stay at home parent.

There are more ways to learn than just sitting in a classroom and there are many instances to connect what you learn in the classroom with those in WDW. Do what you have to do and don't let anyone make you feel guilty.

and thats my 2 cents...take it for whats its worth. :lol:

Very well stated.

Not all public school systems are like that. There's a good many excellent systems in this country.

I was speaking as a nation overall...and statistics will prove it out. We have less school vacation days than almost any industrialized nation, we spend more money per student than almost anyone in the world and have some of the lowest reading, math and science scores in the world.

Yes there are some very good schools and school districts out there, but as a whole...we don't do a very good job.
 
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Dwarful

Well-Known Member
I did sub work in a small town in Illinois yesterday. This was a Fifth Grade classroom. They were working on a large Social Studies project. Naming all of the countries...well, I pull down the classroom map and low and behold I understand why all of these kids had the wrong answers. The map was from 1985. These poor kids were writing down East Germany/West Germany, USSR etc. I had to draw on the chalk board and rename the countries. Now, don't get me wrong, I know its not this way everywhere and there are a lot of changes in our world.

I wouldn't take the kids out for an extended time period but I don't see how 1 or 2 days in elementary years can cause major problems for the students. Especially if they are already doing well in class.
 
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