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View Full Version : New Attendance Policy at DD's school - no more family trips during school!


StitchandPooh'sMom
08-31-2007, 01:40 PM
I went to DD8's curriculum meeting at school last night, and the principal broke the bad news. The school social worker will be notified if any child misses two days of school unexcused. After four days of unexcused absences, parents will be notified of the violation of the General Compulsory School Attendance Law (or something like that). After five unexcused days, Juvenile Court will be notified! Family trips are unexcused, and there is no provision for "excused for educational purposes".

Well, I had to fess up to the principal that DD is going to miss two days for our Wonder Cruise in October, but it is paid in full and was booked before the change. She understood and probably won't send me to jail! :rotfl2:

I learned that DD's school, which is an Honor School of Excellence with High Growth (highest category in NC public schools) almost missed its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goal for attendance, even though 95% of the students showed proficiency at grade level. They made the attendance standard by 0.1% and would have been considered a "failing school" if they had missed AYP. It was a big wake-up call to the administration, and they are cracking down on all the trips to Disney World! Our principal did say that one fifth grader had 26 unexcused absences last year - that is a lot!

I had read posts from teachers about the difficulty of meeting some of the No Child Left Behind standards, and now I understand. It makes me feel guilty that we have contributed to the problem since we love our school and are very proud of its rating. Good thing we are going to WDW for spring break, but I think we are done pulling our kids out of school. I had never given it much thought since DD's teachers always supported her trips and she always kept up with her work.

I didn't post to start a debate about the merits of family trips - it was just an eye-opening experience for me last night and I didn't understand the separate emphasis on attendance if the kids were performing. Now I know, and I thought it was all very interesting!

ppan77
08-31-2007, 02:06 PM
I taught 3rd grade for 5 yrs before I chose to stay home w/ 2yr ds. I know the pressures of NCLB. A perfectly normal well to do school can be considered "failing or not meeting ayp" bc of poor attendance. Usually due to vacationing middle class families and a bad outbreak of the flu a school can be at risk. I wouldnt sweat your trip too much ...just monitor your days a little more than before.. I would still take trips ...just not when your child has to miss more than 2 days...

bzzymom
08-31-2007, 02:09 PM
Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with no child left behind. It is all about money. School districts loose money when children aren't in school. That's the bottom line. I am fortunate to send DS to a private school where it isn't a problem since their budget isn't based on a certain attendance per day.

Princess_Michelle
08-31-2007, 02:20 PM
I can't understand why Social Workers will be bogged down doing this type of bull crap work when there are thousands of children in the ghetto who aren't fed dinner and have to live in houses that are hang out spots for drug dealers and crackheads......Yet, ANOTHER reason why I'll be homeschooling. :confused3

Sorry, didn't mean to come off crazy, this stuff just grates on my nerves.....

StitchandPooh'sMom
08-31-2007, 02:34 PM
I can't understand why Social Workers will be bogged down doing this type of bull crap work when there are thousands of children in the ghetto who aren't fed dinner and have to live in houses that are hang out spots for drug dealers and crackheads......Yet, ANOTHER reason why I'll be homeschooling. :confused3

Sorry, didn't mean to come off crazy, this stuff just grates on my nerves.....

It's the school social worker who would become involved, not the county social worker. Although I do agree that even our school social worker has more to worry about than a few days missed for a family trip.

cissy
08-31-2007, 02:37 PM
Just the public school mentality of catering to the lowest common denominator!

I live in NC, too, and our schools are in a crisis!!! What a crock it is to say that a family cannot take a child on a vacation and miss more than two days! The kid who missed 26 days should fail if he can't do the work. But, oh my! Fail a child??!! Teach a lesson??!!?? Make the parents sit up and take notice of their kid??!!?? No way! That might hurt the kids self esteem.

No, no. Let's punish everyone to make it all EQUAL for everyone. Because life is equal, right? At work, we all get paid the same, right? Everyone is fast tracked on the same path, right? We all get promoted at the same time to the same positions, right?

What infuriates me in our school system is that we PAY for this nonsense. I don;t understand why more parents don't fight back. The school system is not all powerful. In Wake County, parents sue the school board all the time. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but some are fighting back. Elect officials who represent you!!! This is your child's education and we all need to demand better schools. More pay for better teachers. AAARRGGGG!

Whew! That felt good. I have to admit that we send our children to private school. I pay twice. But our system here is so messed up that I would live in a cardboard BOX before I put my kids in the public school. But I pay attention to who is on the School Board. I VOTE!

We are taking our kids out for a week in December. Granted, they are K and 1st grade, but they do more work in a day than their counterparts in the PS do in 3 days. And their teachers are fine with it. They are excited that we are taking a vacation with the kids to a wonderful place. They are thrilled that I have suggested they each keep a journal (yes, both can read and write). I have a bunch of cool things planned for Epcot as well.

Sorry to rant but missing two days of school and being threatened with criminal charges!!!! OMG!! What in the he** is happening to our school system. To our freedoms?? It is crazy. Just crazy. And we pay for it!!!

I gotta go lay down. My head hurts.:confused:

StitchandPooh'sMom
08-31-2007, 02:48 PM
Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with no child left behind. It is all about money. School districts loose money when children aren't in school. That's the bottom line. I am fortunate to send DS to a private school where it isn't a problem since their budget isn't based on a certain attendance per day.

In our case, it is money and state standards. The teachers receive a bonus if they meet AYP's and achieve high growth, so it is definitely to their financial advantage to make sure kids perform and are in school. I don't have a problem with that - I think teachers make far too little and they should be rewarded for performance. School districts lose money when they don't meet state standards. Having kids not show up for school probably affects that, although in our case, the kids were performing well despite being on trips.

The AYP goals are a state standard, and schools are ranked according to meeting their goals. It is in none of our best interests for our school to not be ranked highly. Even the people in our neighborhood who choose private schools want our school to be highly ranked - it helps property values as well as how well the community is regarded.

For those of you who choose private school or homeschooling - that's great if it works for you. I am very proud of our school and have chosen it intentionally, although we can afford private school and there are excellent ones in the area. Our school is one of the two best performing schools in the area - the other is another public school. My post was not intended to pit private schoolers or homeschoolers against those who have chosen public school. You might be fortunate to homeschool or to have your child in a private school. We are extremely fortunate to have the school and community that we do. I just thought is was interesting about the attendance policy change and thought some others who struggle with taking their kids out of school might also be interested. Obviously if you homeschool or are not accountable for attendance in your private school, it wouldn't apply to you.

StitchandPooh'sMom
08-31-2007, 03:00 PM
Just the public school mentality of catering to the lowest common denominator!

I live in NC, too, and our schools are in a crisis!!! What a crock it is to say that a family cannot take a child on a vacation and miss more than two days! The kid who missed 26 days should fail if he can't do the work. But, oh my! Fail a child??!! Teach a lesson??!!?? Make the parents sit up and take notice of their kid??!!?? No way! That might hurt the kids self esteem.



Actually, the kid who missed 26 days exceeded state standards for his grade level, as did 95% of the other kids at our school. Can't fail the child for attendance if no policy is in place, which was the case last year. We have taken DD out each year for a week with the blessing of her teacher. She has done a journal since kindergarten as well (yes, she could read and write then too).

The point was not that the kids were not meeting standards due to absences - it was that the SCHOOL was in danger of not meeting standards. Because unexcused absences count against school attendance and AYP goals, the school doesn't want unexcused absences. I doubt many of the families in our school will stop traveling - they will just call their child in sick every day. The test scores will stay high, the school will meet goals, and everyone will be happy. It's unfortunate we can't get absences excused for educational purposes - it would save the school the stress. Certainly some kids can't afford to miss days, but the absences were not relfected in last year's test scores - the kids still did great!

I didn't mean to start a debate about how bad public schools are versus private schools. We are thrilled with the education DD receives, as well as the qualifications of the teachers at her school. We have enough friends and family in other parts of NC to understand we are extremely blessed with our school. I just thought it was interesting what was going on behind the scenes - I thought as long as DD was doing well, it was no big deal how much she missed (although she hasn't missed more than five or six days for trips during any one school year). Now I know better!

Tissa
08-31-2007, 03:01 PM
We have a strict policy like that but it's really meant for the kids who can never seem to make it to school. It's very sad that some parents do not care or want to be bothered enough to get their kids to school. I took my boys out for a week last year and they didn't call the cops on me.:) but they had perfect attendance up until then and I let everyone know in advance. That was their first and last time to miss school for a vacation. We are just going to take vacations during the summer or spring break from now on.

ETA: We love our public schools too!

brooklynheights
08-31-2007, 03:01 PM
we are pulling the kids out to go to WDW they will get all their homework ahead of time and we planned the trip after the magic count day thats the day all kids are counted and that is what they base how much the school will get in funding I always thought they got the same but if kids don't show up that day schools loose out some even have prizes etc they hand out that day to those who show up if the teachers have issues with the kids not being there oh well family comes first and taking the trip on their breaks was not an option

dunbarfamily
08-31-2007, 03:02 PM
When I first read the title of this post, I was VERY mad! Before it even came up on my super dee dooper slow internet connection, I had already drafted a response and wondered if I'd come off sounding too "its-non-of-their-darn- business" -ish. But now, after reading some of the comments, I am rethinking it. I still think a lot of it comes down to money (I still remember teachers bribing students with candy if they came to school on the "First Friday" counts). I am still planning on pulling my kindergartener out of school for our trips in September and January.

I don't agree or disagree with the OP's school's decisions right now since I need to think on it some more, but I do think its a little drastic to involve the courts. It's a family vacation, for Pete's sake. Its not like the kid is missing half the school year because parents are too uncaring to make sure kid gets to school. Sheesh....

cissy
08-31-2007, 03:18 PM
But it does apply to us. I would LOVE to send my child to the public school I PAY FOR, but I won't. And the reality is that many of our highest ranking schools produce kids who can't make it in college. They are taught the test and can't think for themselves.

The public schools are forcing kids into a cookie cutter mold and it just doesn't work. We have an antiquated system built in the 50's and not much has changed since. It is an agriculturally based school year with a bureaucracy set up half a century ago. It needs a complete overhaul.

Our country has a massive problem with education. We are behind in almost every subject. We are ranked 23rd in math in the world!! In the seventies we were in the top 5!!! The drop-out rate is TERRIFYING!

And teachers should not make money based on attendance. Or end of year Federal testing. The truth is that some children should get left behind. Some should fail because they need to.

Charter schools are flooding into our area and I am glad to see it. Get the government our of the school system and schools WILL get better. It is happening all over the country. The Gates family is proving it, Tiger Woods' school is proving it and many others like it are proving that competition makes schools better. Europe does it that way and so does India.

The idea that the school can threaten you with criminal action over attendance should send you straight into politics!!! It is really scary:scared:

So, claim an aunt died or get your doc to write you a note. I would not trust the principal to cover your butt when you go. His salary depends on attendance, too!

cissy
08-31-2007, 03:35 PM
And one more thing...it is not "us against them" where education is concerned. The private schoolers and homeschoolers and public schoolers are all on the same side. The side of our kids.

I need public schools and homeschools and private schools to all be successful. It benefits our entire country when our kids are educated well. I am NOT against public schools but how they are managed. I want better for all our children. I don't think worse of anyone for sending their kids to PS. Most families don't have a choice. I am angry FOR THEM. Our schools should do better. And parents should demand better.

In Wake County, we have two School Board positions open this year. They are both unopposed!! We get 7,000 students a year here and they are unopposed. That says it all. I don't enjoy spending a fortune on school. But it makes me crazy that I am more involved in the PS debate than many of my friends whose children attend PS. They don't vote. They don't write their elected officials. It is sad.

Our officials need to do more and be better. But ultimately, we are our elected officials. We are the government. Each of us.

And that is all I have to say about that....:flower3:

StitchandPooh'sMom
08-31-2007, 07:19 PM
And one more thing...it is not "us against them" where education is concerned. The private schoolers and homeschoolers and public schoolers are all on the same side. The side of our kids.




I didn't mean to imply anything different if I did. :goodvibes I just didn't want this to turn into a "that's why my kids go to private school" or "that's why I homeschool" discussion, and it appeared to be headed that way.

While I am not crazy about the new policy and know that my DD would be fine missing a week of school because she would work to catch up, I have a better understanding of why it is the way it is.

I did tell our principal in the nicest possible way that our October cruise was paid in full and I would completely understand if the school social worker had to be notified, but my DD was going to miss two days of school and I would work with her teacher to keep her caught up in class. I also told her that we wouldn't plan any more trips this year outside of school breaks. Seems like a reasonable compromise given that the trip was planned and paid for prior to the policy being in place.

pfp258
08-31-2007, 07:34 PM
And yet my sixth and eighth grade daughters have to sit through assemblies (missing out on class time!) to listen to the coordinators for the all school magazine drive! And then if they sell enough magazines for the fundraiser they are again taken out of school (for two periods) to get in a limo and go out for lunch. Yet they think I don't have the right to take my children out of school for a family vacation? CRAZY!

Schmeck
08-31-2007, 07:35 PM
My oldest daughter will be missing school for non-school/non-illness reasons, and I have to fill out a special form at our school. It counts against our school ratings, but I won't lie just to make it easier for the school.

BTW, just because we're talking home school/private/public school... (and this is nothing personal, I had to learn which one to use with a trick! - and don't ask me desert/dessert. I mess that up 50% of the time)

It's "school districts lose money" not "loose money", and "loses out", not "looses out". You can lose a loose tooth - that's how I remember which is which.

mericletwins
08-31-2007, 07:44 PM
Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with no child left behind. It is all about money. School districts loose money when children aren't in school. That's the bottom line. I am fortunate to send DS to a private school where it isn't a problem since their budget isn't based on a certain attendance per day.

NCLB is all about money or withholding of money. It is really a crappy piece of legislation.

mericletwins
08-31-2007, 07:47 PM
I can't understand why Social Workers will be bogged down doing this type of bull crap work when there are thousands of children in the ghetto who aren't fed dinner and have to live in houses that are hang out spots for drug dealers and crackheads......Yet, ANOTHER reason why I'll be homeschooling. :confused3

Sorry, didn't mean to come off crazy, this stuff just grates on my nerves.....

It is all part of the school social workers job. In our district the school social worker has always been notified after so many absences. Probably not as few as in the OP's school, but that is their job. Now if they were notifying county or state social workers I could see how your nerves could be grated.:)

mericletwins
08-31-2007, 07:53 PM
But it does apply to us. I would LOVE to send my child to the public school I PAY FOR, but I won't. And the reality is that many of our highest ranking schools produce kids who can't make it in college. They are taught the test and can't think for themselves.



I agree about this and NCLB only forces more and more schools and teachers to teach to the test.

Mom2R&D
08-31-2007, 08:52 PM
The real kicker about NCLB and schools meeting their AYP for attendance is that the board only looks at TWENTY SPECIFIC school days out of the year. Not the whole year--TWENTY. MEASLY. DAYS.

And this year they're counting attendance from September 4 through October 1 at my oldest DS's school. And guess who has plans for WDW the last week of September?

I spoke to the interim principal and she told me that she would NOT excuse my son's absences NOR would she allow him to make up his work--he'd receive zeros in every class. :eek:

I was in severe panic mode. I finally calmed down and pulled the assistant principal aside and asked her what I should do...and another teacher suggested I withdraw my boys for a week and then re-enroll them a week later! INSANITY!

Fortunately, the interim principal is on her way out and I know the school secretary who said she will make sure his absences are "taken care of". :wizard:

My other son's school was a little more understanding (his absences will be unexcused but he will be allowed to make up his work) and the secretary said she wouldn't refer me to truancy court. :rolleyes: When I spoke to his teacher he said "Why didn't you lie?!" Well, because I'm trying to do this the RIGHT way! That'll teach me! He told us to go and enjoy ourselves and that he doubted he would assign DS much, if any work.

My boys usually have stellar attendance and this is the first time we've ever pulled them out of school. They are both on honor roll, too. It just makes me SICK--all of the bureaucratic baloney that people can create. :sad2: DH and I were just talking about this today...public school has become so bogged down in paperwork and grudge matches (a whole other topic) and has totally forgotten that their goal is educating our children!

StitchandPooh'sMom
08-31-2007, 09:16 PM
The real kicker about NCLB and schools meeting their AYP for attendence is that the board only looks at TWENTY SPECIFIC school days out of the year. Not the whole year--TWENTY. MEASLY. DAYS.



I had no idea! This has really been an education for me. I am starting to understand what the teachers and principals have to go through. I still would much rather go to WDW during Value season - too bad I don't know which twenty days count! :rotfl2:

Several people have told me I should just call DD in sick when we go on the cruise in October, but I am not going to do that. From my family's standpoint, I don't care if the absences are excused or not (DD's teacher said she can make up the work). The school cares because it matters to them, but DD is out of school either way. I am not afraid of the social worker, but I do feel guilty that we are contributing to the attendance problem since it apparently matters so much. It's just a shame that it has become such a big deal over two or three days missed from school. I remember being allowed 10 unexcused absences in high school (by the school, not my parents :rotfl2: ). It's unfortunate that it is such a concern in elementary school.

Mom2R&D
08-31-2007, 09:31 PM
I had no idea! This has really been an education for me. I am starting to understand what the teachers and principals have to go through. I still would much rather go to WDW during Value season - too bad I don't know which twenty days count! :rotfl2:

I had no idea either until I went to the PTO meeting and the principal made "The Announcement". :rolleyes: I was absolutely sick over the whole thing. Granted, I know it's not ideal for kids to miss that many days of school but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do--even if that means going to Disney!

I do wonder if the days vary from school to school or from year to year. I think it's absolutely asinine to look at attendance over a four week period to determine an overall "picture" of enrollment. What a bunch of crap.

Several people have told me I should just call DD in sick when we go on the cruise in October, but I am not going to do that. From my family's standpoint, I don't care if the absences are excused or not (DD's teacher said she can make up the work). The school cares because it matters to them, but DD is out of school either way. I am not afraid of the social worker, but I do feel guilty that we are contributing to the attendance problem since it apparently matters so much. It's just a shame that it has become such a big deal over two or three days missed from school. I remember being allowed 10 unexcused absences in high school (by the school, not my parents :rotfl2: ). It's unfortunate that it is such a concern in elementary school.

The general concensus among faculty (with exception to the principal ;) ) is to lie! I was shocked at how many people told me to make up a death in the family or some other sort of excuse! I told them all I was trying to do this the right way and to what end?! Not that I don't appreciate their words, I do realize they're trying to help...but wouldn't it be easier to have frank, open and honest communication with parents and school staff?

Another bone to pick is that the handbooks we were given have outdated absentee policy information in them. The handbooks we all read and had to sign acknowledging that we understood them says that family vacations can be pre-approved by the principal if given prior written notice. When I went to speak with my youngest DS's principal she informed me that that information was obsolete as it had been printed in May and the revised policy was printed in August! What?! It was in brochure form in the office. Um, yeah...lotta good that does me!

I'm not even approaching my older DS's teachers with his impending absences. I'm going to let the secretary handle it for me. I can't take anymore stress! :laughing:

IndianaMouseLover
09-01-2007, 01:23 AM
Alright I just could not read all of this and not reply, being I am an elementary principal in Indiana. :goodvibes

Indiana does funding totally different than what I am hearing from the rest of you. Here we have membership days each year. This comes three times a year. Sept., Dec. and Apr. We report to the state our ADM (average daily membership) based on those three days. ADM is the number of students enrolled in our school on those days. Our state funding is based on these numbers. Attendance for us in Indiana is only used to determine if we are meeting the standard for, PL 221, Public Law 221 (Indiana's School Improvement Law) and AYP. The requirements for PL 221 far exceed the requirements of NCLB. Go figure on that one.

I just hope that we will be going to a growth model very soon. That was the real intent of NCLB. But the real intent has been lost in politics.

I will offer more of my thoughts later. I need some rest right now.

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend with your children and family.:thumbsup2

MiniGirl
09-01-2007, 08:59 AM
I haven't read all the responses, so I hope I don't just repeat what everyone else says. I hate reading about this new policy though.

It is going to cost families in a lot of ways. There have been times when my oldest dd stayed home from school because she was sick. Now, she wasn't so sick that I'd take her to a doctor just to have the Dr. tell me what I already knew to do. Under this policy, parents will have to take their kids to the Dr's office for every little cough or sore throat OR send the kids to school sick. I don't like either of those options. And I don't want parents sending their sick kids to school with my dds. We battle enough of that already.

FTR, both of my dds will be missing a week of school for our cruise. I have not mentioned it to the teachers but I will at their Open House next week. I will also enquire about unenrolling them and then re-enrolling them. This way they won't show as absent because they are no longer in the system.

We have a great public school system where I live, and I have no qualms about the quality of education my girl receive. I don't like having to justify every decision we make as a family. As long as my girls are on track (and they are both ahead of the game at this point), it really shouldn't matter when we go on a family vacation.

MM27
09-01-2007, 12:37 PM
Just the public school mentality of catering to the lowest common denominator!

I live in NC, too, and our schools are in a crisis!!! What a crock it is to say that a family cannot take a child on a vacation and miss more than two days! The kid who missed 26 days should fail if he can't do the work. But, oh my! Fail a child??!! Teach a lesson??!!?? Make the parents sit up and take notice of their kid??!!?? No way! That might hurt the kids self esteem.

No, no. Let's punish everyone to make it all EQUAL for everyone. Because life is equal, right? At work, we all get paid the same, right? Everyone is fast tracked on the same path, right? We all get promoted at the same time to the same positions, right?

What infuriates me in our school system is that we PAY for this nonsense. I don;t understand why more parents don't fight back. The school system is not all powerful. In Wake County, parents sue the school board all the time. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but some are fighting back. Elect officials who represent you!!! This is your child's education and we all need to demand better schools. More pay for better teachers. AAARRGGGG!

Whew! That felt good. I have to admit that we send our children to private school. I pay twice. But our system here is so messed up that I would live in a cardboard BOX before I put my kids in the public school. But I pay attention to who is on the School Board. I VOTE!

We are taking our kids out for a week in December. Granted, they are K and 1st grade, but they do more work in a day than their counterparts in the PS do in 3 days. And their teachers are fine with it. They are excited that we are taking a vacation with the kids to a wonderful place. They are thrilled that I have suggested they each keep a journal (yes, both can read and write). I have a bunch of cool things planned for Epcot as well.

Sorry to rant but missing two days of school and being threatened with criminal charges!!!! OMG!! What in the he** is happening to our school system. To our freedoms?? It is crazy. Just crazy. And we pay for it!!!

I gotta go lay down. My head hurts.:confused:

I am a teacher and I have no issue with parents taking their kids out of school for family vacations. Personally, I don't think it's my business. I've had two instances of kids that have had outrageous numbers of days absent and they had nothing to do with vacations. One year I had a girl that was absent 107 days. I put in for a retention for her and her mother came in and complained to my old principal that her daughter was already left back once before and she promised she would work with her over the summer, blah, blah,blah. So of course, the girl is promoted. Last year I had a boy that not only was out at least 2 days every week, but his mother would pick him up almost every day by 1:00. Why 1:00? Because we switched classes in the afternoon and my class would go to Reading with my partner. He hated reading and would TELL his mother to pick him up AND SHE DID! So he would eat lunch, go play outside for recess and when they were lining up he would tell me that this hurt, or that hurt and "my mother said if I was hurting to go to the nurse" Again, tried retention but mom said NO. While my district doesn't have a policy against vacations, these are the people that are ruining it for you.

princess stich
09-01-2007, 01:21 PM
OT


and don't ask me desert/dessert. I mess that up 50% of the time



I always taught my students that dessert is fatter (has two s's) because if you eat dessert...then you get fatter!

Nanu57v
09-01-2007, 01:29 PM
You know its a shame there's a difference between excused and unexcused. I had perfect attendance for 3 out of the 4 years of high school. The other year we went to WDW. Fortunately for me it wasn't a big deal for me to miss school for WDW, but the fact that I missed NO other days of school should count for something if they need to.

Mouse House Mama
09-01-2007, 01:33 PM
Quite honestly, I don't care if any child only attended 1 day of school. If you know the work you should pass. Also- since they are my children I will decide when we vacation according to the needs of my family. Sorry if that sounds rude but I think the school social worker should concentrate efoorts on more important things. Things like this really annoy me.

I just wanted to add that at orientation for pre-school (private) for my 3 year old the director asked that we not take vacations during the school year because the kids will miss too much!!!

Claire&TheBoys
09-01-2007, 05:19 PM
I've never been on this board before (usually do theme parks!) but this really hit home for me. My older son started K this year and I had to fill out a "family leave request" that had to be approved by his teacher and the principal. That didn't bother me too much, but it states that we can have a maximum of 5 days/school year (we'll use 4 for our trip this coming week), and then I had to write why this vacation could not be scheduled at a time when school was not in session. That really bothered us. It's none of their business why we chose to vacation in Sept and not July. We had a good reason, though, so it was "approved." My husband was scheduled to return from Iraq in August, so we scheduled our vacation for Sept. I know they have to meet quotas and get their money, but we just thought that having to explain our parenting decisions was too intrusive.

At least we get 5 days, though! Two days is crazy and surely the school social worker has better things to do than call a bunch of parents all day.

Schmeck
09-01-2007, 05:31 PM
There is an extra burden placed on teachers when a child is absent excessively. The work just doesn't magically appear, it has to be put aside for that student every time a paper is handed out, an assignment is given, etc.

I don't know about other school districts, but we have a bare-bones staffing situation right now. There is no 'extra' staff to round up work, expecially ahead of time. Teachers do their own photocopying. When asking for work in advance, for a vacation, you are taking time away from other children's learning. That is another reason why schools are trying to discourage entensive absences.

guelde96
09-01-2007, 05:44 PM
Actually, the kid who missed 26 days exceeded state standards for his grade level, as did 95% of the other kids at our school. Can't fail the child for attendance if no policy is in place, which was the case last year. We have taken DD out each year for a week with the blessing of her teacher. She has done a journal since kindergarten as well (yes, she could read and write then too).

The point was not that the kids were not meeting standards due to absences - it was that the SCHOOL was in danger of not meeting standards. Because unexcused absences count against school attendance and AYP goals, the school doesn't want unexcused absences. I doubt many of the families in our school will stop traveling - they will just call their child in sick every day. The test scores will stay high, the school will meet goals, and everyone will be happy. It's unfortunate we can't get absences excused for educational purposes - it would save the school the stress. Certainly some kids can't afford to miss days, but the absences were not relfected in last year's test scores - the kids still did great!

I didn't mean to start a debate about how bad public schools are versus private schools. We are thrilled with the education DD receives, as well as the qualifications of the teachers at her school. We have enough friends and family in other parts of NC to understand we are extremely blessed with our school. I just thought it was interesting what was going on behind the scenes - I thought as long as DD was doing well, it was no big deal how much she missed (although she hasn't missed more than five or six days for trips during any one school year). Now I know better!


Have you actually checked to see if this is a NCLB standard to meet AYP or your schools. NCLB is nation wide not state wide. We do not have the same standards here.

Colleen27
09-01-2007, 05:45 PM
I went to DD8's curriculum meeting at school last night, and the principal broke the bad news. The school social worker will be notified if any child misses two days of school unexcused. After four days of unexcused absences, parents will be notified of the violation of the General Compulsory School Attendance Law (or something like that). After five unexcused days, Juvenile Court will be notified! Family trips are unexcused, and there is no provision for "excused for educational purposes".

Well, I had to fess up to the principal that DD is going to miss two days for our Wonder Cruise in October, but it is paid in full and was booked before the change. She understood and probably won't send me to jail! :rotfl2:

I learned that DD's school, which is an Honor School of Excellence with High Growth (highest category in NC public schools) almost missed its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goal for attendance, even though 95% of the students showed proficiency at grade level. They made the attendance standard by 0.1% and would have been considered a "failing school" if they had missed AYP. It was a big wake-up call to the administration, and they are cracking down on all the trips to Disney World! Our principal did say that one fifth grader had 26 unexcused absences last year - that is a lot!

I had read posts from teachers about the difficulty of meeting some of the No Child Left Behind standards, and now I understand. It makes me feel guilty that we have contributed to the problem since we love our school and are very proud of its rating. Good thing we are going to WDW for spring break, but I think we are done pulling our kids out of school. I had never given it much thought since DD's teachers always supported her trips and she always kept up with her work.

I didn't post to start a debate about the merits of family trips - it was just an eye-opening experience for me last night and I didn't understand the separate emphasis on attendance if the kids were performing. Now I know, and I thought it was all very interesting!

First of all, i just have to say that policy sucks! Not just for families who will be effected, but also for the social workers and truancy officers that will be burdened by all these frivolous reports.

I understand it is a necessary evil in the NCLB era, and I can only hope that changes are made to that draconian legislation sooner rather than later. Our new principal said point blank that she's resisting making changes to the attendance policy for as long as she can, but since *progress* rather than *results* are what matter, it is inevitable that no matter how good the school's overall attendance numbers are, they will at some point be expected to improve. Stupid, IMO, since the attendance numbers for our school are already excellent (only 2% of the students missed more than 10 days last year). It seems so unnecessary to impose "no family vacation" rules in high performing districts that excel on measures of parental involvement, but that's exactly what will have to happen to continue to make progress because NCLB doesn't have a reasonable and attainable goal at which maintainence is sufficient.

I really feel for all the teachers and administrators who are under all this pressure to crack down on such "evils" as family vacations. That has to be a lousy position to be in. :sad2:

Colleen27
09-01-2007, 05:51 PM
Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with no child left behind. It is all about money. School districts loose money when children aren't in school. That's the bottom line. I am fortunate to send DS to a private school where it isn't a problem since their budget isn't based on a certain attendance per day.

Not all states use daily attendance for funding. Some use "audit" days and average the attendance numbers collected on a handful of designated days over the course of the year, and I believe NCLB uses a similar scheme.

guelde96
09-01-2007, 05:55 PM
But it does apply to us. I would LOVE to send my child to the public school I PAY FOR, but I won't. And the reality is that many of our highest ranking schools produce kids who can't make it in college. They are taught the test and can't think for themselves.

The public schools are forcing kids into a cookie cutter mold and it just doesn't work. We have an antiquated system built in the 50's and not much has changed since. It is an agriculturally based school year with a bureaucracy set up half a century ago. It needs a complete overhaul.

Our country has a massive problem with education. We are behind in almost every subject. We are ranked 23rd in math in the world!! In the seventies we were in the top 5!!! The drop-out rate is TERRIFYING!

And teachers should not make money based on attendance. Or end of year Federal testing. The truth is that some children should get left behind. Some should fail because they need to.

Charter schools are flooding into our area and I am glad to see it. Get the government our of the school system and schools WILL get better. It is happening all over the country. The Gates family is proving it, Tiger Woods' school is proving it and many others like it are proving that competition makes schools better. Europe does it that way and so does India.

The idea that the school can threaten you with criminal action over attendance should send you straight into politics!!! It is really scary:scared:

So, claim an aunt died or get your doc to write you a note. I would not trust the principal to cover your butt when you go. His salary depends on attendance, too!

Do you realize that the rankings for other Countries are based on their best. In America we offer all of our children the best free public education. In foreign countries they streamline their kids into the trade programs or academic. This is the reason America falls behind after the 4th grade. They are only testing their best, while we test them all. You really need to look into this. Education is key.

AuroraBeauty
09-01-2007, 06:12 PM
This discussion is quite interesting for a number of reasons.

First, the average child missing a few days for vacation is not going to cause the school to fall behind in testing scores because most reasonable parents of children who are not doing well in school are not going to reward the child by taking him/her out of school for a week to go on vacation.

Second, there is the idea of brining schoolwork on vacation or doing it before the child returns to school so he/she is aware of what is going on in class. It is the parent's responsibility to keep the child up to date so that this one child does not (a) feel left behind when back at school and (b) does not become a burden to the teacher because they are unfamiliar with the materials being taugh.

Third, it is our responsibility as parents to make sure our kids are prepared for school each day. If our schedules require that our child(ren) are out of school for a family vacation, it is our responsibility that our child is not behind when school is back in session.

Fourth, the 'zero-tolerance absence policies' that are being imposed are actually hurting the 'average' families when in fact they were probably put in place to catch those kids whose parents don't insist their child go to school or in some cases where the child (even tiny ones) are responsible for getting themselves to school because mom/dad have to leave at 6am to go to their first job of the day. There is a huge difference between a child who will miss 5+ days to go on a family vacation and a child who misses 26 days because there is no parent at home who really cares.

This type of policy does not address the cause but only the symptom.

DisneyCrazyX5
09-01-2007, 06:39 PM
There is an extra burden placed on teachers when a child is absent excessively. The work just doesn't magically appear, it has to be put aside for that student every time a paper is handed out, an assignment is given, etc.

I don't know about other school districts, but we have a bare-bones staffing situation right now. There is no 'extra' staff to round up work, expecially ahead of time. Teachers do their own photocopying. When asking for work in advance, for a vacation, you are taking time away from other children's learning. That is another reason why schools are trying to discourage entensive absences.

I am taking my boys (6th grade, first and first grades) out for 7 day this year (11/7-11/16) We took our older son out for 6 days last time with not problems. But I did not ask for the work ahead of time. I asked the teacher's to put all the work in a folder and told them he would be try to finish it during Thanksgiving break. This seemed to be a great solution for us all. But I am so lucky to have a great school to work with (I also sub for them) and boys who are great students. I do look at the school schedule for testing before scheduling a trip. I did feel a little guilty about the extra day, but a day to rest after driving from Ohio (before tackling Disney) will make our whole trip better for us all. This will also be our last school ear trip - since our older son will be in Jr. High next year, I think it is harder to miss than.

lovetoscrap
09-01-2007, 07:02 PM
I haven't talked to my kids schools yet, but I really don't give two hoots if they excuse it or not. We will probably be taking an extra week after Spring Break off. I am sure they are going to have a FIT over it.

I am a good parent and my kids are good students. There is absolutely no reason for the school to hold them back based on attendance because we went on vactation and they got sick few times (which I know they will). I love how they won't hold them back for academic reasons, but as soon as you refuse to get a Dr. note or take a vacation (and they still do the work) they threaten to hold your child back because they missed 11 days.

If they want to send the school nurse to my house to verify that my child is running a temp or throwing up, then they are welcome to. But to tell parents that a child has to have a Dr. note to be excused for illness orf X days ( I think it is 2 or 3 days here) is INSANE. I will not pay to go to the Dr. with a sick kid when it is obviously viral and there is nothing the dr can do.

I will take my vacations when I want to. I will accept the NATURAL consequenses of what happens to my child's grades because of the time they missed. If they fall behind and need to catch back up with my help then so be it. But to impose unnatural consequenses by refusing to provide the work, flat out giving 0's, or threatening to hold a child back is absolutely ridiculous.

I think if some of these cases do get to the courts the schools are really going to lose credibility. When they start dragging the Room Mother, PTA volunteer, parent of a straight A kid that missed 5 days of school for a vacation and another few days for illness, into the courtroom hoping to have sanctions imposed they are going to get their butts handed to them. Save the empty threats--they don't scare me.

StitchandPooh'sMom
09-01-2007, 07:42 PM
Have you actually checked to see if this is a NCLB standard to meet AYP or your schools. NCLB is nation wide not state wide. We do not have the same standards here.

I do know that NCLB is nationwide. As far as I know, the attendance policy is county specific to meet NC state standards for attendance.

Mouse House Mama
09-01-2007, 07:42 PM
There is an extra burden placed on teachers when a child is absent excessively. The work just doesn't magically appear, it has to be put aside for that student every time a paper is handed out, an assignment is given, etc.
I don't know about other school districts, but we have a bare-bones staffing situation right now. There is no 'extra' staff to round up work, expecially ahead of time. Teachers do their own photocopying. When asking for work in advance, for a vacation, you are taking time away from other children's learning. That is another reason why schools are trying to discourage entensive absences.


What is the difference if they put the paper on my child's desk or if it stays on the teacher's desk?

cissy
09-01-2007, 07:44 PM
Do you realize that the rankings for other Countries are based on their best. In America we offer all of our children the best free public education. In foreign countries they streamline their kids into the trade programs or academic. This is the reason America falls behind after the 4th grade. They are only testing their best, while we test them all. You really need to look into this. Education is key.

Check out the following on the 20/20 site:

John Stossel's 'Stupid in America'


Also, here is a great article:

U.S. falls in education rank compared to other countries
Story posted: 10-04-2005 07:07

By Elaine Wu
U-Wire

The United States is falling when it comes to international education rankings, as recent studies show that other nations in the developed world have more effective education systems.

In a 2003 study conducted by UNICEF that took the averages from five different international education studies, the researchers ranked the United States No. 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system.

Another prominent 2003 study, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, shows a steady decline in the performance of American students from grades 4 to 12 in comparison to their peers in other countries.

In both studies, Finland, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands and the United Kingdom beat the United States, while the Asian nations of South Korea, Japan and Singapore ranked first through third, respectively.

The TIMSS study is a comprehensive study done on a four-year cycle that measures the progress of students in math and science in 46 participating countries. It evaluates fourth, eighth and 12th-graders through questionnaires, tests and extensive videotaping of classroom environments.

The TIMSS results reveal a lot about the weaknesses of the U.S. education system, said David Marsh, a professor at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
“In fourth grade, American kids do above average internationally. By eighth grade, they slip a bit, and by 12th-grade, they’ve slipped a lot,” Marsh said. “We’re the only country that slides down that much from fourth to 12th grade.”

Although studies have attempted to illuminate the reasons for this downward slide, no conclusive explanations have been drawn.

The UNICEF report finds that educational success or failure is not directly linked to funding, and that there is no clear link between student-to-teacher ratios and test results.
By international standards, the United States spends a lot of money on education, and in terms of class sizes, a lot of countries that do well have larger class sizes than the United States, Marsh said.

Marsh said that he attributes U.S. rankings to a different set of reasons —namely, the way material is being taught in classrooms.

“The United States focuses more on procedure, and we try to teach many topics fast. Other countries tend to break topics up and go much more in-depth. They work on the concept, not just the procedure,” Marsh said. “Countries that did well in rankings focused on teaching the ideas and taught a few topics a year. Kids will learn what a fraction really is, not just how to add or subtract them.”

For example, teachers in the United States tend to teach in whole numbers, while other countries use rulers so children are able to see that there are numbers between whole numbers, Marsh said.

When kids are taught the procedure, and not the concept behind a subject, they tend to forget more quickly, he said.

Peter Luevano, assistant principal at Jefferson High School, cites different reasons for the decline in the U.S. education system.

“There are environmental factors that are involved. I think there’s a shift in the mentality of both kids and parents,” he said. “Kids value different things these days, and schools are more diverse than they were 15 or 20 years ago. We’re more open culturally, but that has caused more division rather than unity in the country. Parent involvement has also decreased, and there are also discipline factors involved. Schools have lost a lot of control.”

But the United States is taking steps toward improving education standards in the country.
In 2002, the Bush administration signed the No Child Left Behind Act, which places accountability for progress upon schools and doles out regular standardized testing.
The act is geared toward encouraging higher academic achievement among students, particularly those that come from poor minority backgrounds.

But some students at USC cannot see how the law is proving effective.

“Because the only way we measure how well students do is through testing, teachers end up teaching how to take the test, and not necessarily the subject matter,” said Megan Baaske, a sophomore majoring in history and communication. “Great, students can take a test, but they don’t know anything.”

“The U.S. caters to students’ needs and wants,” said Matias Sueldo, a sophomore majoring in international relations who spent part of his education in Argentina. “Kids here learn to pass a test, but they don’t learn the concepts. In Argentina, you either know it or you don’t.”
Emily Gamelson, a junior majoring in history, thinks that the low student achievement in U.S. schools has a lot to do with the lack of competition.

“Ambition and the motivation to achieve aren’t really inspired in our education system,” Gamelson said. “Since education is available to everyone, there’s not a lot of competition in our schools. Other countries force kids to focus at an earlier age, and there’s more competition to deal with.”

Some countries offer more incentives for students to do better. In Denmark and Finland, for instance, ninth and 10th grade are separated from 11th and 12th grade, encouraging students to do better and compete to get into the higher grades.

“It’s basically the teaching system, the values and cultures of a country that underlie its education system,” Sueldo said. “Other factors like funding really have nothing to do with it.”
But Luevano said that he thinks there are difficulties in even comparing U.S. schools, especially public ones, to ones abroad.

“Other countries might have a more homogenous population,” he said. “(Here) you have different cultures, different communities and kids who come from different backgrounds. You don’t have the same socioeconomic standards. It’s hard to be compared.”

Nevertheless, the published education rankings remain displeasing to some people.

“I think it’s ironic that the United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world and yet we can’t even properly educate our own students,” Baaske said. “Our priorities are in the wrong place.”

But Marsh believes we can make a change for the better.

“If we do this right, we can be a real educational leader in the world,” he said. “But the state of education in the United States is a serious situation that demands our attention.”

END OF ARTICLE

Please don't believe for one second that our educational system is okay. It's not. NO ONE in this country deserves more respect than our teachers. They have the hardest job in the world and are certainly not in it for the money. They have enormous pressures put on them to graduate children whether those children are ready or not.

The system is in a quagmire of red tape, government regulation and antiquated bureaucracy.

We have done our children no favors with NCLB. Great idea, lousy implementation!!

Ad for streamlining into trades, why not? Why does the kid who can take apart a car engine at 15 have to fail out of school because he doesn't score well in language on an SAT? Why does a kid who can write poetry at 12 have to suffer through failing science until she is so discouraged she quits trying at any subject? Children do all fit into one mold. But our public schools are designed to force that mold or damage the clay in the process. A kinetic learner is doomed in the public school. So is a tactile learner. And yet, most of the great artists and thinkers are these types of learners.

The philosophy of our school system needs to change. Smaller classes, more pay for teachers, "new" methods of learning. Potential can not be measured on a standardized test. But standardized tests can crush potential.

Schmeck
09-01-2007, 08:14 PM
What is the difference if they put the paper on my child's desk or if it stays on the teacher's desk?

Kids pass papers to each other - a teacher that has to fill 2-3 folders every day, 6-8 times a day is losing time that could be spent helping the kids that are present in class. I've worked in various grades for 6 years, I've seen how it can take up a surprising amount of a teacher's time. Also, not all work is ready days ahead of time, so if you ask for it to take with you, the teacher has to spend time to get it all together.

Of course kids are going to be absent from class. My younger daughter missed 2 1/2 weeks of school because she had pneumonia. Of course there isn't too much work to be made up in first grade (she did have to do one project) but I know the teacher had to spend a bit of time with her when she got back to catch her up on a few subjects. I volunteered in the classroom once a week, and got her caught up on some stuff myself.

If 2-3 kids need this extra support each week, it's going to take a lot of class teaching time (and supervision) away from the class.

At the high school level it's even more difficult, as the work brought home isn't always understood by the parents. Students would either have to go before or after school for extra help, if the teacher is available, or try to get some time with the teacher during class, which isn't always possible either. I watched a girl constantly bug her teacher during class because she didn't know the material. She had been away for an extended vacation over Thanskgiving, had a lovely tan, and insisted that the class stop getting new material until she caught up... :sad2: :rolleyes: She was definitely an extreme example, I know.

GJM
09-01-2007, 08:30 PM
I was just talking to a friend about this the other day. She said our school you can't have more then 5 unexcused absences. I probably wouldn't take my DS out this year, because he had a hard time last year in school. But if I wanted to I think I should be able to since he is my child.


When I was working we couldn't take vacations in the summer or holidays - that was our busy time. Not all families can take vacation in the summer or when the kids are off from school.


I think each of us know our own kids and how well they will handle missing school for a week.

cinderella73
09-01-2007, 09:09 PM
This is another reason why I homeschool. The school district totally abuses their station and intimidates parents making them feel powerless when its the parents paying the taxes that help run the school. In the end its simple though. Its about the money . Not to mention not wanting to let go of the power they have taken from the hands of trusting parents. I am not talking about all the good and caring teachers. But the higher ups in the school districts. The ones that make the rules that protect their paychecks .They dont have our childrens best interests at heart. But they sure care about their wallets.

darlak
09-01-2007, 09:42 PM
OP, my county's attendance policy is very similar to the one your school will be implementing. Anything over 5 unexcused days per semester and a child can not receive credit for that semester. This has been our policy for a number of years.

My DD13 will miss 6 school days for our trip to WDW later this month. This is our 4 Sept. trip in a row. She is an honor student and made the National Junior Honor Society last year.

I'll put on flame suit before I go ahead and admit that I do this by having her ped. write a medical excuse for 5 of the missed days. Her doctor knows where we are going. This is a benefit of using the same ped. for 24 years and through 4 children. A dear friend of mine is also the district attendance officer in our area. She also knows where we are going and now tells me that she doesn't want to know anymore when we plan our WDW trips. ;)

ETA...While I'm being so honest, let me just go ahead and admit that DD will NOT be doing any school work while we're there. However, she will work extra hard to do the make-up work when we get home.

cissy
09-01-2007, 10:11 PM
OP, my county's attendance policy is very similar to the one your school will be implementing. Anything over 5 unexcused days per semester and a child can not receive credit for that semester. This has been our policy for a number of years.

My DD13 will miss 6 school days for our trip to WDW later this month. This is our 4 Sept. trip in a row. She is an honor student and made the National Junior Honor Society last year.

I'll put on flame suit before I go ahead and admit that I do this by having her ped. write a medical excuse for 5 of the missed days. Her doctor knows where we are going. This is a benefit of using the same ped. for 24 years and through 4 children. A dear friend of mine is also the district attendance officer in our area. She also knows where we are going and now tells me that she doesn't want to know anymore when we plan our WDW trips. ;)

ETA...While I'm being so honest, let me just go ahead and admit that DD will NOT be doing any school work while we're there. However, she will work extra hard to do the make-up work when we get home.

:thumbsup2 :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

JAM3
09-01-2007, 10:18 PM
I have to say, as a teacher, some of the comments are quite strong. A day spent teaching is a lot more than worksheets that can be made up on a vacation. A child misses all the talking and lessons that surrounds a topic. Most teachers in my district do not simply rely on worksheets and reading to teach. They use hands on activities, peer work, peer editing, teacher meetings with the students, lecturing with classroom discussion and then worksheet to supplement the teaching. To say a student will make up everything they will miss is stating the impossible. To say they will make up the homework and read up on the missed work is more accurate. It takes a great deal of time to develop a vacation packet for a student. Trying to figure out what activities can be done while on vacation and how to modify others. At some points I was making up a vacation pack every week for a different student!

Saying all this would make you think that I am against taking your child out for a vacation. Actually I am not. I just think after reading this entire thread that some people do not understand the amount of content that is actually missed while a student is out. I have no problem with families taking vacations during school. Just recognize that we do more than pass out a paper for your child to complete. I always appreciated the parents that told me that they realized that they would miss a lot while they were gone. Then told me it was up to me if I wanted to create a vacation packet before they went, after they came back or just catch them up on what I could when they came back.

I think schools having a strict policy on attendance is not really needed. If a student can go on a vacation once in awhile, come back and still do well on a test covering the content they missed it is fine. (As long as staff members were not the ones spending hours catching them up) If student can not do this it is fine too, parents just then have to accept their low test grade for the material missed.

bzzymom
09-02-2007, 12:46 AM
I agree that making up the work at home isn't the same as in class. I value my children's education. I do send my son to a catholic school, but this is for religious reasons than our public school issues. I just wish in general, that school boards could be more understanding about vacations. Not everyone can vacation during the summer, in fact, I haven't had a granted vacation in June, July or Aug since 1999. Last Aug we went to WDW for a week, I thought my vacation was granted when I bought our tickets and vacation package, but 3 weeks before the trip, I was told it would not granted because of too many vacancies...a gal retired, another tore her achilles tendon and we were too short staffed. I had to trade days and when I came back I had to work various shifts several days in a row. My boss doesn't allow any vacation during the time school is on break at Christmastime. Not to be cruel, but it is a busy time at work and hard to get people to sign up extra to cover vacancies during that time. Spring break week is hard to get. I last got that off in 1993.

Believe me, I would be happy to to go in the summer. It isn't a value season vs peak season money issue. When I go on vacation, I want to take my children. We would never be able to go anywhere at all if I weren't allowed to take my children out of school.

JAM3
09-02-2007, 12:56 AM
I do think school districts often do not understand how hard it is for some people to get approved vacation time during school breaks. Often because they usually automatically have it these times off themselves. Value vs peak season is a big difference too!
Your overall experience is different based on the crowds, weather and time of the year you go. So I think a little flexibilty is essential for everyone!

DisneyAprilFool
09-02-2007, 02:02 AM
IMHO, it isn't that teachers just pass out papers and that's the end of their responsibility- but it's the fact that taking a child out of school for a family vacation can be just as, if not more, educational, then that same child sitting in a classroom with 30 other students listening to a teacher- so it's tough for me when I read that schools are refusing to let families take vacations during the school year.

Life cannot all be learned in books or on chalkboards or even in the classroom. While I appreciate everything my children's teachers put into their education, I, as the parent, should also be able to choose when to take them out of school to learn a little bit about 'life' through living.

Hope that makes some sense! After all, it is almost midnight here!

badblackpug
09-02-2007, 02:12 AM
I have to agree with school policies. I think that education should be prioritzed with children. While some children can miss a week of school and make up the work with ease, others can't. In a perfect world, parents would be responsible and not allow a struggling child, or a child who aready has excessive absences, to miss school, but this is not a perfect world. The policies have to be made regarding absences, because, unfortunately, there is a problem with absenteeism, and these policies MUST include everyone equally.

Male up work or extra instruction also invovles a burden on the teacher. I think it is unfair to think that a teacher is merely a buch of worksheets. There is so much more that goes into his/her day. Not to mention tests and projects that have to be made up have to be done so on the teacher's time.

Family vacations can be scheduled around school holidays, minimizing absences. Missing one or two days is preferable to missing a week or several weeks in a row.

*donning flame suit*

It is unethical to ask a doctor to falsify medical records and it is unethical for him to do so.

darlak
09-02-2007, 02:37 AM
*donning flame suit*

It is unethical to ask a doctor to falsify medical records and it is unethical for him to do so.

Not disagreeing with your point, but the doctor in my case was neither asked nor did she offer to "falsify medical records". She faxed a medical excuse to the school with the start and end dates of my DD's absences. No explaination is required or given. Medical records are not required for a medically excused absence and it is not noted in my DD's file at the doctor's office when she is provided with a school excuse. So my situation, while admittedly dishonest, is not unethical, or at least not for the reasons you mentioned.

Mouse House Mama
09-02-2007, 08:10 AM
IMHO, it isn't that teachers just pass out papers and that's the end of their responsibility- but it's the fact that taking a child out of school for a family vacation can be just as, if not more, educational, then that same child sitting in a classroom with 30 other students listening to a teacher- so it's tough for me when I read that schools are refusing to let families take vacations during the school year.

Life cannot all be learned in books or on chalkboards or even in the classroom. While I appreciate everything my children's teachers put into their education, I, as the parent, should also be able to choose when to take them out of school to learn a little bit about 'life' through living.

Hope that makes some sense! After all, it is almost midnight here!


This is absolutley true!!!! My kids are taught more about culture at the World Showcase by DH and I then they will ever learn in school. Yes- we explain different cultures and traditions even on vacation. When we went to Boston they got a history lesson as well. Oh and they are all 5 and under. Yesterday they learned about math while helping my dh build a pirate ship for our halloween display (it is going to be awesome!). I have great respect for school teachers but they aren't the book of knowledge. Children need to learn many things and should not be confined to a classroom for all of it.

Mouse House Mama
09-02-2007, 08:17 AM
I have to agree with school policies. I think that education should be prioritzed with children. While some children can miss a week of school and make up the work with ease, others can't. In a perfect world, parents would be responsible and not allow a struggling child, or a child who aready has excessive absences, to miss school, but this is not a perfect world. The policies have to be made regarding absences, because, unfortunately, there is a problem with absenteeism, and these policies MUST include everyone equally.

Male up work or extra instruction also invovles a burden on the teacher. I think it is unfair to think that a teacher is merely a buch of worksheets. There is so much more that goes into his/her day. Not to mention tests and projects that have to be made up have to be done so on the teacher's time.

Family vacations can be scheduled around school holidays, minimizing absences. Missing one or two days is preferable to missing a week or several weeks in a row.
*donning flame suit*

It is unethical to ask a doctor to falsify medical records and it is unethical for him to do so.


While in theory that sounds great, in reality it isn't. Most days off from school are because of religious holidays. Those who celebrate them are not going to book a cruise during that time. It would interfere with their religious practices and I wholeheartedly agree with them. Other breaks from school are when the school sees fit. What if I called the school and said "Hmmm....spring break doesn't work for me this year. Let's change it to this week. etc." My DH can't just take off of work when he feels like it. When I was working there was no way I could get off during peak times. Meaning everyone else has kids too and if they have seniority then they get off first. So I should never vacation with my family together since we can't all get off at the same time?
I think the school has no business telling us when we can vacation. Yes it is my responsibility to keep my child up to date and I do. I will ask the teacher what they will be learning during the time we are gone. If they cannot provide the work for my child I will work my own lesson around it.

StitchandPooh'sMom
09-02-2007, 08:26 AM
I have to say, as a teacher, some of the comments are quite strong. A day spent teaching is a lot more than worksheets that can be made up on a vacation. A child misses all the talking and lessons that surrounds a topic. Most teachers in my district do not simply rely on worksheets and reading to teach. They use hands on activities, peer work, peer editing, teacher meetings with the students, lecturing with classroom discussion and then worksheet to supplement the teaching. To say a student will make up everything they will miss is stating the impossible. To say they will make up the homework and read up on the missed work is more accurate. It takes a great deal of time to develop a vacation packet for a student. Trying to figure out what activities can be done while on vacation and how to modify others. At some points I was making up a vacation pack every week for a different student!




I completely agree with you. When we have taken DD out of school, she has kept a journal, done her reading, and done a few worksheets. I have spent enough time in her classroom each year to know they do so much more than that! There is no substitute for classroom instruction. If she were not a quick learner and generally above grade level, as well as being a hard worker by nature, I wouldn't have taken her out of school in the past. I know that is not the case with all parents or even all circumstances.

While I am sad that we can't take DD out of school for a week anymore, I do understand the policy and will abide by it for the most part. We have seen people take their kids out for weeks at a time to go to Europe (or WDW or somewhere else), and the kids are struggling to stay at grade level. While I believe family travel has its own educational benefits and the kids can experience things that they don't learn in school, I also know the schools have to make sure the kids can meet standards. The policy takes the choice away from the parents, but I think it is as much about meeting the attendance goal as making sure students don't miss class so they can stay caught up. It just seems kind if arbitrary, especially as I read other posts about certain days being used for attendance instead of the whole year. I could easily work with a policy of five unexcused absences, but two seems pretty strict to me! Fortunately we have already planned WDW for spring break - our first time going that time of year.

guelde96
09-02-2007, 08:51 AM
Wait til you go over spring break. Then decide if you will ever take your child out of school for a trip to Disney again. We made this mistake on our first trip to Disney not knowing any better. Never again will we go to Disney when school is out.

The schools seem to be forgetting how much children learn from their parents. Spending time with your family is extremely important.

guelde96
09-02-2007, 09:03 AM
I completely agree with you. When we have taken DD out of school, she has kept a journal, done her reading, and done a few worksheets. I have spent enough time in her classroom each year to know they do so much more than that! There is no substitute for classroom instruction. If she were not a quick learner and generally above grade level, as well as being a hard worker by nature, I wouldn't have taken her out of school in the past. I know that is not the case with all parents or even all circumstances.

While I am sad that we can't take DD out of school for a week anymore, I do understand the policy and will abide by it for the most part. We have seen people take their kids out for weeks at a time to go to Europe (or WDW or somewhere else), and the kids are struggling to stay at grade level. While I believe family travel has its own educational benefits and the kids can experience things that they don't learn in school, I also know the schools have to make sure the kids can meet standards. The policy takes the choice away from the parents, but I think it is as much about meeting the attendance goal as making sure students don't miss class so they can stay caught up. It just seems kind if arbitrary, especially as I read other posts about certain days being used for attendance instead of the whole year. I could easily work with a policy of five unexcused absences, but two seems pretty strict to me! Fortunately we have already planned WDW for spring break - our first time going that time of year.

Check out the following on the 20/20 site:

John Stossel's 'Stupid in America'


Also, here is a great article:

U.S. falls in education rank compared to other countries
Story posted: 10-04-2005 07:07

By Elaine Wu
U-Wire

The United States is falling when it comes to international education rankings, as recent studies show that other nations in the developed world have more effective education systems.

In a 2003 study conducted by UNICEF that took the averages from five different international education studies, the researchers ranked the United States No. 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system.

Another prominent 2003 study, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, shows a steady decline in the performance of American students from grades 4 to 12 in comparison to their peers in other countries.

In both studies, Finland, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands and the United Kingdom beat the United States, while the Asian nations of South Korea, Japan and Singapore ranked first through third, respectively.

The TIMSS study is a comprehensive study done on a four-year cycle that measures the progress of students in math and science in 46 participating countries. It evaluates fourth, eighth and 12th-graders through questionnaires, tests and extensive videotaping of classroom environments.

The TIMSS results reveal a lot about the weaknesses of the U.S. education system, said David Marsh, a professor at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
“In fourth grade, American kids do above average internationally. By eighth grade, they slip a bit, and by 12th-grade, they’ve slipped a lot,” Marsh said. “We’re the only country that slides down that much from fourth to 12th grade.”

Although studies have attempted to illuminate the reasons for this downward slide, no conclusive explanations have been drawn.

The UNICEF report finds that educational success or failure is not directly linked to funding, and that there is no clear link between student-to-teacher ratios and test results.
By international standards, the United States spends a lot of money on education, and in terms of class sizes, a lot of countries that do well have larger class sizes than the United States, Marsh said.

Marsh said that he attributes U.S. rankings to a different set of reasons —namely, the way material is being taught in classrooms.

“The United States focuses more on procedure, and we try to teach many topics fast. Other countries tend to break topics up and go much more in-depth. They work on the concept, not just the procedure,” Marsh said. “Countries that did well in rankings focused on teaching the ideas and taught a few topics a year. Kids will learn what a fraction really is, not just how to add or subtract them.”

For example, teachers in the United States tend to teach in whole numbers, while other countries use rulers so children are able to see that there are numbers between whole numbers, Marsh said.

When kids are taught the procedure, and not the concept behind a subject, they tend to forget more quickly, he said.

Peter Luevano, assistant principal at Jefferson High School, cites different reasons for the decline in the U.S. education system.

“There are environmental factors that are involved. I think there’s a shift in the mentality of both kids and parents,” he said. “Kids value different things these days, and schools are more diverse than they were 15 or 20 years ago. We’re more open culturally, but that has caused more division rather than unity in the country. Parent involvement has also decreased, and there are also discipline factors involved. Schools have lost a lot of control.”

But the United States is taking steps toward improving education standards in the country.
In 2002, the Bush administration signed the No Child Left Behind Act, which places accountability for progress upon schools and doles out regular standardized testing.
The act is geared toward encouraging higher academic achievement among students, particularly those that come from poor minority backgrounds.

But some students at USC cannot see how the law is proving effective.

“Because the only way we measure how well students do is through testing, teachers end up teaching how to take the test, and not necessarily the subject matter,” said Megan Baaske, a sophomore majoring in history and communication. “Great, students can take a test, but they don’t know anything.”

“The U.S. caters to students’ needs and wants,” said Matias Sueldo, a sophomore majoring in international relations who spent part of his education in Argentina. “Kids here learn to pass a test, but they don’t learn the concepts. In Argentina, you either know it or you don’t.”
Emily Gamelson, a junior majoring in history, thinks that the low student achievement in U.S. schools has a lot to do with the lack of competition.

“Ambition and the motivation to achieve aren’t really inspired in our education system,” Gamelson said. “Since education is available to everyone, there’s not a lot of competition in our schools. Other countries force kids to focus at an earlier age, and there’s more competition to deal with.”

Some countries offer more incentives for students to do better. In Denmark and Finland, for instance, ninth and 10th grade are separated from 11th and 12th grade, encouraging students to do better and compete to get into the higher grades.

“It’s basically the teaching system, the values and cultures of a country that underlie its education system,” Sueldo said. “Other factors like funding really have nothing to do with it.”
But Luevano said that he thinks there are difficulties in even comparing U.S. schools, especially public ones, to ones abroad.

“Other countries might have a more homogenous population,” he said. “(Here) you have different cultures, different communities and kids who come from different backgrounds. You don’t have the same socioeconomic standards. It’s hard to be compared.”

Nevertheless, the published education rankings remain displeasing to some people.

“I think it’s ironic that the United States is the richest and most powerful country in the world and yet we can’t even properly educate our own students,” Baaske said. “Our priorities are in the wrong place.”

But Marsh believes we can make a change for the better.

“If we do this right, we can be a real educational leader in the world,” he said. “But the state of education in the United States is a serious situation that demands our attention.”

END OF ARTICLE

Please don't believe for one second that our educational system is okay. It's not. NO ONE in this country deserves more respect than our teachers. They have the hardest job in the world and are certainly not in it for the money. They have enormous pressures put on them to graduate children whether those children are ready or not.

The system is in a quagmire of red tape, government regulation and antiquated bureaucracy.

We have done our children no favors with NCLB. Great idea, lousy implementation!!

Ad for streamlining into trades, why not? Why does the kid who can take apart a car engine at 15 have to fail out of school because he doesn't score well in language on an SAT? Why does a kid who can write poetry at 12 have to suffer through failing science until she is so discouraged she quits trying at any subject? Children do all fit into one mold. But our public schools are designed to force that mold or damage the clay in the process. A kinetic learner is doomed in the public school. So is a tactile learner. And yet, most of the great artists and thinkers are these types of learners.

The philosophy of our school system needs to change. Smaller classes, more pay for teachers, "new" methods of learning. Potential can not be measured on a standardized test. But standardized tests can crush potential.

Yes, I saw the same 20/20 report. And as we all know we can completely believe and trust everything news reports say.

I am not saying our schools are perfect. They are just not as bad off a 20/20 would have you believe. If we chose as a country to not educate all of our children after 4th grade and only take the top of the class our test scores would be a lot better too.:confused:

guelde96
09-02-2007, 09:07 AM
Find out what percentage of children these other countries are testing. You will be surprised. I was.

boettj
09-02-2007, 09:58 AM
Boy where to start. This whole topic inflames me. My cousin told me that they could not join us on a week vacation at Disney because of his DD's school policy. This is a girl that only misses maybe 1-3 days a year for legitimate sickness. That was 3 years ago. She graduated this year with high honors.


I get 3 weeks of vacation a year. I use all three of them. 1 for the forth of July, another at X-mas and 1 float when we go either to New Hampshire or Disney.


This year we go to NH for a week in October. Then we are planning a 10 year anniversary/DW 40th vacation for the spring. In the past our school system has not given us trouble taking our DS out. I dread the day that a teacher or the principle calls us to tell us we can't. I can tell you what my response will be. "These are my children and I will do what is best for them."

Does anyone here believe that the difference between their child being a burden on society or being a doctor is that 1 week per year that I take my child out for family time?

A couple people mentioned that the teachers get bonuses if they meet the APY? Can I just say my god. I know that a teacher struggles out of the gate wtih pay, however, they have steps that bring them along quite nicely. My understanding of the steps is that they are reviewed by other teachers. Hum does anyone else see a flaw in this? Then once they become tenured. Once a teacher become tenured it takes an act of god to get them fired. (this is probably another can of worms I am opening.)

Another question, the No child left behind. What is the incentive for a teacher to not raise a child to standards to just meet the quota?

I would purpose 2 options to help this setup.

1. You pay tuition for your children to attend school instead of taxes.
A. If you have no children in the school system, then you do not pay.
B. Teachers salaries should be based on independent testing results.
C. If you chose to send your child to private or home school, then you are not paying for a system that you do not have a child in.

2. Children should be given 5 days vacation per year, and 8 sick days.. (Let's face it school is a child's job until the age of 18. You could do like some businesses do; you earn a half day per month.)
A. These days would be counted against the school for some national head counting crap.
B. To use then, parents would submit a simple form that informs the school that there child is taking there vacation.


Let's talk briefly about number 1 and the use of a tax base system to support our schools. If you town has 10,000 tax payers with only 2,000 of them with children, then the other 8,000 families help bare the burden of the school system. If I remember my political systems, then this sounds like socialism. Now, as a parent, I would be willing to pay a tuition rather than a tax. I do realize that the tuition would be greater than the current taxes that I pay. With a tuition based system, I could pull my DCS if the system was failing them.

I now one of the main arguments coming is that the tuition would be out of this world. Not really. They would have to stay competitive with private schools. Otherwise, parents would flood the private school system.

Now on to number 2. Family time is important to us. I am not going to allow a school system to dictate when I can go away with my children and not. That is representative of a fascist state. The last time I checked, we were still a sudo democracy.

I know this is getting long in the tooth. Summer vacations are not for everyone. You would not catch me dead at Disney in the middle of the summer. For me, I compare that to walking on the sun. We prefer to go in November with cooler weather. Both the crowds and temps are down.

That could lead into the whole summer vacation thing, but I really don't want to get into that just now.



I leave you with this. They are your children. If you need to take a vacation during the school year, then do it. Your children are only young once and you cannot buy that time back later in life.

smylie1
09-02-2007, 10:08 AM
Just the public school mentality of catering to the lowest common denominator!

I live in NC, too, and our schools are in a crisis!!! What a crock it is to say that a family cannot take a child on a vacation and miss more than two days! The kid who missed 26 days should fail if he can't do the work. But, oh my! Fail a child??!! Teach a lesson??!!?? Make the parents sit up and take notice of their kid??!!?? No way! That might hurt the kids self esteem.

No, no. Let's punish everyone to make it all EQUAL for everyone. Because life is equal, right? At work, we all get paid the same, right? Everyone is fast tracked on the same path, right? We all get promoted at the same time to the same positions, right?

What infuriates me in our school system is that we PAY for this nonsense. I don;t understand why more parents don't fight back. The school system is not all powerful. In Wake County, parents sue the school board all the time. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but some are fighting back. Elect officials who represent you!!! This is your child's education and we all need to demand better schools. More pay for better teachers. AAARRGGGG!

Whew! That felt good. I have to admit that we send our children to private school. I pay twice. But our system here is so messed up that I would live in a cardboard BOX before I put my kids in the public school. But I pay attention to who is on the School Board. I VOTE!

We are taking our kids out for a week in December. Granted, they are K and 1st grade, but they do more work in a day than their counterparts in the PS do in 3 days. And their teachers are fine with it. They are excited that we are taking a vacation with the kids to a wonderful place. They are thrilled that I have suggested they each keep a journal (yes, both can read and write). I have a bunch of cool things planned for Epcot as well.

Sorry to rant but missing two days of school and being threatened with criminal charges!!!! OMG!! What in the he** is happening to our school system. To our freedoms?? It is crazy. Just crazy. And we pay for it!!!

I gotta go lay down. My head hurts.:confused:

:thumbsup2

smylie1
09-02-2007, 10:17 AM
And yet my sixth and eighth grade daughters have to sit through assemblies (missing out on class time!) to listen to the coordinators for the all school magazine drive! And then if they sell enough magazines for the fundraiser they are again taken out of school (for two periods) to get in a limo and go out for lunch. Yet they think I don't have the right to take my children out of school for a family vacation? CRAZY!

Exactly!! If ours sell 10 fundraiser items, they get a 1/2 day free play on the playground. If they sell 20, they get the playground time plus a whole day at a local recreation center for swimming, bowling, basketball, and pizza! All those who didn't sell are sitting in class. It always comes down to money. Whether it's from the state budget or fundraisers. Maybe if vacationing families "make a donation" the absences will be excused. :rolleyes1

mommylicious
09-02-2007, 10:42 AM
Charter schools are flooding into our area and I am glad to see it. Get the government our of the school system and schools WILL get better. It is happening all over the country. The Gates family is proving it, Tiger Woods' school is proving it and many others like it are proving that competition makes schools better.

The above is back a few pages but I wanted to comment. My kids attend a local charter school. In some ways it's great but if you are not fortunate enough to live somewhere where an independently wealthy benefactor provides 100% funding for your school, you still have to deal with your local school system's requirements. Yes, some things are more flexible but they do still have to meet all NCLB and state standards if they take $1 of federal/state/county/local tax dollars. Our school gets FTE money from the county in the amount of about $3k - $4K per student. That totals almost $2 million for our school. The total budget for the school is $6 million so our management company makes up the other $4 million but we still must adhere to the NCLB and GA state stuff. There are also other issues at play. For us the school handbook says if they miss 3 or more days of unexcused absences they are brought up before the school board --- not the county school board, the charter school governing board. In our case, that means 3 of the *****iest most power hungry women who have no problem sitting in a board meeting and telling the parents in attendance they don't give a damn what we want, they are going to do what they feel is best for their kids. THe other two board members are men from the community who don't give a damn and are only there to make sure their companies are awared contracts to do business with the school without even going through a bid process...essentially their votes are "bought" so that the 3 *****y women can do what they want. Beyond corrupt. Last year I spoke out against something the board was doing that affected ALL children at the school but they were not even telling parents it was being discussed. I rocked the boat and rallied parents. That means I am now persona-nongrata to the board. My kids will be missing 2.5 days right before Christmas. A half day (as in it's an early release day, not us checking them out) on 12/19 then a whole day 12/20 and 12/21 however 12/21 is class party day and the policy has always been that parents can take them home early after the party with no penalty. If they try to tell me we are missing 3 days I will fight tooth and nail given that 12/19 is an early release day with the kids picked up at noon. IF I were to check my child out at noon on a full day they would only be counted absent for a half day so the same should apply here. If we are brought before the board then unfortunately the political BS will no doubt cause trouble for us. I keep my kids there because the teachers are FANTASTIC and the school has great academic success but each teacher and most parents will tell you they are successful DESPITE the board, not because of them. The board is more interested in stuff like making sure that the capri pant choice for uniforms are the ones their daughters like best and creating a policy that says no other brand of capris are allowed. :sad2:

Fortunately not all charter schools are like that but far too many are because when you get that extra parent involvement requirement, sometimes you get parents who are a little TOO involved. :rolleyes: Many of the charter management companies are first and foremost businesses so their first priority is business, not kids and that can cause a problem too.

Colleen27
09-02-2007, 10:43 AM
Believe me, I would be happy to to go in the summer. It isn't a value season vs peak season money issue. When I go on vacation, I want to take my children. We would never be able to go anywhere at all if I weren't allowed to take my children out of school.

I don't understand why the money issue comes up at all in these discussions, since most of summer vacation is value season! It wouldn't cost us any more to go in August than to go in January, and it would be cheaper to go over the summer than to go for the April, May or October dates we ruled out for school or work reasons.

smylie1
09-02-2007, 10:48 AM
I leave you with this. They are your children. If you need to take a vacation during the school year, then do it. Your children are only young once and you cannot buy that time back later in life.

I'm a teacher, and I totally agree!:thumbsup2

amyhughes
09-02-2007, 10:48 AM
As a child my DGP's always pulled me for a week at a time during school. This was every year from First on through. I always made up work, I was not absent other than that (except for a few bouts with Strep Throat!) and typically did well in school. However had I not been a traditional student (remember this was the early 80's) and had been a child who struggled and had a learning disability I am sure several teachers would have had a thing or two to say to my GPs.

My kids go to Montessori where regular attendance is required or we will be asked to withdraw our children. It is a private school, but they are very adamant that for the method to work attendance needs to be top priority.

We took our eldest son out the week before school let out last year and it worked out fine. I worked with the teacher (am a teaching candidate working towards my degree) on a lesson that would help DS #1 learn SOMETHING while gone. They were studying oceans so we hit the Living Seas big time and took pictures of the different species for his class.

I know that for many schools and teachers NCLB is a headache, it just is. The testing in our state in public schools takes place in September of all times, so teachers have a 6 week period to get those kids back in their classroom habits and ready to take a standardized test! It really does go down to teaching to the test for the first 6 weeks of school, so that if you are Title I you don't get into even more hot water.

I am not a fan of NCLB personally, I think education begins at home and parents should not RELY completely on a teacher to introduce the ideas of Math, Science, Reading, and Language. I don't know where I would be if my GP didn't teach me long division!

Don't flame me, I just think the school is trying not to get in any trouble. Granted their kids may test exceptionally high, but attendance under NCLB has to be above par as well. They will probably crack down like this for a couple of years and then slack down a bit.

Colleen27
09-02-2007, 10:56 AM
Family vacations can be scheduled around school holidays, minimizing absences. Missing one or two days is preferable to missing a week or several weeks in a row.

In a perfect world, that might be true, but the fact is that there is no practical way for every parent who wants to take their kids on vacation to be off during the limited number of weeks that kids have off. Not many businesses can continue operating without a significant portion of their employees, so they deny many more vacation requests than they approve for popular vacation times. And many parents have jobs where uncontrollable considerations other than school schedules dictate their vacation time.

lovetoscrap
09-02-2007, 11:39 AM
I don't understand why the money issue comes up at all in these discussions, since most of summer vacation is value season! It wouldn't cost us any more to go in August than to go in January, and it would be cheaper to go over the summer than to go for the April, May or October dates we ruled out for school or work reasons.

:confused3 Not sure where you get that idea from? Summer is "Summer season" and used to be "Regular Season". That is NOT Value season. Value Season dates are actually getting narrower and narrower and are really at "off times" when you would have to pull your kids out of school. Prices ARE higher for Resorts, as well as huge differences in the crowd levels, and the weather. I would much rather spend my hard earned money to go when the weather is nice and the crowds are low and I can get much more value for my money. And that is my perogative as a parent to decide if that is when is best for my family to vacation.

AC7179
09-02-2007, 12:07 PM
Here in Texas, it is all about the money, and it's not really the school districts' fault. The schools are so underfunded anyway, that when a kid has poor attendance, regardless of academic ability, the school loses money and that hurts. That is why they are so incredibly strict.

Colleen27
09-02-2007, 12:09 PM
:confused3 Not sure where you get that idea from? Summer is "Summer season" and used to be "Regular Season". That is NOT Value season. Value Season dates are actually getting narrower and narrower and are really at "off times" when you would have to pull your kids out of school. Prices ARE higher for Resorts, as well as huge differences in the crowd levels, and the weather. I would much rather spend my hard earned money to go when the weather is nice and the crowds are low and I can get much more value for my money. And that is my perogative as a parent to decide if that is when is best for my family to vacation.

From Mousesavers. Value season at the values & mods starts August 5, and July 8 for the deluxes and DVC. It didn't occur to me until I looked at the calendar, though, that I'm looking at this from a midwestern POV - summer season at Disney is half over before we're even out of school (2nd or 3rd week of June, depending on the year) and August is the prime summer vacation month. Those of you who get out earlier and start the school year in August do have to contend with summer season.

I agree with you about going when crowds are low and weather is good, though, and I've made that same decision about when it is right for my family to vacation. :goodvibes For us northerners, even if we could get away during the summer, I don't know that we'd vacation in Florida in the summer - the heat is so draining!

AuroraBeauty
09-02-2007, 01:47 PM
The problem, I see, with these policies is that they miss the whole point of children being in school.

What's the difference between a child having an 'excused' absence for 10 days because they have a Dr. note and having an 'unexcused' absence for the same 10 days because there is no excuse?

What is a valid excuse? This sounds like a question on the SAT! There isn't a right or wrong answer, just one that will get you credit for allowing your child out of school w/o repercussion.

I missed a month of my jr. year of high school (gotta get in the way back machine!) because I was in the hospital due to heart problems. I didn't miss anything! I was so far ahead that all I had to do was get a few days tutoring for Algebra II.

The problem comes when kids who are already behind do not go to school. These children need more focus and attention and determination as to why they are missing school. Chances are they aren't going on vacation -- they are MIA. School is already a drag for them so why keep going.

And as for the discussion about it taking more effort for teachers -- does the effort change whether the absence is excused or unexcused? No.

I have friends who are teachers and I know they don't get paid what they should be for what they do for our children in public school. A child not being in school can be a distraction both when the are not there and then when they get back. However, parents do have a responsibility to help their child(ren) and the school to make ANY absence less stressful and/or disruptive.

From my experience, not a lot gets accomplished in school during a week. But that's just based on averages. Some weeks are 'ah-ha' weeks where everything falls into place. Those are the weeks you never want to miss.

But, I digress. The main point is that I'd like to know what the policies are trying to achieve -- days off are days off. For those who work outside the home and have paid/unpaid vacation/sick/personal/holiday/annual days you still have to keep up. You don't take your week off then get home and 'Trash' all your emails from the week and put all paperwork in the garbage/shredder when you get back to your office. Parents have to keep up -- and so do kids.

Excused or Unexcused, the child is out of school. I guess it comes down to money for the school. Then just say it -- how can you teach children to be honest and forthright when the administration of their very own school can't even do so?

Sadly, the policies seem to have nothing to do with making sure the children receive the best education. It's all about money. Our children deserve better.

boettj
09-02-2007, 02:35 PM
Ok, one more comment. I knew this was going to happen. The whole summer vacations off originated when this country was mainly a farming economy. That policy was put in place so a family would have the DCs available for the gorwing season. The farming community has been fading in this country severely.

It's time for us to look at changing this model. Typically summer vacation is 10 weeks off. Why not spread those 10 weeks out around the year. Give the Kids a week off for Memorial day, 2 weeks off for the 4th of July, 2 weeks off for Labor day (Week before and week after), 1 week off for Columbus day, 1 week off for Thanksgiving, 2 weeks off at X-mas. That leaves 2 weeks out there that could be put elsewhere.


If vacations were spread throughout the year, then this whole issue would be reduced. More time off would give families more opportunities with which to take non-summer vacations.


Education is not the government dictating how education is done. Education is not just my child sitting in a class. Education is an ongoing evolution that continues until one dies. That education comes from the teacher, the parents, and the experiences that a child has during life. Book smart is great, but there is more to sitting in a classroom and learning facts and figures. Our country and the world is full of history. Opportunity abounds. Even at Disney, a child can learn about America's history in a theme park setting.

If you are not part of the solution to teach your child (Which I believe most of the parents on this board participate in their child's education.), then you are stuck in the astigmatism of the 1960-1990's.


Wow, it's amazing how one can feel better after getting stuff off their chest.

badblackpug
09-02-2007, 02:53 PM
Regaring the falsified doctors notes: This is, indeed, falsifying a medical record. The MD is indicating that he/she saw, examined, and treated your child for an illness that actually did not exist. They are signing their name to the document that says they did this. I have a friend that got into very hot water regarding this. They signed a doctors note stating that a child was sick on missed days (the child was a patient of theirs, but never seen on said days) so that the child could attend graduation ceremonies. The school found it questionable and requested the medical records with diagnosis and treatment, and, lo and behold, none existed. This is not a practice I would involve myself in.

Maybe for those of you who do take your children out of school for extended periods for vacations should frame it as a lesson in compromise to your kids. Such as "You will miss school to have fun at WDW, but A, B, and C will be the consequences."

While I am sure that the majority of you who do take your kids out for a week or more have children who can catch up, unfortunately, there are some parents who have struggling kids whom they keep out of school. My point is the rules made must, in all fairness, apply to all and not just some.

cissy
09-02-2007, 02:55 PM
Yes, the agriculturally based calendar year was mentioned in my earlier post and I am glad to see it repeated.

Where I live, we have a lot of year round elementary schools. As a matter of fact, all new public elem. schools built in our county are required to be year round. I love the system but it comes with its share of issues as well.

I agree TOTALLY that the absence issue is not about education but about money. The other poster is right that the work has to be made up regardless of whether it is for vacation or the flu.

As for charter schools, the poster is right on! A lot of how well a school does depends on who funds it and the principle it is founded on. Some are good and some not so good. But it at least is another CHOICE!

I also send my kids to Montessori. It is as close to homeschooling as I can get without homeschooling. I love the philosophy of learning how to learn and critical thinking that is absent in the public system of most schools today.

And one more note. i was talking to my brother yesterday about schools. He just started teaching high school history. He has 3 freshman classes. Only two students knew where Cuba was and only one had heard of the Bay of Pigs or the missile Crisis. He was deeply shocked. But I told him to get used to it! Geography is not on the Federal Tests so don;t expect kids to know where anything is.

And that leads to this scary policy. In our county (maybe our state), many teachers no longer teach how to diagram a sentence or parts of speech. They don't teach it because it is not on the Federal test. I only know about this development because there was an article in our local paper about the second language teachers complaining to the school board about it. Seems it is awfully difficult to teach a second language to kids who don't know parts of speech!!! Imagine that!

But again, the parents are in control. VOTE!! VOTE!! VOTE!! :yay:

Michigan
09-02-2007, 03:13 PM
I take my kids out the week before their mid winter break in February because I don't want to be stuck in the President's day crowds. They get all their work and do it the week that school is out.

They are my kids, I buy their food, clothes, pay for their health care. I also pay very high taxes that pay the teachers salaries. I will take my kids out when I want.

The local government nor the Federal Government own my kids. If the school didn't like it I would find another option.

darlak
09-02-2007, 03:54 PM
Regaring the falsified doctors notes: This is, indeed, falsifying a medical record. The MD is indicating that he/she saw, examined, and treated your child for an illness that actually did not exist. They are signing their name to the document that says they did this. I have a friend that got into very hot water regarding this. They signed a doctors note stating that a child was sick on missed days (the child was a patient of theirs, but never seen on said days) so that the child could attend graduation ceremonies. The school found it questionable and requested the medical records with diagnosis and treatment, and, lo and behold, none existed. This is not a practice I would involve myself in.

Maybe for those of you who do take your children out of school for extended periods for vacations should frame it as a lesson in compromise to your kids. Such as "You will miss school to have fun at WDW, but A, B, and C will be the consequences."

While I am sure that the majority of you who do take your kids out for a week or more have children who can catch up, unfortunately, there are some parents who have struggling kids whom they keep out of school. My point is the rules made must, in all fairness, apply to all and not just some.

I agree that if your child is struggling academically, then taking them out of school for a vacation probably isn't wise.

Regarding the falsified medical records, I'm not questioning the truthfullness of your post since I don't where you're from. I can, however, tell you that my child's doctor has often faxed the school a medical excuse when she has not actually seen my child. An example of this would be times she has had a stomach virus. The doctor doesn't want her coming into her office to be seen when she is highly contagious and there is little treatment available other than allowing the virus to run it's course. Those times when she has faxed an excuse for our trips to WDW, there is no assertation made that she has seen or treated my child in her office. The excuse, as previously stated, has a beginning and ending date that she is excused from attending school. As far as the school requesting medical records, I had to laugh and assume that perhaps the example you cited was prior to the new HIPPA laws. My child's doctor would never have consented to sending the school her medical records without my consent, even before HIPPA.

daisyduck123
09-02-2007, 05:41 PM
Regaring the falsified doctors notes: This is, indeed, falsifying a medical record. The MD is indicating that he/she saw, examined, and treated your child for an illness that actually did not exist. They are signing their name to the document that says they did this. I have a friend that got into very hot water regarding this. They signed a doctors note stating that a child was sick on missed days (the child was a patient of theirs, but never seen on said days) so that the child could attend graduation ceremonies. The school found it questionable and requested the medical records with diagnosis and treatment, and, lo and behold, none existed. This is not a practice I would involve myself in.



A school can't just contact a doctor's office & request medical records. That would have to go through a lawyer....something our school system doesn't have the time nor money to bother with.

guelde96
09-02-2007, 05:45 PM
I keep hearing that if a child is struggling in school you should not take them out for vacation. Even children who struggle in school deserve a vacation. There is a difference between struggle and rebellion. A child who has a difficult time in school should not be punished for their ability.

darlak
09-02-2007, 06:57 PM
I keep hearing that if a child is struggling in school you should not take them out for vacation. Even children who struggle in school deserve a vacation. There is a difference between struggle and rebellion. A child who has a difficult time in school should not be punished for their ability.

I am one of the posters who said that a child who is struggling in school probably shouldn't be pulled out of school for a vacation. I cannot speak for other posters, but I certainly never meant anyone to think that I believed that those children are any less deserving of a vacation.

Personally, if my child were struggling academically, I would schedule our vacations during a time when school was not in session. I would do so not to penalize her in any way, but simply because I would not want to risk her being incapable of catching up when we returned. Even if she were capable of doing the make-up work in addition to her current workload, for a student already struggling, that just seems like it would place an unfair burden on them.

Colleen27
09-02-2007, 10:54 PM
Personally, if my child were struggling academically, I would schedule our vacations during a time when school was not in session. I would do so not to penalize her in any way, but simply because I would not want to risk her being incapable of catching up when we returned. Even if she were capable of doing the make-up work in addition to her current workload, for a student already struggling, that just seems like it would place an unfair burden on them.

I think it really depends on the kid, the grade, and the pace of the class. For some kids, making up the work might be a burden, but for others, the break from what could be a very frustrating daily routine might be just the thing to give them a 'second wind' when they return.

hiddenj
09-02-2007, 11:03 PM
A school can't just contact a doctor's office & request medical records. That would have to go through a lawyer....something our school system doesn't have the time nor money to bother with.

They need more than a lawyer. They need a court order in order to get the medical office to release those records.

IndianaMouseLover
09-03-2007, 09:21 AM
Ok, one more comment. I knew this was going to happen. The whole summer vacations off originated when this country was mainly a farming economy. That policy was put in place so a family would have the DCs available for the gorwing season. The farming community has been fading in this country severely.

It's time for us to look at changing this model. Typically summer vacation is 10 weeks off. Why not spread those 10 weeks out around the year. Give the Kids a week off for Memorial day, 2 weeks off for the 4th of July, 2 weeks off for Labor day (Week before and week after), 1 week off for Columbus day, 1 week off for Thanksgiving, 2 weeks off at X-mas. That leaves 2 weeks out there that could be put elsewhere.


If vacations were spread throughout the year, then this whole issue would be reduced. More time off would give families more opportunities with which to take non-summer vacations.


Education is not the government dictating how education is done. Education is not just my child sitting in a class. Education is an ongoing evolution that continues until one dies. That education comes from the teacher, the parents, and the experiences that a child has during life. Book smart is great, but there is more to sitting in a classroom and learning facts and figures. Our country and the world is full of history. Opportunity abounds. Even at Disney, a child can learn about America's history in a theme park setting.

If you are not part of the solution to teach your child (Which I believe most of the parents on this board participate in their child's education.), then you are stuck in the astigmatism of the 1960-1990's.


Wow, it's amazing how one can feel better after getting stuff off their chest.

Very well said!:thumbsup2

I know many school districts here in Indiana have gone and will be going to a "year long school calendar". What is looks like is the students are still attending the required number of school days (180). The students get around a 3 week mini-vacation at the end of each grading period (every nine weeks). The school calendar is set up so that the vacations fall at Christmas, Spring Break, Summer break, and fall break. Even as an elementary principal I am all for it going to this calendar! :thumbsup2 But it is a change in mind set for many that prevent it. Plus we hear the closed minded sound off about High School athletics.

There are many studies that have been done on this type of school calendar. Absenteeism in those districts is down among students and students for whatever reason. I am not here to debate why. School test scores are up due to the spread out vacations versus the one long break. Again, I am not here to debate why. These are just a few of the big points coming out of the study here.

I believe that this type of calendar would work for all that have expressed concern about the outdated, current school calendar. It would serve the parents and the school better.

dawnball
09-03-2007, 09:23 AM
Does anyone here believe that the difference between their child being a burden on society or being a doctor is that 1 week per year that I take my child out for family time?


Nope, but I do believe that parents set an example for their children. And I believe that taking children out of school for a WDW vacation implies that self-indulgence is more important than education.


My understanding of the steps is that they are reviewed by other teachers. Hum does anyone else see a flaw in this?

Because heaven forbid that anyone with teaching experience and direct observation of the teacher's classrooms should pass judgment on someone's teaching.


I would purpose 2 options to help this setup.

"propose"


1. You pay tuition for your children to attend school instead of taxes.
A. If you have no children in the school system, then you do not pay.
B. Teachers salaries should be based on independent testing results.
C. If you chose to send your child to private or home school, then you are not paying for a system that you do not have a child in.

2. Children should be given 5 days vacation per year, and 8 sick days.. (Let's face it school is a child's job until the age of 18. You could do like some businesses do; you earn a half day per month.)
A. These days would be counted against the school for some national head counting crap.
B. To use then, parents would submit a simple form that informs the school that there child is taking there vacation.


Let's talk briefly about number 1 and the use of a tax base system to support our schools. If you town has 10,000 tax payers with only 2,000 of them with children, then the other 8,000 families help bare the burden of the school system. If I remember my political systems, then this sounds like socialism.


That's "your town" and "bear the burden". And apparently you don't remember your political systems very well. Socialism involves social control of property and the distribution of income, regardless of individual determination and market forces. An educated populace is generally considered to benefit the good of society, so it would seem to be a socialist motivation. However, there is a distinct effect from market forces in the US. That's why people pay more to live in good school districts. Or people could choose to live in an area that required no school district because there were no students to attend it.



Now, as a parent, I would be willing to pay a tuition rather than a tax. I do realize that the tuition would be greater than the current taxes that I pay. With a tuition based system, I could pull my DCS if the system was failing them.

You can pull your children *now* if the school system is failing them. Put them in private school, home school them. The tuition plus taxes would be greater than the current tax you pay, but that doesn't seem to be an issue for you.


I now one of the main arguments coming is that the tuition would be out of this world. Not really. They would have to stay competitive with private schools. Otherwise, parents would flood the private school system.

Yes, competitive with private schools. Around here that's $16,000/year. Per child. Plus all the other ways that private schools raise money. For DD's private school tuition covers 75% of their funding needs. That's $21,333 per student for full funding. Families don't usually have an extra $21,000, $42,000 or $63,000 floating around in their budgets. Sacrificing education for those children would devastate the US economy, not to mention what it would do to the lives of children too young to make their own decisions. For contrast - the local public school system spends under $6,500 per student per year.


Now on to number 2. Family time is important to us. I am not going to allow a school system to dictate when I can go away with my children and not. That is representative of a fascist state. The last time I checked, we were still a sudo democracy.

I think you mean pseudo-democracy. Presumably you're referring to the fact that most communities practice representative democracy. You're welcome to move to one of the smaller communities that practices direct democracy, but it simply isn't feasible on a national level. Given that you don't appear to understand fascism either, that might be difficult for you to accept.

To speak more directly to your second point - children get copious amounts of vacation time. It just can't be scheduled when you prefer that it be scheduled. Perhaps you'd prefer year-round schools, and should propose that to your local representatives. It would also reduce everyone's tax burden, since year round schools use money more efficiently.


Your children are only young once and you cannot buy that time back later in life.

Quite true. It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park.

toyac
09-03-2007, 10:36 AM
Nope, but I do believe that parents set an example for their children. And I believe that taking children out of school for a WDW vacation implies that self-indulgence is more important than education.

To speak more directly to your second point - children get copious amounts of vacation time. It just can't be scheduled when you prefer that it be scheduled. Perhaps you'd prefer year-round schools, and should propose that to your local representatives. It would also reduce everyone's tax burden, since year round schools use money more efficiently.


Quite true. It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park.

As to the first part, many times families do not have the choice of WHEN to vacation. Sometimes taking care of yourself is just as important as work/school. I am blessed that my son's have two teachers (special ed and regular 3rd grade) who understand that my life can not be planned around the school year due to work responsibilities. I think by showing up to PTA meetings, curriculum nights, parent-teacher conferences, etc. I and many of the other parents on these boards VERY effectively demonstrate to our children the importance of education. I suspect a few days away as a familywon't destroy that impression.

Children do get a good amount of vacation time, but that doesn't mean the parents are able to schedule the same blocks of time. Many workplaces dispense approvals for vaction based on seniority, so that eliminates school breaks as an option for many. This year my son's teacher was formerly a marketing director in the business world, so her view on this is more realistic b/c she knows the realities of Corporate America.


As to the last sentence, this year we are taking my son out of school for a few days to go To WDW. At eight, this will be his first trip. I feel no guilt as even on a crappy day and his ADHD at its worst, he still pulls a B average. Do you suggest we go on vacation without him? That would probably do wonders of his take on education, eh?:sad2: :rolleyes:

daisyduck123
09-03-2007, 10:51 AM
As to the last sentence, this year we are taking my son out of school for a few days to go To WDW. At eight, this will be his first trip. I feel no guilt as even on a crappy day and his ADHD at its worst, he still pulls a B average. Do you suggest we go on vacation without him? That would probably do wonders of his take on education, eh?:sad2: :rolleyes:


Teacher here :teacher:

I hope your family has a fantastic trip!

I take my own family out every year, sometimes twice, for 5 or 6 days at a time! We have a great time with low/no crowds & great temps. I'm sure you will too!

DisneyAprilFool
09-03-2007, 11:50 AM
I'll say it again- since when does a day away from school HAVE to be UNeducational?

Who is to say that a day at EPCOT is less educational then a day with a teacher standing in front of children, lecturing? I find the whole issue of 'If you CARE about your children's education- you'd leave them in school' rather amusing.

I was pulled from school for several field trips my high school years- week long trips, even! While each moment of each trip was not considered 'educational' per se- it opened my eyes to the world around us and surely educated me in ways that books and teachers failed to do (not that my teachers had failings- I adored them and still do, BUT you learn through life just as much if not more then you learn at a desk in school).

Problem with the 12 month schools- which some of us are either blessed or cursed with- is that for working parents, there is almost no way to secure daycare for your children for the interim weeks of vacation time. So I don't think 12 month schools are necessarily 'great' for families either. Everything has its faults- no matter how you look at it.

dawnball
09-03-2007, 12:08 PM
As to the first part, many times families do not have the choice of WHEN to vacation. Sometimes taking care of yourself is just as important as work/school.

I'm in complete agreement with both of those statements. Families have a lot of demands on their time. I don't happen to think that education (adult or child) is a lesser demand than work. When I took continuing ed classes at a local college I never would have missed a week of classes for vacation.There was just too much I would have missed - even though I still would have made an A. I paid for that education, and I was going to get every bit of it. I can't imagine pulling my DD out of classes for a week either. It's just orthogonal to my value system. That doesn't mean your values need to coincide with mine. It means that I put significantly higher value on education than I do on vacation. It also means that I'm capable of "taking care of [myself]" without taking a week of vacation at what I consider to be an inappropriate time. It doesn't mean that I think you (or anyone else who pulls their child out) is a horrible parent. I do think that it affects overall outcomes and perceptions.


I and many of the other parents on these boards VERY effectively demonstrate to our children the importance of education. I suspect a few days away as a family won't destroy that impression.

Destroy? Certainly not. On the other hand - I would expect it to modify that impression. You are instilling the values you live by, and your value system says that education is important but it's ok to sacrifice a week's education for a week's personal indulgence. There's nothing wrong with that - but it isn't *my* value system, which is what I was speaking to.


Children do get a good amount of vacation time, but that doesn't mean the parents are able to schedule the same blocks of time. Many workplaces dispense approvals for vaction based on seniority, so that eliminates school breaks as an option for many.


It's not uncommon that two parents can't schedule the same blocks of time. And with the whole summer available, I think it's unreasonable to say that because of school you can't take vacations. People have free choice about the jobs they take. They have free choice about where they live. They have the ability to agitate for year-round schools or altered spring break schedules or whatever would make their lives more convenient.


As to the last sentence, this year we are taking my son out of school for a few days to go To WDW. At eight, this will be his first trip. I feel no guilt as even on a crappy day and his ADHD at its worst, he still pulls a B average. Do you suggest we go on vacation without him? That would probably do wonders of his take on education, eh?:sad2: :rolleyes:

If you don't feel guilt, why do you seem defensive? That last line said "It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park." You've made your decision. It's not the decision I would have made, but I did say that it was up to every parent to come to their own decision. I never suggested that anyone in the family be unwillingly left behind.

Note that the primary thrust of the post you are responding to was in support of public school funding (that public schools aren't by definition socialist and in need of abolishment), and in opposition to the idea that schools are being fascist by asking parents to send their children to school to receive the education that I'm helping to pay for.

IMO, the "should I pull my kids out of school for WDW" discussions are a lot like the "should I go into debt to take my kids to WDW" or "should I move to Orlando so I can go to WDW every day" discussions. It's a very personal decision that no one else can second guess. It's also a decision with good and bad potential effects and you need to be aware of what those effects are and willing to accept them.

DisneyAprilFool
09-03-2007, 12:13 PM
Perhaps some people feel defensive because of sentences like this, "It means that I put significantly higher value on education than I do on vacation. It also means that I'm capable of "taking care of [myself]" without taking a week of vacation at what I consider to be an inappropriate time."

If you believe you put higher value on education then vacation due to your refusal to pull a child out of school for vacation- then it also means that you believe others put a lesser value on education if they do pull their children out.

Education comes in many forms-if someine is the type to take vacation with their kids and forget the educational aspects of it, then I could understand believing that teaching, in a classroom setting, is more important then pulling children out for vacation time; however, if you are the type of parent who seizes every opportunity to educate your children- then really, vacation is just education in another locality ;)

cissy
09-03-2007, 12:47 PM
As to the year round debate opened up here, there are a myriad of problems that go along with that system. As stated before, our county is mandatory year round for all new elementary schools. And this past year the school board converted 11 traditional elementary schools to the year round program.

I, personally, love the year round idea. But I am a stay at home mom with kids one year apart. For the working parents, it comes at a cost. Trying to find "track out" programs for kids is hard and EXPENSIVE! Much more expensive than regular summer programs.

And for the parents with older siblings in junior or high school, that means the younger child is often on a completely different schedule. Try planning a vacation when some of your kids are traditional and some are year round.

As to the idea that I don't set a good example for my kids if I take them out of school for a vacation. HOGWASH! That is absurd and I am surprised anyone would suggest it. If I did not value my children's education, I wouldn't spend the price of a new car on it. Or take them 30 minutes each way to go there. Or sub in the classrooms at least once a month. Or be a member of the PTSA Executive Committee. Or go on field trips. Or take the time to find out what is happening in the public education forum and VOTE on issues that don't directly effect us.That sort of talk is nonsense and simply used to "agitate" the posters.

Look, do what you want. It is your child, your family and your life. Whether you take them out to go visit a grandparent, go to Disney or just spend a family day at the park, it is your choice. Have fun! :cheer2:

disneyjunkie
09-03-2007, 01:02 PM
If you believe you put higher value on education then vacation due to your refusal to pull a child out of school for vacation- then it also means that you believe others put a lesser value on education if they do pull their children out.

People also post that they pull their kids out of school because they value family time. Does that mean those of us who vacation during school break do not?:confused3

DisneyAprilFool
09-03-2007, 01:10 PM
People also post that they pull their kids out of school because they value family time. Does that mean those of us who vacation during school break do not?:confused3


You really can't make that argument ;) Because you can still take time during school break and whatnot to spend time with the family- therefore, you are placing value on family time.

There really are very few black and white decisions in parenting- I wouldn't say you value family time less for not taking vacation during the school year- I'd say you must have reasons that are appropriate for your family.

amyhughes
09-03-2007, 01:15 PM
I think that each individual has their own reasons for going to WDW during the school year. For us it means lesser crowds, cooler weather and a chance to enjoy time off with our kids. We go on vacation to relax, not to deal with 50,000 people a day. My DH and I both work full time so these weeks with our kids are a chance to really have some quality family fun time. I would loath the site of Main Street in July!

Do I try and make each trip with my kids educational? You bet, mainly because of the aforesaid degree in progress, but also to encourage my kids to always look around them for education. It isn't always in the classroom.

That being said I think that each parent had gotten their child this far, and should be able to make those decisions for their children. When a school makes these decisons for parents, that's when we see these type of debates. The director of our school just asks for advance written notice of the absence.

Our point here is not to judge other's reasons. We all make choices and decisions that are right for our families everyday, whereas someone else would make the opposite choice. It all boils down to your family, your children, and the circumstances surrounding your decision.

Colleen27
09-03-2007, 01:17 PM
Very well said!:thumbsup2

I know many school districts here in Indiana have gone and will be going to a "year long school calendar". What is looks like is the students are still attending the required number of school days (180). The students get around a 3 week mini-vacation at the end of each grading period (every nine weeks). The school calendar is set up so that the vacations fall at Christmas, Spring Break, Summer break, and fall break. Even as an elementary principal I am all for it going to this calendar! :thumbsup2 But it is a change in mind set for many that prevent it. Plus we hear the closed minded sound off about High School athletics.

There are many studies that have been done on this type of school calendar. Absenteeism in those districts is down among students and students for whatever reason. I am not here to debate why. School test scores are up due to the spread out vacations versus the one long break. Again, I am not here to debate why. These are just a few of the big points coming out of the study here.

I believe that this type of calendar would work for all that have expressed concern about the outdated, current school calendar. It would serve the parents and the school better.

My main problem with that kind of schedule is that usually there are different "tracks", rather than one year round schedule, or some schools are year round while others are traditional. I have some friends who were ery excited about their elementary making the switch to a year round schedule, and it was great. Until their oldest got to middle school, and was on a completely different school calendar than his younger siblings. :headache:

Colleen27
09-03-2007, 01:25 PM
People also post that they pull their kids out of school because they value family time. Does that mean those of us who vacation during school break do not?:confused3

No, it means you have the ability to express the value you place on family time during school breaks. At least that's how I mean it. We value family time above most other things, including school (but not education - the two are not synonymous in our view). And because we cannot vacation together during the summer, we choose to pull the kids out of school for a week rather than just giving up the family time and experiences that are unique to travelling together. I"m sure you, and everyone else who only vacations during breaks, values family time just as much - it just manifest in different choices, based on differences in employment situations and time and money and all those other real-world constraints that limit and guide our choices.

toyac
09-03-2007, 01:25 PM
If you don't feel guilt, why do you seem defensive? That last line said "It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park." You've made your decision. It's not the decision I would have made, but I did say that it was up to every parent to come to their own decision. I never suggested that anyone in the family be unwillingly left behind.



I am not defensive, simply responding to a post with rationale that has a differing view than mine. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and I can appreciate that. But schools are enforcing values on many parents regardless of individual circumstances.

This will not matter to me in a few years, as I either plan to homeschool or put my children in private school. It just seems stupid that parents are pitted as adversaries against the school systems over what amounts to really trivial matters such as this. There are far more important matter at hand that have direct effects on the children and their education. This is exactly why the public education system in this country loses more supporters every year...making mountains into molehills while also ignoring the real issues at hand.

disneyjunkie
09-03-2007, 01:37 PM
I think that each individual has their own reasons for going to WDW during the school year. For us it means lesser crowds, cooler weather and a chance to enjoy time off with our kids. We go on vacation to relax, not to deal with 50,000 people a day. My DH and I both work full time so these weeks with our kids are a chance to really have some quality family fun time. I would loath the site of Main Street in July!

Do I try and make each trip with my kids educational? You bet, mainly because of the aforesaid degree in progress, but also to encourage my kids to always look around them for education. It isn't always in the classroom.

That being said I think that each parent had gotten their child this far, and should be able to make those decisions for their children. When a school makes these decisons for parents, that's when we see these type of debates. The director of our school just asks for advance written notice of the absence.

Our point here is not to judge other's reasons. We all make choices and decisions that are right for our families everyday, whereas someone else would make the opposite choice. It all boils down to your family, your children, and the circumstances surrounding your decision.

You really can't make that argument ;) Because you can still take time during school break and whatnot to spend time with the family- therefore, you are placing value on family time.

There really are very few black and white decisions in parenting- I wouldn't say you value family time less for not taking vacation during the school year- I'd say you must have reasons that are appropriate for your family.

No, it means you have the ability to express the value you place on family time during school breaks. At least that's how I mean it. We value family time above most other things, including school (but not education - the two are not synonymous in our view). And because we cannot vacation together during the summer, we choose to pull the kids out of school for a week rather than just giving up the family time and experiences that are unique to travelling together. I"m sure you, and everyone else who only vacations during breaks, values family time just as much - it just manifest in different choices, based on differences in employment situations and time and money and all those other real-world constraints that limit and guide our choices.

I don't think most posters mean it that way. It's usually posted as a jab at those who are against pulling kids out of school.

I agree we all have to do what works best for our families.

mommyof2princesses
09-03-2007, 01:41 PM
Wow. This thread went crazy. I want to start out by saying I am a teacher. I have been a SAHM now for 2 years and instead of going back to teaching in the public school system I am homeschooling my daughters this year.

When I was a teacher I couldn't take days off for vacation. Teacher's do not get vacation days. And don't try to say we get the whole summer off. That is not a vacation, we don't get paid, we aren't officially working. I could never take off just for me. It would drive me nuts when parents took their kids out of school to go to Disney, or Europe or wherever. I hated grading made up work or catching a student up, but it was my job. That is what I got paid for. It was actually easier for me if a child was on vacation and not sick. I could prepare the child for vacation by doing some extra one on one in class before the child left.

Now that I am not in the ps anymore, I totally understand. My dd's did school work today on Labor Day. Why? Because we had nothing else to do. Plus, they don't want to take their school work to Disney with them, would you? We have taken our older dd out of school 2 years in a row to go to Disney and never did I give it a second thought. She is gifted and therefor was doing nothing in school but watching everyone else work...(PS is not the place for gifted students, but that is a whole other thread!) She made up any missed work, which was a joke, and got right back into the swing of things.

Does this mean I value education less than a person who doesn't pull their child for vacation? NO. We did many educational things while in Disney. Epcot is geared towards education. She even learned about chemistry and biology. She learned more in that one week that she did the whole year at school in her science class.

Homeschooling now fits us better. We are always learning. There are always opportnites to learn. We go on many field trips (considering schools are allowed 2 a year around here.) Not all people have this choice or want this choice. Does that mean they can't take vacations? Surely not. This country needs to get back to remembering that our child are our future...don't mean to sound cliche. I want my children to learn that they can relax now and then and not stress about work every day of their lives. That is an education in itself.

boettj
09-03-2007, 01:49 PM
and in opposition to the idea that schools are being fascist by asking parents to send their children to school to receive the education that I'm helping to pay for.


Dawnball

Thanks for all of the corrections to my post.

In the quote above you mention that you are helping to pay for my DCs education. My point is that I don't want you to help pay for my DCs education. I can do that myself. However, I do not believe that we should be funding a school system where my child does not attend. If choose to send my child to private school, then I forced to pay for both the private school and the public school system. (Spread the wealth, spread the pain)

We have elderly in this country that are helping to pay for the low hanging fruit to attend school. All this while they struggle to make ends meet. Your response is for them to move. So after 30 years of living in a community they should pull up their roots and move?

I personally love your comments on how people are free to come and go where they want. Spoken like a true card carrying liberal. I love it.

Come back to reality. The point here is that we are a free people. If we want to take our DCs out to go to WDW or Washington DC or camping, then it's our prerogative. The school systems should not be attempting to punish a parent for a child missing school for a family vacation. However, you feel that you are better than us and need to dictate to the masses when we can take time with our families.

disneyjunkie
09-03-2007, 02:16 PM
The school systems should not be attempting to punish a parent for a child missing school for a family vacation. However, you feel that you are better than us and need to dictate to the masses when we can take time with our families.

When we enroll our kids in school, we have to expect rules and guidelines to be in place. Some we'll agree with and some we won't.

If vacation days were excused, what would be an appropriate number? 5 days, 10, 20? There was a DISer who pulled her child out of school for a total of 30 days during one school year. Should all of those days be excused?

Where do you draw the line?

DisneyAprilFool
09-03-2007, 02:35 PM
Frankly- to be honest- I wouldn't care if a kid missed 100 days of school as long as they were able to keep a 3.5 GPA or above. I don't think school is the end all, be all.

I'm sure I missed about... 21 days or more of school my Junior year of school- some of those days were for school field trips, some of those days were for a family trip to EuroDisney. I was still an honor student, my teachers liked me and respected me- and I liked and respected them (Well, most of them- except for our Herr Konrad who liked to have a bit of drinky-drinky during French class).

I don't think education only happens in a classroom. At the end of your days, would you rather be book smart with no knowledge of the world or book smart with memories of all of the places you've been and the things you've done?

guelde96
09-03-2007, 02:57 PM
[QUOTE=dawnball;20625029]I'm in complete agreement with both of those statements. Families have a lot of demands on their time. I don't happen to think that education (adult or child) is a lesser demand than work. When I took continuing ed classes at a local college I never would have missed a week of classes for vacation.There was just too much I would have missed - even though I still would have made an A. I paid for that education, and I was going to get every bit of it. I can't imagine pulling my DD out of classes for a week either. It's just orthogonal to my value system. That doesn't mean your values need to coincide with mine. It means that I put significantly higher value on education than I do on vacation. It also means that I'm capable of "taking care of [myself]" without taking a week of vacation at what I consider to be an inappropriate time. It doesn't mean that I think you (or anyone else who pulls their child out) is a horrible parent. I do think that it affects overall outcomes and perceptions.


Destroy? Certainly not. On the other hand - I would expect it to modify that impression. You are instilling the values you live by, and your value system says that education is important but it's ok to sacrifice a week's education for a week's personal indulgence. There's nothing wrong with that - but it isn't *my* value system, which is what I was speaking to.



It's not uncommon that two parents can't schedule the same blocks of time. And with the whole summer available, I think it's unreasonable to say that because of school you can't take vacations. People have free choice about the jobs they take. They have free choice about where they live. They have the ability to agitate for year-round schools or altered spring break schedules or whatever would make their lives more convenient.



If you don't feel guilt, why do you seem defensive? That last line said "It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park." You've made your decision. It's not the decision I would have made, but I did say that it was up to every parent to come to their own decision. I never suggested that anyone in the family be unwillingly left behind.

Note that the primary thrust of the post you are responding to was in support of public school funding (that public schools aren't by definition socialist and in need of abolishment), and in opposition to the idea that schools are being fascist by asking parents to send their children to school to receive the education that I'm helping to pay for.

IMO, the "should I pull my kids out of school for WDW" discussions are a lot like the "should I go into debt to take my kids to WDW" or "should I move to Orlando so I can go to WDW every day" discussions. It's a very personal decision that no one else can second guess. It's also a decision with good and bad potential effects and you need to be aware of what those effects are and willing to accept them.[/QU

I am taking my kids out of school for 7 days for our Disney vacation the end of the month. I do not feel a bit guilty about it. In fact I can not wait to go. We have taken our children out of school 3 times for vacation. We do not vacation in the summer. We don't like it. My kids are 9, 7, & 3. We have never had trouble with getting the work to make up. My kids teachers have always been very understanding.

Now before you go on with your rant. Education is important to us. Not more important than family.

guelde96
09-03-2007, 03:15 PM
I don't think most posters mean it that way. It's usually posted as a jab at those who are against pulling kids out of school.

I agree we all have to do what works best for our families.

I respect someones decision to pull their child out of school. Just as I respect someones decision to NOT pull their child out of school. I think the jabs have come from both sides. Like a previous poster saying they value education to much to pull their child from school. Insinuating that people who pull their child from school for a vacation do not value education.

HappyLawyer
09-03-2007, 03:32 PM
personally, i could care less what the schools say and i am not going to let them dictate when we can or cannot take vacation. People can respond any way they choose and i am not here to argue or debate the issue. No one knows what is going on in a family. Some people can only vacation at certain times. So if my child is unexcused then so be it, i am a former teacher and the children will not miss anything life threatening being gone from school a week or so.

IndianaMouseLover
09-03-2007, 05:12 PM
My main problem with that kind of schedule is that usually there are different "tracks", rather than one year round schedule, or some schools are year round while others are traditional. I have some friends who were ery excited about their elementary making the switch to a year round schedule, and it was great. Until their oldest got to middle school, and was on a completely different school calendar than his younger siblings. :headache:

If they attend within the same school district is makes no sense as to why they are on different calendars.:confused: I would petition the governing body as to why and push to change. We have begun discussions on a year round calendar and all administrators have come to agreement that the calendar has to be uniform across the district.

Now if they are in two different districts I could see that.

IndianaMouseLover
09-03-2007, 05:24 PM
I think that each individual has their own reasons for going to WDW during the school year. For us it means lesser crowds, cooler weather and a chance to enjoy time off with our kids. We go on vacation to relax, not to deal with 50,000 people a day. My DH and I both work full time so these weeks with our kids are a chance to really have some quality family fun time. I would loath the site of Main Street in July!

Do I try and make each trip with my kids educational? You bet, mainly because of the aforesaid degree in progress, but also to encourage my kids to always look around them for education. It isn't always in the classroom.

That being said I think that each parent had gotten their child this far, and should be able to make those decisions for their children. When a school makes these decisons for parents, that's when we see these type of debates. The director of our school just asks for advance written notice of the absence.

Our point here is not to judge other's reasons. We all make choices and decisions that are right for our families everyday, whereas someone else would make the opposite choice. It all boils down to your family, your children, and the circumstances surrounding your decision.

I commend you and others on this board that do feel that is is your responsibility to be a part of your child's eduaction. You are highly educated and are capable. There won't be any "holes" in your well rounded, educated children. I know many parents such as yourself. I am going to debate whether it is wrong or right to pull a child out of school. I am not going to pass judgement.

One thing I want all of you to acknowledge or some of you ......that while all of you recognize you are part of the key to your child's education there are just as many that do not feel this way. They feel it is the school's job to do that. They are not educated enough to accomplish what all of you are. You may not know any of these parents personally but they are out there. There are just as many on that end of the spectrum as on the end that you are all on. When these individuals do take a vacation it is what it is....a vacation. A vacation from school, from thinking, from learning, from everything but "freedom". They do not treat each and every opportunity they have with their children as a life changing family educational experience. All of us have been to WDW at any time and can almost just pick them out in a crowd that are on the oppostie end of the spectrum you are on. I can quite imagine that all of you expect your children to act civilized and part of society as whole. You have educated your child to act that way. It is obvious that you educate your children on all fronts.

darlak
09-03-2007, 05:38 PM
As I've posted previously, I will continue to take my DD out of school for a week or so every year for our family vacation. I'm not sitting in judgement of those of you who think it's wrong, but you won't change my mind on the issue either.

The reason I won't change my mind isn't that I'm too close-minded to listen to your opinions on the subject. Rather, it is because the child I now take out of school, my DD13, is my youngest of 4 children. My oldest is my DD29. I have witnessed no ill effects to their academic acheivements as a result of my having taken each of them out of school for 1-2 weeks each school year for a family vacation. Of the 3 that are now adults, 2 are currently in college with a GPA of 3.5 or above. The oldest is now married and a responsible adult and mother of 3. None of my adult children have ever been in any serious trouble.

So please understand, that although I am still, even after raising 3 other children, always looking for ways to be a better parent, when I read your opinions of all the reasons I shouldn't take my DD13 out of school to vacation, I can't help but look at the other 3 and see that this practice seemed to have absolutely no detrimental effect on their educational success.

I do believe that everyone posting here is trying to raise their own children in the manner we believe to be in their best interest. That fact alone, makes each and every child of all the posters here, blessed.

Irish9697
09-03-2007, 06:25 PM
Someone made a good point...the school and/or district determines break times. And, we all just are expected to go along with it. Imagine if we were to all bombard them with calls and let them know, "Well, ya know, actually, that time frame isn't working for us..."

The timing is a big thing with me. I'm a single mom and a CPA who focuses primarily on taxes. So, essentially, most of our school-year breaks aren't convenient for my job. Therein lies the dilemma of...is my job or my kids and their schooling more important??? I mean, look at this calendar year...our fall break is the week leading up to October 15th, the absolute last date an individual can file a tax return on time. So, yeah, school, that break time is just not working for me...And, spring break...we have off March 10-14 and again for a long weekend over Easter which is late March this year...this is just a month and weeks before the big ol' April 15th which sends my whole office into a panic.

So, what am I to do? Well, thankfully, my employer is overwhelmingly accommodating to the needs of the family and understands that as a parent, and a single one at that, that this schedule puts me in a bit of a bind. So, our solution? My employer lets me off for this time so I can spend it with my kids!! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE where I work!?!?! :)

But, isn't a strange world where my employer is more accommodating than a school district???

Now, I will say...in defense of my kids' school...I love it as well and I know they would be open to my kids missing school if necessary whenever for whatever. (They attend a private, Lutheran school...we're not Lutheran, but it's an EXCELLENT school that we are very happy we are a part of!) It's their father who would have a heart attack if they were to miss for any reason...their father who sees them, 3-4 days per month, by choice. So, yeah, father of the year...but that's a whole other story. The point is...I have some hardships to face in terms of vacation timing, but thankfully, I have an accommodating employer and school, so it hasn't *yet* been an issue.

We're headed to Disney the 10th-15th of October and am hoping that this is as good of a time as I hear it is! :)

Lizzy2
09-03-2007, 09:45 PM
Nope, but I do believe that parents set an example for their children. And I believe that taking children out of school for a WDW vacation implies that self-indulgence is more important than education.

It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park.

I started to write a response to this but the bottom line is this- It must be nice to sit up there on your high horse and smugly decide that I don't care about my child because she misses school for a family trip. You are the same people who drag yourselves into the office coughing germs all over everybody else because you can't miss a day (God forbid! What would the world do without you?)- I hope on your deathbed you lie there and count all the days you DIDN'T miss from school and work and all the other "too critical to miss" events and you and your children are just as satisfied and smug as you are now. I'm sure the memories of your lack of self-indulgence will give you and them peace.:headache:

Colleen27
09-03-2007, 09:55 PM
It just seems stupid that parents are pitted as adversaries against the school systems over what amounts to really trivial matters such as this. There are far more important matter at hand that have direct effects on the children and their education. This is exactly why the public education system in this country loses more supporters every year...making mountains into molehills while also ignoring the real issues at hand.

That's it in a nutshell, isn't it? So many of these policies (and the factors driving them) miss the point entirely, and as we move further and further from meaningful local control of schools, I see more and more of this sort of thing happening. Yes, attendance is a problem in some districts, but it makes little sense to apply a blanket policy in reaction to a localized issue and force districts where attendance isn't and has never been a problem to create strict rules and impose ridiculous penalties in the name of improving the districts where those sorts of rules are needed. There is absolutely no logical reason why a parent taking their child our of school for a special family vacation should be treated in the same manner as a parent who just doesn't care enough to get their child to school in the morning.

Colleen27
09-03-2007, 10:02 PM
When we enroll our kids in school, we have to expect rules and guidelines to be in place. Some we'll agree with and some we won't.

If vacation days were excused, what would be an appropriate number? 5 days, 10, 20? There was a DISer who pulled her child out of school for a total of 30 days during one school year. Should all of those days be excused?

Where do you draw the line?

Personally, I think any child capable of doing the work should pass, regardless of days missed. That is the point of schooling, isn't it? To pass on information, not to ascertain one's ability to keep their butt in the same chair for 180 days out of the year.

But if the school district feels a need to draw a line, there are easy ones to draw. Our district will only excuse a total of 2 trips per year (officially written as one family vacation and one hunting trip); the number of days don't matter. And there are a few other restrictions - vacations are strongly discouraged during MEAP testing, so they don't excuse vacations for those weeks unless there are exceptional circumstances, and at the middle and high school level, vacations cannot be excused during midterms or finals. It doesn't have to be all or nothing - a school district can choose to create an absence policy that imposes limits and conditions on vacation absences without making them unexcused across the board.

Colleen27
09-03-2007, 10:11 PM
If they attend within the same school district is makes no sense as to why they are on different calendars.:confused: I would petition the governing body as to why and push to change. We have begun discussions on a year round calendar and all administrators have come to agreement that the calendar has to be uniform across the district.

Now if they are in two different districts I could see that.

The problem stems from resistance to the year-round schedule (with some valid reasons - spacing breaks sounds good in theory, but what good is vacation time when we're all snowed in and the in-state tourist destinations are all closed for the winter?). One elementary was chosen to be a pilot school for the year round calendar, while the rest of the district stayed on the traditional schedule. Which, as I said, was fine if you only had kids at the elementary, but not so good when you have a child in middle school on a traditional schedule and one in elementary on a year-round schedule.

cissy
09-03-2007, 10:16 PM
If they attend within the same school district is makes no sense as to why they are on different calendars.:confused: I would petition the governing body as to why and push to change. We have begun discussions on a year round calendar and all administrators have come to agreement that the calendar has to be uniform across the district.

Now if they are in two different districts I could see that.

BE WARNED!! Don't trust for one second that your school district will agree to move ALL schools to a year round calendar in your district. Unless you are a very small district, it ain't gonna happen. The problem is that elementary schools vastly outnumber middle and upper schools. We probably have 4 elementary for every high school here. And elementary schools don't have SPORTS teams so it is much easier to change their calendar year.

As I stated earlier, we get 7,000 students per year in our county. We started school last week and the paper reported that 1,500 unexpected kids entered the system between Monday and Friday. We also started the year 30 teachers short!

Anyway, very few middle or high schools will EVER go year round. Not if athletics is at all an issue (and I have NO problem with athletics so don't flame me). And, there are college admissions to consider. Some tracks don;t get out until late July. What then? A high schooler would be hussling to get tests and applications in place when he doesn't graduate until middle of the summer.

I love the year round system and wish our private school would adopt it. But BE VERY WARY of any school official who tells you that ALL schools in your district will change over. Get stats behind you on how many middle and high schools actually are year round. I bet there aren't many. Our county had no choice but to go year round. And our school board has gotten sued every year for the past three years. It is a mess! But as big as a mess it may be, I can tell you right now that if they attempted to change middle and high schools over, there would be an all out revolt!

Good luck!

kyhardy
09-03-2007, 11:04 PM
I despise the attendance policy in our public schools! DD8 attends a private school & DS15 goes to a public HS (no private HS in our city,yet) I never have had trouble when they were in private school. I always let the teacher know way ahead of our trip & DD does work ahead of time & catches up the rest when we get back. Not so easy for my public school attending DS. Last year, even though 1 educational/family trip is excusable, his teachers really gave him a hard time about his make-up work & refused to send home any wk ahead of time.:mad: This year I am just taking him out & will send a note with him to school on the first day back. IMO these are my children, they are not troublemakers & are excellent students, I am a responsible parent & value education. I will remove my children from school at my discretion & not be dictated to by someone who is only interested in the greater good of their bank account! :mad: :mad: :mad: BTW - my DS only missed 1 other day of school last year for an illness & had to leave early a few times for ortho appts.

momimouse27
09-03-2007, 11:29 PM
I can't understand why Social Workers will be bogged down doing this type of bull crap work when there are thousands of children in the ghetto who aren't fed dinner and have to live in houses that are hang out spots for drug dealers and crackheads......Yet, ANOTHER reason why I'll be homeschooling. :confused3

Sorry, didn't mean to come off crazy, this stuff just grates on my nerves.....

Yes, it gets on my nerves also. We have homeschooled our children for six years now and this is just an example of some of the silliness which we felt led to our departure from our school district. When I was growing up, instead of making all these off-the-wall rules, the parent would just inform the teacher, the teacher would give us our homework, and we would make it up at home, no big deal. I agree that there are too many other children with real problems and bad situations for the state DHS to be worrying about "vacation delinquents"...:confused3

bzzymom
09-03-2007, 11:46 PM
I will say that our private school is tolerant of vacations, what the policy says is that teachers are not expected to make their plan ahead of time to accomodate the child's trip. The teachers DS had did send work. I told them I didn't want to take big books, so they sent mostly math pages and some english/ grammer papers. DS did journal as well which was not expected, but I told him he needed to be writing. When he was in 2nd grade, he worte his journal and drew his favorite thing each day. It was great.

darlak
09-03-2007, 11:54 PM
Personally, I think any child capable of doing the work should pass, regardless of days missed. That is the point of schooling, isn't it? To pass on information, not to ascertain one's ability to keep their butt in the same chair for 180 days out of the year.

EXACTLY! That's why we have teacher prepared testing as well as standardized testing. If a student is able to score a level of proficiency on these tests, THAT and that ALONE should be the criteria used to determine whether a student is promoted or retained.

If they have mastered the academic skills presented for that grade level, then clearly they have learned the subject matter and should be promoted to the next grade level.

IndianaMouseLover
09-04-2007, 12:26 AM
Hey Irish9697,

That is a wonderful family pic!:)

IndianaMouseLover
09-04-2007, 12:31 AM
The problem stems from resistance to the year-round schedule (with some valid reasons - spacing breaks sounds good in theory, but what good is vacation time when we're all snowed in and the in-state tourist destinations are all closed for the winter?). One elementary was chosen to be a pilot school for the year round calendar, while the rest of the district stayed on the traditional schedule. Which, as I said, was fine if you only had kids at the elementary, but not so good when you have a child in middle school on a traditional schedule and one in elementary on a year-round schedule.

I see now and understand. That would cause a big problem if all of the schools are not in board. Hopefully that will change for the MS and HS.:thumbsup2

IndianaMouseLover
09-04-2007, 12:46 AM
BE WARNED!! Don't trust for one second that your school district will agree to move ALL schools to a year round calendar in your district. Unless you are a very small district, it ain't gonna happen. The problem is that elementary schools vastly outnumber middle and upper schools. We probably have 4 elementary for every high school here. And elementary schools don't have SPORTS teams so it is much easier to change their calendar year.

As I stated earlier, we get 7,000 students per year in our county. We started school last week and the paper reported that 1,500 unexpected kids entered the system between Monday and Friday. We also started the year 30 teachers short!

Anyway, very few middle or high schools will EVER go year round. Not if athletics is at all an issue (and I have NO problem with athletics so don't flame me). And, there are college admissions to consider. Some tracks don;t get out until late July. What then? A high schooler would be hussling to get tests and applications in place when he doesn't graduate until middle of the summer.

I love the year round system and wish our private school would adopt it. But BE VERY WARY of any school official who tells you that ALL schools in your district will change over. Get stats behind you on how many middle and high schools actually are year round. I bet there aren't many. Our county had no choice but to go year round. And our school board has gotten sued every year for the past three years. It is a mess! But as big as a mess it may be, I can tell you right now that if they attempted to change middle and high schools over, there would be an all out revolt!

Good luck!

Thanks for the warning.:thumbsup2

As for sports I feel that it contributes to well rounded students. :) I know that for a fact. My grades were always better when I was in-season versus off-season. I guess I realized I had to buckle down.

Back the the year round.....I still think it can happen. Many tracks in our state end in late June with the first grading period for the new year beginning in mid to late July. Only a 4 or 5 weeks earlier than we normally would start depending on the district. But you points are definite points to be pondering and thinking about in the planning stages.

PS. Rumor has it that the IDOE (Indiana Dept. of Ed.) is thinking about moving from 180 day calendar to a 200. I just read that in my email today. Money is too tight and that is a long way down the road. :headache: I would be totally against that. I see that quality versus quantity is the way to go.

aimsicle
09-04-2007, 01:36 AM
You are instilling the values you live by, and your value system says that education is important but it's ok to sacrifice a week's education for a week's personal indulgence. There's nothing wrong with that - but it isn't *my* value system, which is what I was speaking to.

If you don't feel guilt, why do you seem defensive? That last line said "It's up to every parent to decide which is more important. Their children's education or a more comfortable day at the amusement park." You've made your decision. It's not the decision I would have made, but I did say that it was up to every parent to come to their own decision. I never suggested that anyone in the family be unwillingly left behind.

I have a Ph.D from a highly ranked university. Obviously, I do value education. I value education so much that during the summer breaks, we still do some schoolwork with my children. I value education so much that my youngest, who just turned 4 two weeks ago, is already reading because I have worked with her. HOWEVER important education is, family is moreso. Yes, I understand that there are summer breaks, but that is not always the best for the FAMILY.

I pulled my oldest out of first grade a few years ago for a WDW trip in September. Why September? Her brother had died, and September would have been his birthday. We, as a family, needed it for some healing. And yes, it seemed to be much more important to heal as a family in the middle of the school year than it did for my daughter to attend a school that tries to fit every child into a cookie cutter mold.

I do not believe that those who take their children out during the school year are all about personal indulgence over education. Perhaps our value systems are not so different; rather, the way we define education is what is different. To me, education is so much more than sitting at a desk in a classroom following a curriculum that the state dictates. Education is essentially about becoming a productive member of society. No one cares how old you were when you started reading; when you go out and get a job, they just want to know if you have the skills, can follow directions, and can get along with others--the latter two you can most certainly learn at Disney!

WildGrits
09-04-2007, 01:45 AM
I just wanted to say to OP..............

I am far from surprised about this new rule. My girls went to Gregory when we lived in Wilmington Full-time and it was an awesome school. I'm not sure if that is the school you are talking about but they where quite strict like that 2 years ago.

Now my girls go to school in Albany, NY and sadly there is no comparison in the quality of education they receive now. IT was a total culture shock for them to see how poorly student are allowed to behave.

Sorry for the OT.

I just had to comment on how awesome the schools in New Hanover County are.:banana:

StitchandPooh'sMom
09-04-2007, 08:26 AM
I just wanted to say to OP..............

I am far from surprised about this new rule. My girls went to Gregory when we lived in Wilmington Full-time and it was an awesome school. I'm not sure if that is the school you are talking about but they where quite strict like that 2 years ago.

Now my girls go to school in Albany, NY and sadly there is no comparison in the quality of education they receive now. IT was a total culture shock for them to see how poorly student are allowed to behave.

Sorry for the OT.

I just had to comment on how awesome the schools in New Hanover County are.:banana:

It's so funny that you posted this! We used to live in Clifton Park, and we had always heard how great the schools are there. We moved to Wilmington just before kindergarten for our oldest, so we didn't go to Shen schools. DD8 goes to Wrighstville Beach, which we love and are so blessed to be a part of, but I am just not crazy about the new attendance policy. It doesn't make me value the school any less and I have no interest in sending her to private school when she is part of such a wonderful place, but I sure wish we could still go to WDW in September! :rotfl2:

portia9
09-04-2007, 09:51 AM
Just a comment about year round schooling.

I am Australian and we now have 4 10 weeks terms a year. Our school year starts at the end of January and runs through to December-they break up on Dec 21st this year. The kids have 2 weeks off in April, 2 weeks off in July, 2 weeks off in October and around 5 weeks off over Christmas and January-that is our summer. I love it-I find by the end of term they are getting tired and the break really revives them.

I will be taking my 3 boys out next year to go to WDW-they will miss 4 days of school but we have overlapped our April break. They will be in Year 6, Year 2 and kindergarten. They will miss 24 hours of school but once you take out lunch, recess, library, fitness (they do that every morning), sport and assembly none of which are academic then they will miss around 12 hours of actual learning over that four days. They are all pretty bright kids and I think they will be fine and the teachers at school are very helpful and I am sure will be supportive. I do plan to take work with us and hopefully incorporate whatever they are learning into our trip. I just hope they aren't doing a lot on anything Australian LOL.

IndianaMouseLover
09-04-2007, 04:43 PM
Just a comment about year round schooling.

I am Australian and we now have 4 10 weeks terms a year. Our school year starts at the end of January and runs through to December-they break up on Dec 21st this year. The kids have 2 weeks off in April, 2 weeks off in July, 2 weeks off in October and around 5 weeks off over Christmas and January-that is our summer. I love it-I find by the end of term they are getting tired and the break really revives them.

I will be taking my 3 boys out next year to go to WDW-they will miss 4 days of school but we have overlapped our April break. They will be in Year 6, Year 2 and kindergarten. They will miss 24 hours of school but once you take out lunch, recess, library, fitness (they do that every morning), sport and assembly none of which are academic then they will miss around 12 hours of actual learning over that four days. They are all pretty bright kids and I think they will be fine and the teachers at school are very helpful and I am sure will be supportive. I do plan to take work with us and hopefully incorporate whatever they are learning into our trip. I just hope they aren't doing a lot on anything Australian LOL.


That is interesting.

Correct me if I am wrong. You mention Year 2 and Year 6......does your school practice the schooling that I have been reading about. They promote the student on to the next "year" at the point they master the content for the year they are in? Students are not just promoted based on just a calendar year and age? I have been reading about Australian schools that have gone to this is yours one of them?

Thanks!

Lizzy2
09-04-2007, 04:47 PM
I have a Ph.D from a highly ranked university. Obviously, I do value education. I value education so much that during the summer breaks, we still do some schoolwork with my children. I value education so much that my youngest, who just turned 4 two weeks ago, is already reading because I have worked with her. HOWEVER important education is, family is moreso. Yes, I understand that there are summer breaks, but that is not always the best for the FAMILY.

I pulled my oldest out of first grade a few years ago for a WDW trip in September. Why September? Her brother had died, and September would have been his birthday. We, as a family, needed it for some healing. And yes, it seemed to be much more important to heal as a family in the middle of the school year than it did for my daughter to attend a school that tries to fit every child into a cookie cutter mold.

I do not believe that those who take their children out during the school year are all about personal indulgence over education. Perhaps our value systems are not so different; rather, the way we define education is what is different. To me, education is so much more than sitting at a desk in a classroom following a curriculum that the state dictates. Education is essentially about becoming a productive member of society. No one cares how old you were when you started reading; when you go out and get a job, they just want to know if you have the skills, can follow directions, and can get along with others--the latter two you can most certainly learn at Disney!

I just wanted to say thankyou for saying so gracefully what I was too angry to say last night. My BFF died in April at 37y. from lung cancer(she never even smoked) and her dream was to take my DD to WDW. Since I have no sisters, she was in everyway my DD's aunt and was holding my right leg as I pushed my DD into the world. I am taking DD to WDW in October w/ BFF's husband and kids and other close friends as a memorial for her birthday. NO ONE is going to tell us not too I don't care if my daughter gets zero's everyday we're gone. The public school is a government institution that was intended to be of service to the public. That is why taxes are paid to support it. Until we, the parents and taxpayers, start attending school board meetings, writing our Congressmen, and in general paying attention when these PIA rules are made, nothing will change. Homeschooling is looking better and better to me-:sad2:

ameraumi
09-04-2007, 05:15 PM
PS. Rumor has it that the IDOE (Indiana Dept. of Ed.) is thinking about moving from 180 day calendar to a 200. I just read that in my email today. Money is too tight and that is a long way down the road. :headache: I would be totally against that. I see that quality versus quantity is the way to go.

:scared1: Please tell me this will not happen!!!! It is hard enough to get family time in during the school breaks and adding another 20 days to the already long schedule is INSANE!

Colleen27
09-04-2007, 06:28 PM
PS. Rumor has it that the IDOE (Indiana Dept. of Ed.) is thinking about moving from 180 day calendar to a 200. I just read that in my email today. Money is too tight and that is a long way down the road. :headache: I would be totally against that. I see that quality versus quantity is the way to go.

Do you hae any idea what the thinking behind that is? Is it educational or social? I've heard a longer school year advocated by a lot of different groups, but always for all the wrong reasons (less childcare burden on parents, less problems with kids loitering or causing trouble during the summer, extending the reach of the free/reduced breakfast & lunch programs, etc). I've never heard an educational rationale for it.

cissy
09-04-2007, 07:52 PM
I want to get on topic...notifying the social worker about school (or non school) stuff and off topic...this is not about absences. But something happened to a friend of mine last week that is pretty scary.

Her DD10 is a rather dramatic girl. She exaggerates a lot. She is at a new year round school this year and in the 5th grade. She was in a different school last year, but base school lines got redrawn so even though she was going into her last year at elementary, she had to move schools. No one got grandfathered in, of course!

Anyway, she has been in school almost 2 months. She began her track in July. Last week she got mad at her mom and she was blowing off steam in class. Her teacher suggested she go to the school counselor to talk. No call to her mom and dad, but sent to the counselor. So, off she goes and gives a performance worthy of an Oscar. How mistreated she is and how mean her parents are.

Well, instead of calling home to talk to the parents, this counselor (who has never met this child and did not speak to the teacher, the principal or the parents) decides to call the Department of Social Services. Because, that is what she has been told to do if she suspects abuse!!

So, my friend gets a call 2 days later from DSS. She is shocked and scared because her daughter is adopted and she is afraid it could be anything. DSS won't give her any info on why they are coming. She is worried sick. Finally, the guy arrives and starts questioning them on what her daughter has said.

WELL, the are horrified. The daughter admits to making most of it up and what isn't made up is greatly exaggerated. The social worker leaves and tells them he knows there is no abuse and this was a case of crossed wires.

BUT the school NEVER notified them. So, she called the principal the next day and was livid! She couldn't believe that no one had called them to let them know there daughter had even seen a counselor. And that the teacher didn't know her daughter well enough over 2 months to not take her drama seriously. The whole thing was a nightmare!

Now, don't post back saying that it is a counselors job and blah blah blah. If you are around this girl for more than an hour, it is obvious she loves drama and has a great sense of the dramatic. What is at the root issue here is that the school took it upon themselves to potentially harm this family. They have the power to seriously jeopardize a family unit.

Scary stuff. There is a time and place, certainly, for schools to get involved with DSS. I am sure there are children who are saved from dangerous families every day. But this is a GROSS mishandling of authority. And even if proven "innocent," there is now a RECORD of DSS coming to their home. A permanent record. :scared:

Anyway, my friend is pulling her child out and putting her in private school. Her sense of violation is too great for her to ever trust her child to the PS system.

Sorry so long, but let me reiterate an earlier sentiment. Get the government OUT OF THE SCHOOLS. Make schools compete like any other business. Most of Europe is on the competitive track and there schools have vastly improved. When schools have to compete for their dollars, kids win.

PaulaSue
09-04-2007, 08:14 PM
OP, that is crazy. I hope our school doesn't do that!

Colleen27
09-04-2007, 11:37 PM
BUT the school NEVER notified them. So, she called the principal the next day and was livid! She couldn't believe that no one had called them to let them know there daughter had even seen a counselor. And that the teacher didn't know her daughter well enough over 2 months to not take her drama seriously. The whole thing was a nightmare!

Now, don't post back saying that it is a counselors job and blah blah blah. If you are around this girl for more than an hour, it is obvious she loves drama and has a great sense of the dramatic. What is at the root issue here is that the school took it upon themselves to potentially harm this family. They have the power to seriously jeopardize a family unit.

Scary stuff. There is a time and place, certainly, for schools to get involved with DSS. I am sure there are children who are saved from dangerous families every day. But this is a GROSS mishandling of authority. And even if proven "innocent," there is now a RECORD of DSS coming to their home. A permanent record. :scared:



The threat of CPS involvement really is a frightening one, precisely because every call and report results in a permanent record even when determined to be frivolous. We have a jack#@$ of a neighbor who has called repeatedly, claiming we regularly leave DS9 home alone for extended periods of time (and this isn't his only nuisance complaint - we've actually considered moving because of this jerk's harrassment). In his front porch gossip, he's noticed that I routinely leave with DD6 without DS but somehow failed to notice DS's dad picking him up and dropping him off. The social worker who came out verified that every single call that was made (he called about a dozen times) took place on dates when DS was with his father! No big deal, on the surface.

The scary part? The social worker told me if they'd gotten the report during the school year, DH & I would never have been informed they were investigating. They'd have gone to the school, pulled the kids out of class to talk to, and taken action based on their findings without so much as getting our side of it! :scared1: :scared1: I cannot even imagine what that would do to DS; his infant half-brother is in foster care because my ex's girlfriend was deemed unfit, and he's understandably insecure about family and extremely wary of the entire concept of social workers.

scrapquitler
09-04-2007, 11:42 PM
Sure, ideally, we would vacation at WDW (or anywhere) during school vacations so that our child would not miss any days of school. However, we have taken her out of school for such trips, and we've done it without any guilt, regrets or hassles from the school.

Firstly and foremost: NOT EVERYONE'S JOB ALLOWS THEM TO TAKE OFF DURING SCHOOL VACASTION.

Examples: I used to work retail. Noone was allowed to take off from a couple weeks before Thanksgiving until the week after New Years. So there goes the idea of a Christmas or Thanksgiving week trip.
When I later worked in a corporate job, Vacation time was given out by seniority. And only one person was allowed to be on vacation during any given week. Even in the summer. For the three years I worked there, I was never able to get week off between Easter and Mid-October because of this policy. So there would go the rest of the school vacation weeks. Oh, except for President's Day week, which was also hard to get because of the seniority thing.
Fast forward to now. Sure, I'm a stay at home mom. But my husband has a high-pressure consulting job. He is allowed to take vacation on exactly TWO situations: a.> when he has no client (i.e. if he is unemployed), which means we probably aren't going to take a vacation because hello, he is unemployed and looking for a new gig. or b.> If he is doing multiple projects for the same client, a project ends and the next one is not scheduled to start immediately. Now when this happens is a great time to take a vacation, since he's got no work hanging over him. BUT, this situation usually comes up unexpectedly or is tenatitve until the last minute. So when this sort of situation happens, we need to take our trip NEXT WEEK or within about two/three weeks. Which leaves little time for planning or working around school calendars.

So anyone saying, "Oh just go on vacation during the school vacations". Great if it works for you,thats fabulous, but it just isn't even possible for everyone. And don't we deserve to be able to have a family trip, too??

memobrien
09-05-2007, 01:51 PM
Quite honestly, I don't care if any child only attended 1 day of school. If you know the work you should pass. Also- since they are my children I will decide when we vacation according to the needs of my family. Sorry if that sounds rude but I think the school social worker should concentrate efoorts on more important things. Things like this really annoy me.

I just wanted to add that at orientation for pre-school (private) for my 3 year old the director asked that we not take vacations during the school year because the kids will miss too much!!!

Funny you just said that about the preschool. I had orientation for my daughter’s school. She is in a Montessori school and her class is a PreK/K room (3-6 year olds). Anyway, in the handbook and at the meeting they said that there should be no taking the kids out of school for vacations. But I’ve already got a trip booked for Jan. So, whatever I’m taking her out. At this stage of the game, she will be fine. She isn’t going to miss anything significant work wise. They can give her homework if they want but I’m doing it.

Here is my take on the public school and taking kids out….this might be an unpopular point of view…but I’m going to start my saying that I was a teacher and my mother IS still a teacher in public schools. When the teachers and principals stop taking trips during the school year, they can talk to me about me not doing it with my kid. My mother is taking a long weekend to go to CA, then again to go with us to FL in Jan, then again in May. These are all planned and no problem. If she can miss a few days, then my kid can and I will be responsible for making up the work with her. It’s not like my mother is the exception to the rule. They other staff take time, including the principal. As long as the work gets done, so be it.

I know some people mentioned missing an exception amount of days. I think that is another category. Then again that kid who missed 100+ days couldn’t possible have done all their work, and therefore there should be consequences. But I think that is a whole other story compared to a few days.

Maura

perdidochas
09-05-2007, 02:04 PM
The real kicker about NCLB and schools meeting their AYP for attendance is that the board only looks at TWENTY SPECIFIC school days out of the year. Not the whole year--TWENTY. MEASLY. DAYS.

And this year they're counting attendance from September 4 through October 1 at my oldest DS's school. And guess who has plans for WDW the last week of September?

I spoke to the interim principal and she told me that she would NOT excuse my son's absences NOR would she allow him to make up his work--he'd receive zeros in every class. :eek:

I was in severe panic mode. I finally calmed down and pulled the assistant principal aside and asked her what I should do...and another teacher suggested I withdraw my boys for a week and then re-enroll them a week later! INSANITY!

That's what I would do--I would take the kids out for "homeschool" for a week, and then come back and reenroll them with all A's. It's a lot of paperwork, but it would make the point.

Fortunately, the interim principal is on her way out and I know the school secretary who said she will make sure his absences are "taken care of". :wizard:

My other son's school was a little more understanding (his absences will be unexcused but he will be allowed to make up his work) and the secretary said she wouldn't refer me to truancy court. :rolleyes: When I spoke to his teacher he said "Why didn't you lie?!" Well, because I'm trying to do this the RIGHT way! That'll teach me! He told us to go and enjoy ourselves and that he doubted he would assign DS much, if any work.

My boys usually have stellar attendance and this is the first time we've ever pulled them out of school. They are both on honor roll, too. It just makes me SICK--all of the bureaucratic baloney that people can create. :sad2: DH and I were just talking about this today...public school has become so bogged down in paperwork and grudge matches (a whole other topic) and has totally forgotten that their goal is educating our children!

Well, it's the public's own fault. We asked the schools for accountability. They are providing it. Accountability means CYA, and CYA usually means paperwork.

Minniemouse07
09-05-2007, 07:20 PM
Nope, but I do believe that parents set an example for their children. And I believe that taking children out of school for a WDW vacation implies that self-indulgence is more important than education.

As a parent (and a former teacher) I am empowering my children to become life long learners. Learning is done through many ways and the toolbox that my children use to "learn" from is NOT restricted to only the "school" tool.

When I pull my dd from her first grade class this year (for 5 days in December) I will be expanding her learning toolbox to include experiences that she doesn't get exposed to every day. Travel, budgeting, planning, geography, math, language arts, history, cultures of the world...all of that will be part of our vacation, and in fact she has already started much of it.

Yes, classroom instruction is important but it isn't the only education tool that I want my children exposed to. If I place too much importance on school then I am doing them a disservice since that ignores the many other tools that are just as important as school. In our ever changing information age, being exposed the multiple ways of learning really is the best way to prepare our children to be ready for a life full of change. That way as the information and technology changes, my children will be able to learn and adapt as they need to.

I am showing my children the entire learning toolbox, not just the one single tool of a traditional schoolroom.

MM27
09-05-2007, 07:44 PM
Well, instead of calling home to talk to the parents, this counselor (who has never met this child and did not speak to the teacher, the principal or the parents) decides to call the Department of Social Services. Because, that is what she has been told to do if she suspects abuse!!


School staff members are legally obligated to call Social Services or whatever it's called in your particular state. I've had to call DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) several times because of things kids have told me. I talked to the school nurse and my principal, but the person that gets the information from the child is the one that is required to call. I've had children report sexual, physical and verbal abuse by parents, foster parents and boyfriends of the kids mother. After I call DYFS, it is no longer in my hands, it is up to the social worker assigned to the case to determine what needs to be done. We've had DYFS workers come to the school and talk to kids and in one case, they removed several children from one family.

Lizzy2
09-05-2007, 07:52 PM
Sure, ideally, we would vacation at WDW (or anywhere) during school vacations so that our child would not miss any days of school. However, we have taken her out of school for such trips, and we've done it without any guilt, regrets or hassles from the school.

Firstly and foremost: NOT EVERYONE'S JOB ALLOWS THEM TO TAKE OFF DURING SCHOOL VACASTION.

Examples: I used to work retail. Noone was allowed to take off from a couple weeks before Thanksgiving until the week after New Years. So there goes the idea of a Christmas or Thanksgiving week trip.
When I later worked in a corporate job, Vacation time was given out by seniority. And only one person was allowed to be on vacation during any given week. Even in the summer. For the three years I worked there, I was never able to get week off between Easter and Mid-October because of this policy. So there would go the rest of the school vacation weeks. Oh, except for President's Day week, which was also hard to get because of the seniority thing.
Fast forward to now. Sure, I'm a stay at home mom. But my husband has a high-pressure consulting job. He is allowed to take vacation on exactly TWO situations: a.> when he has no client (i.e. if he is unemployed), which means we probably aren't going to take a vacation because hello, he is unemployed and looking for a new gig. or b.> If he is doing multiple projects for the same client, a project ends and the next one is not scheduled to start immediately. Now when this happens is a great time to take a vacation, since he's got no work hanging over him. BUT, this situation usually comes up unexpectedly or is tenatitve until the last minute. So when this sort of situation happens, we need to take our trip NEXT WEEK or within about two/three weeks. Which leaves little time for planning or working around school calendars.

So anyone saying, "Oh just go on vacation during the school vacations". Great if it works for you,thats fabulous, but it just isn't even possible for everyone. And don't we deserve to be able to have a family trip, too??

This too was an issue for my family growing up. My Mom and Dad owned their own marine repair business and there was no such thing as a taking a trip in the summer especially for my Dad. This was their busiest time of year!

cissy
09-05-2007, 08:28 PM
School staff members are legally obligated to call Social Services or whatever it's called in your particular state. I've had to call DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) several times because of things kids have told me. I talked to the school nurse and my principal, but the person that gets the information from the child is the one that is required to call. I've had children report sexual, physical and verbal abuse by parents, foster parents and boyfriends of the kids mother. After I call DYFS, it is no longer in my hands, it is up to the social worker assigned to the case to determine what needs to be done. We've had DYFS workers come to the school and talk to kids and in one case, they removed several children from one family.

Yes, but you notified someone else before you did it. This woman told no one at the school and just called. Had she spoken to the teacher or principal, the call to DSS most likely would not have happened. And, get this! My friend went to the school on Monday to speak with the counselor and was told she COULDN'T!! Yep, this person can talk to her MINOR child without parental consent but the parent can't talk to her. Her MINOR child. Her elementary aged child.

Look, abuse happens. Kids are saved by caring people in the schools. But there need to be safeguards for the parents as well. And the counselor should have to get retrained after a certain number of "false" calls. Or fired!

Again, I say to all: VOTE!! Sign petitions, write you representatives. Get on the PTA and make changes. And take you kids out of school to vacation with your family when it is best for you.

I am making all sorts of cool activity sheets for my kids to do at Disney. They are already earning their own money and learning what things cost and we don't leave for another 3 months. This trip will be loaded with educational opportunities, but most importantly, family time. :cloud9:

disneyjunkie
09-05-2007, 08:39 PM
Yes, but you notified someone else before you did it. This woman told no one at the school and just called. Had she spoken to the teacher or principal, the call to DSS most likely would not have happened. And, get this! My friend went to the school on Monday to speak with the counselor and was told she COULDN'T!! Yep, this person can talk to her MINOR child without parental consent but the parent can't talk to her. Her MINOR child. Her elementary aged child.

Look, abuse happens. Kids are saved by caring people in the schools. But there need to be safeguards for the parents as well. And the counselor should have to get retrained after a certain number of "false" calls. Or fired!

Again, I say to all: VOTE!! Sign petitions, write you representatives. Get on the PTA and make changes. And take you kids out of school to vacation with your family when it is best for you.

I am making all sorts of cool activity sheets for my kids to do at Disney. They are already earning their own money and learning what things cost and we don't leave for another 3 months. This trip will be loaded with educational opportunities, but most importantly, family time. :cloud9:

That's exactly what you're required to do in NYC. As a matter of fact, we're told if you SUSPECT abuse you're required to call ACS. NEVER contact the parents. If you decide to ignore this, then you run the risk of losing your job, licence or having the city file charges against you.

Of course not all mandated reporters adhere to this. However, each time they ignore the policy, they place themselves at risk.

dawnball
09-08-2007, 02:39 PM
It just seems stupid that parents are pitted as adversaries against the school systems over what amounts to really trivial matters such as this. There are far more important matter at hand that have direct effects on the children and their education. This is exactly why the public education system in this country loses more supporters every year...making mountains into molehills while also ignoring the real issues at hand.

The problem is that trivial matters like this are fundamental to the differences between the public school system and parents right now. The public schools as we know them were designed to create good cogs. Most active parents don't want their children to grow up to be cogs. Most passive parents don't really care, as long as they don't have to think about it too much. Passive parents will ignore regulations about when they can take their children out of school (frequently out of ignorance of the existence of such rules) and active parents complain. Frequently active parents pull their kids out to go to private school or badger the school system into making "exceptions". It all results in the discrediting of public education. These are gross generalizations, but I can see distinct patterns in the parents of the local school sytems I'm involved with.

Now - I don't think that most people who work in public education have a desire to turn children into good cogs. I do think that was the original design of public education and I think it is fundamental to the way public education is structured. A lot of the assumptions and standards that underlie current pedagogy encourage a standardization among students. NCLB encourages that same standardization.

And, while I wouldn't pull my DD out of school for vacation - a large part of that is that she isn't in the public school system. I suspect that I might change my priorities if she were.

dawnball
09-08-2007, 03:12 PM
Dawnball
In the quote above you mention that you are helping to pay for my DCs education. My point is that I don't want you to help pay for my DCs education. I can do that myself. However, I do not believe that we should be funding a school system where my child does not attend. If choose to send my child to private school, then I forced to pay for both the private school and the public school system. (Spread the wealth, spread the pain)

Then demand scaled tax subsidies for people who send their children to private school. Or agitate for changes in your local tax structure. I believe that educating everyone to a certain minimum standard is *required* for a functional democracy and that elimination of some kind of public education would spell the demise of the US as a first world country.


We have elderly in this country that are helping to pay for the low hanging fruit to attend school. All this while they struggle to make ends meet. Your response is for them to move. So after 30 years of living in a community they should pull up their roots and move?

I'm not quite sure who you mean by "low hanging fruit". 30 years ago they moved into that community understanding the obligations that were expected of them. If they can't meet those obligations anymore, then yes - they should move or find ways to change the expected obligations. Children are this country's future. Every child plays a role in the world to come. Sacrificing the education of a child because of their parent's inability to pay is national suicide.

I pay social security taxes even though I have no expectation of collecting social security when I retire. I do it without grumbling because I know how many people would be unable to feed themselves without social security. However, I still advocate for means testing for social security and moving social security to more of a welfare model.


I personally love your comments on how people are free to come and go where they want. Spoken like a true card carrying liberal. I love it.


Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't find that slapping a label on myself is particularly helpful in finding my path through life. I am a big believer in responsibility and keeping an eye toward the future, however.


Come back to reality. The point here is that we are a free people. If we want to take our DCs out to go to WDW or Washington DC or camping, then it's our prerogative. The school systems should not be attempting to punish a parent for a child missing school for a family vacation. However, you feel that you are better than us and need to dictate to the masses when we can take time with our families.

On the contrary. I feel that the masses have dictated how they'd like their educational system to be run, or (in many cases) their complete indifference to how things should be run - as long as it doesn't inconvenience them. We are a free people and you're free to find a school system/regional government that you're more comfortable with. Or you can simply pull your children out of school and deal with the consequences.

I don't honestly think that I'm better than anyone and I don't have any desire to be a dictator. I've never said that anyone shouldn't pull their children out of school. I've said I wouldn't pull my child out of school,which is a different matter. I have said that our actions (the sum of them, not any individual one) indicates to our children (and anyone else who observes them) what our actual priorities and values are. I stand behind that statement and will continue to do so.

lastminutemom
09-08-2007, 04:39 PM
Have you actually checked to see if this is a NCLB standard to meet AYP or your schools. NCLB is nation wide not state wide. We do not have the same standards here.

NCLB requires each state to pick a second indicator other than academic performance in reading and math to meet. Many states have picked attendance. I know Georgia has.

I will say that I am very involved in education in Georgia and while I think the testing is a joke -- I can attest to the fact that schools that pay more attention to attendance do see greater improvement in student achievement than those schools that don't. A flu outbreak (which is of course excused) can really hinder student progress.

Our high schools do not excuse vacations and are under no obligation to give make up work.

Recently, a high school principal said that not one student in the top 10 percent of the class had missed more than 8 days in any high school year. (excused or unexcused.)

By the way, Georgia passed a law/rule last year allowing military families days off from school when soldiers have leave or are returning from deployment --but otherwise the state is pretty strict.

Also, around here teachers don't get to take vacations during the school year except during vacation time.

Gretchen
09-08-2007, 08:57 PM
1) Don't be a lemming following the crowd, stand up for what you want.
Sometimes you can win when you fight city hall.
2) Don't let school get in the way of your child's education.

#2 came from my DD's school principal.
Gretchen

CapeMayMommy
09-08-2007, 11:01 PM
Yes, but you notified someone else before you did it. This woman told no one at the school and just called. Had she spoken to the teacher or principal, the call to DSS most likely would not have happened. And, get this! My friend went to the school on Monday to speak with the counselor and was told she COULDN'T!! Yep, this person can talk to her MINOR child without parental consent but the parent can't talk to her. Her MINOR child. Her elementary aged child.

Look, abuse happens. Kids are saved by caring people in the schools. But there need to be safeguards for the parents as well. And the counselor should have to get retrained after a certain number of "false" calls. Or fired!

Again, I say to all: VOTE!! Sign petitions, write you representatives. Get on the PTA and make changes. And take you kids out of school to vacation with your family when it is best for you.

I am making all sorts of cool activity sheets for my kids to do at Disney. They are already earning their own money and learning what things cost and we don't leave for another 3 months. This trip will be loaded with educational opportunities, but most importantly, family time. :cloud9:


The counselor is a licensed and/or certified professional who is mandated to report suspected abuse. Professionals are told all the time that it's not their job to do the investigation---just to report suspected abuse.

Asking teachers, principals, family members, etc. is conducting one's own investigation. She would not legally be covered if things went bad and she didn't call.

and you can't be fired for listening to the words and responding to over dramatic kids. You can be fired, however, for taking not taking action.

momof2n2
09-09-2007, 12:25 AM
sad

pitiful

*sigh*

My parents didn't agree with that school district and I am glad. I have always believed that you get more out of a week away with your parents than anything you might miss in a few days of school!!!!!

btw we homeschool, but this isn't why. It is a perk... but not why of course.

tttessa
09-09-2007, 03:06 AM
Hiya,
can I have a little go here too - from the UK, so our system is a bit different - but not much. We can take up to 10 days AUTHORISED absence only (and never during SATs month) but things are also getting cracked down here, people are getting refused and referred to the county for prosecution.

The way I personally see it is attendance IS part of your overall education - surely when you get a job, you can't just take a holiday when you want (I certainly can't)? It has to take place when the needs of your employer allows, so attendance rules just prepare you for the big wide world.

Cheers,
Tessa

badblackpug
09-09-2007, 06:24 AM
I commend you and others on this board that do feel that is is your responsibility to be a part of your child's eduaction. You are highly educated and are capable. There won't be any "holes" in your well rounded, educated children. I know many parents such as yourself. I am going to debate whether it is wrong or right to pull a child out of school. I am not going to pass judgement.

One thing I want all of you to acknowledge or some of you ......that while all of you recognize you are part of the key to your child's education there are just as many that do not feel this way. They feel it is the school's job to do that. They are not educated enough to accomplish what all of you are. You may not know any of these parents personally but they are out there. There are just as many on that end of the spectrum as on the end that you are all on. When these individuals do take a vacation it is what it is....a vacation. A vacation from school, from thinking, from learning, from everything but "freedom". They do not treat each and every opportunity they have with their children as a life changing family educational experience. All of us have been to WDW at any time and can almost just pick them out in a crowd that are on the oppostie end of the spectrum you are on. I can quite imagine that all of you expect your children to act civilized and part of society as whole. You have educated your child to act that way. It is obvious that you educate your children on all fronts.

Very well said! ...and the point I was trying to make. School policies exist for precisely this reason. There are parents out there who do not value education, and do not think that they need to be part of their child's education. I, personally, know of 2 parents who feel this way. Both of them who have children who struggle in school, partially due to attendance issues.

The reason I think that it is not a good idea to pull a struggling child out of school (and I am not discussing a child that is a behavior problem, just a child that is having difficulty mastering grade appropriate things) is not as a punishment to the child, but because it DOES place an unfair burden on the child. Doubling the work of a child that already has trouble with the required work is cruel.

Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not, and for how long to remove your child from school, and for what reasons. What I think needs to be understood is that you are subject to the same rules as all other parents. These rules exist whether your child is brilliant and you are brilliant and highly educated, or whether you have a 6th grade education and your child is struggling. It is your decision whether you feel it is "worth it" for you and your child to incur the consequences of "unexcused absences."

I am not saying that the policies are right or wrong, I am saying they exist for a reason, and in all fairness cannot be applied to just some.

Tikicampers
09-09-2007, 07:53 AM
I went to DD8's curriculum meeting at school last night, and the principal broke the bad news. The school social worker will be notified if any child misses two days of school unexcused. After four days of unexcused absences, parents will be notified of the violation of the General Compulsory School Attendance Law (or something like that). After five unexcused days, Juvenile Court will be notified! Family trips are unexcused, and there is no provision for "excused for educational purposes".

Well, I had to fess up to the principal that DD is going to miss two days for our Wonder Cruise in October, but it is paid in full and was booked before the change. She understood and probably won't send me to jail! :rotfl2:

I learned that DD's school, which is an Honor School of Excellence with High Growth (highest category in NC public schools) almost missed its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goal for attendance, even though 95% of the students showed proficiency at grade level. They made the attendance standard by 0.1% and would have been considered a "failing school" if they had missed AYP. It was a big wake-up call to the administration, and they are cracking down on all the trips to Disney World! Our principal did say that one fifth grader had 26 unexcused absences last year - that is a lot!

I had read posts from teachers about the difficulty of meeting some of the No Child Left Behind standards, and now I understand. It makes me feel guilty that we have contributed to the problem since we love our school and are very proud of its rating. Good thing we are going to WDW for spring break, but I think we are done pulling our kids out of school. I had never given it much thought since DD's teachers always supported her trips and she always kept up with her work.

I didn't post to start a debate about the merits of family trips - it was just an eye-opening experience for me last night and I didn't understand the separate emphasis on attendance if the kids were performing. Now I know, and I thought it was all very interesting!

I just wanted to tell you that I'm so happy to see that someone else gets why schools are being so strict. I'm sorry the thread turned into the same old debate about whether or not it's ok to pull a child out of school for vacation. That's not what the problem is. Our state is like yours. If you don't make the attendance requirement, you don't make AYP. You can have the highest test scores in the county, but if the attendance isn't met, you go on the needs improvement list. It doesn't matter if missing school to be at WDW won't hurt a child's performance. It's the absence itself that hurts how well the school does. This is important for everyone, because if a school doesn't meet AYP, your property value is not going to do well.
I fully agree that this should not be a part of AYP. Schools and teachers can urge students to be at school, but we can't force them.

Also, I saw someone mention that teachers should be paid based on the performance of the students. I realize that to a non-teacher, that sounds like a good idea. However, many states have guidelines about how classes are grouped for funding. Some teachers get classes with a larger proportion of students that come in at a lower level. So that class will generally score lower than the others regardless of how good the teacher is. Also, if pay for performance were in place, there would be certain schools in each district that would be impossible to staff.

Tikicampers
09-09-2007, 08:01 AM
btw we homeschool, but this isn't why. It is a perk... but not why of course.

I'm so glad you said it was a perk and not why you homeschool! Obviously, since I am a public school teacher, I believe in public school (although I admit I live in an area where schools are good), and I get defensive about it. However, one of my friends wants to homeschool, and at first I thought she was nuts, but as we've talked about it, I see her point. Her reason for homeschooling is that she wants to be the one sitting next to her children when their faces light up as they discover something new. That's why I teach, so our conversations have made me a little more open to that option.
Sorry to go off topic!

mericletwins
09-09-2007, 09:14 AM
Ok, one more comment. I knew this was going to happen. The whole summer vacations off originated when this country was mainly a farming economy. That policy was put in place so a family would have the DCs available for the gorwing season. The farming community has been fading in this country severely.

It's time for us to look at changing this model.

I would love that, but not all areas can change to this model and it is still due to economics. Although we are not agrarian, our area's economy is tourist based. That rules out our whole area changing. If the surrounding areas changed and didn't have summers off, it would decimate our economy. As a teacher I would love to change our school calendar. As a tax payer and a parent, I have to consider the butterfly effect of changes like this. The consequences could be far reaching outside of the districts that can and want to change.

SeptemberGirl
09-09-2007, 09:30 AM
I've been reading this thread since it started. I admit, it freaked me out, because I have a 3 yr old and having a 3 yr old is a little like being pregnant - you hear all these horror stories (of school-age kids, vacations, attendance, lunches, etc.) and suddenly things you hadn't thought about before are going to be in your life in a few short years! So much for the easy days of the playdate!

Well, we have a WDW trip planned for next week - my birthday! - and I didn't even think about that when I signed DD up for preschool last winter. She started Friday and I went up and told her teacher that she would be in all next week, but would miss two days the week after. Her teacher couldn't have been nicer! She even said what a great experience it will be for our family and was really positive. Maybe in preschool they feel it doesn't matter so much; maybe she's just more laid-back. I don't even know if they have a policy on that. But this has been a very interesting and informative thread for me to read - although at times a little "oh my God what have I gotten myself into"! The adventure that is parenthood! :)

cissy
09-09-2007, 09:56 PM
Preschools usually don;t make any issue about vacations. Let's face it, kids are sick so often at this age that they are out a lot anyway!:lmao:

When we had our kids, I did not give primary school much thought. After all, when I was in elementary, I walked to school and so did almost everyone else. All the kids in my neighborhood went to the same school. Our siblings went to that school before us. Junior high was the same except now I rode my bike. Every so often a kid from the neighborhood would go to a private school (usually for religious reasons) but not many did.

But NO MORE! My kids would not be able to walk or ride a bike to our base school. It is a 10 minute car ride. And in my neighborhood of 121 homes, I know that we represent SEVEN elementary schools and we have home school kids here as well. SEVEN schools.

Maybe where you live it is easier to decide. But you should start visiting the schools the year before you are to enroll. Most private schools want commitments in the early Spring so be prepared.

Be open to all types of schools and you will find the one that is right for your family. GOOD LUCK!!:yay:

StitchandPooh'sMom
09-10-2007, 08:18 AM
OP here. This thread has certainly taken on a life of its own, and I wanted to address a few comments.

As previously stated, it was not my intent to start a debate about whether you are a good and caring parent if you pull your kids out of school to go to WDW. I also didn't want to start a debate about whether homeschooling or private schools are superior to public schools. Everyone who has posted has made the decision that they feel is right for their family in their community - whether it is public school, private school or homeschooling. For those of you who have chosen private school or homeschool, I doubt you did that just because you could go to WDW whenever you wanted. If you used that as your reason, well, then, OK for you. As a PP said, it is a perk, not a reason (or at least it would be for me).

For those who said the government is too involved, you should fight city hall, etc., it all depends which battles you choose to fight. We love DD's school and have no intention of fighting them. We want the school to be successful, and yes, to receive all the funding it can. That is all good for us as a family and a community. While I will miss going to WDW in early December or in September when the crowds are low, I didn't pick the school based on vacation flexibility. Once again, it was a perk that the teachers could be flexible and supportive if we pulled DD out of school. If that is not the case anymore, that's unfortunate, but not a deal breaker. I posted because I thought the process to get to this point was very interesting and because I previoulsy had not understood it.

Kind of OT, but not really - has anyone here ever seen a sea hare? This is what they look like:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_hare

I had never heard of one until last spring, even though I majored in zoology in college. But every child at DD's school knows what they are and can name the Phylum and Order. They all saw one last year at the school's Marine Science Festival after it was caught off the pier at DD's school. They learned what it eats and what habitat it likes, then it was released back into the water. THAT is why she goes to this school. She is learning respect for our world and all its unusual creatures, respect for life and the environment, and so many other things that are not found in books. That is why we chose this school, not because we could take vacations when we wanted. Attendance is not a battle I choose to fight when her heart and miond are being nurtured so well at school. But I will miss traveling when there are low crowds! :rotfl2:

Off my soapbox now, but let's all play nice with no more name calling, OK? :flower3:

prekteacher
09-10-2007, 01:14 PM
i feel as a parent that if a child needs to miss school for a family trip. ( which will be my case in may) the child should not have it held against them. we are going becuse my dads health is slowly going down hill and it will be a huge family renuion trip. . if a chidl does all the work that he or she will miss what if the big deal.

cissy
09-10-2007, 09:40 PM
The counselor is a licensed and/or certified professional who is mandated to report suspected abuse. Professionals are told all the time that it's not their job to do the investigation---just to report suspected abuse.

Asking teachers, principals, family members, etc. is conducting one's own investigation. She would not legally be covered if things went bad and she didn't call.

and you can't be fired for listening to the words and responding to over dramatic kids. You can be fired, however, for taking not taking action.

Then how do you get rid of the bad ones? If she were so professional and trained, then how did she miss this one? How could she, a trained professional, not see what is really quite obvious. Calling DSS is no joke. It is not something a person should do lightly.

And just to be clear on how off base this person was, let me tell you another aspect of her meeting with the child. When the child complained that her mother took away her "favorite" book that morning and gave it to her friend (who carpools with them), the counselor agreed that it was unfair of the mother to give away the book. Then she suggested that she walk to the friends class with the child and get the book back!!! When the child said NO, the counselor should have smelled a rat. This PROFESSIONAL was way out of line in making this offer before checking with the mother.

Had she bothered to have ONE interview with the parents before calling DSS, she would have learned a lot. That the mother did give the book away that morning to the friend. See, this child has a problem with caring for her belongings. This was a puzzle book from the dollar store that the mom had bought her the day before. The girl BEGGED for it. Within 24 hours, it was on the floor of the car, crumpled and obviously stepped on. It was crammed up under the seat. So, mom got mad and made a lesson out of it by giving it to the friend because her child did not take care of the book.

The most interesting part is that the counselor should have seen a red flag when the child refused to go get the book back. The child knew the friend would rat her out and deny the accusation that the mom did it for no reason. This kid ain't no dummy. But the PROFESSIONAL never batted an eye. Just called DSS.

Again, I am sure lots and lots of counselors are dedicated, helpful people who are doing kids a world of good. But the PS system is not set up to protect the family unit. COGS IN THE WHEEL is what it is all about.

Sorry so long. I am still really angry for my friend. But, she found a great new school and she is hopeful this is the right place for them.

aimsicle
09-10-2007, 09:57 PM
Had she bothered to have ONE interview with the parents before calling DSS, she would have learned a lot.

But the PROFESSIONAL never batted an eye. Just called DSS.

Again, I am sure lots and lots of counselors are dedicated, helpful people who are doing kids a world of good. But the PS system is not set up to protect the family unit. COGS IN THE WHEEL is what it is all about.

Sorry so long. I am still really angry for my friend. But, she found a great new school and she is hopeful this is the right place for them.


A lot of times if counselors contact the parents to check on the validity of a claim, a real abused child will be abused even more for telling. I am sorry your friend was falsely accused, but I just wanted you to understand the other side of the coin.

WildGrits
09-11-2007, 04:37 AM
I want to get on topic...notifying the social worker about school (or non school) stuff and off topic...this is not about absences. But something happened to a friend of mine last week that is pretty scary.

Her DD10 is a rather dramatic girl. She exaggerates a lot. She is at a new year round school this year and in the 5th grade. She was in a different school last year, but base school lines got redrawn so even though she was going into her last year at elementary, she had to move schools. No one got grandfathered in, of course!

Anyway, she has been in school almost 2 months. She began her track in July. Last week she got mad at her mom and she was blowing off steam in class. Her teacher suggested she go to the school counselor to talk. No call to her mom and dad, but sent to the counselor. So, off she goes and gives a performance worthy of an Oscar. How mistreated she is and how mean her parents are.

I'm not be judgemental but, I feel that your distress is misplaced.

If my DD EVER pulled a stunt like this, Her being removed from our family would be the lest of her problems.

If CPS had to come to my house because of some vindictive LYING my DD did to a counselor, I would be upset, but I wouldn't want them to change the way they do business. Calling a family ahead of time if a child complains might actually end up being the DEATH of that child. And that is no Drama or exeggeration.

If this is how she "Blows off steam", I really hope this has been a wake up call and they get her into some serious counseling.

God, gives those parents a HUGE hug from me. :grouphug: I bet they need it.

deejohn
09-11-2007, 02:48 PM
We just changed school districts this year. I sent a letter to the principles of the Middle and Elementary school. My kids got a form for us to complete and an attitude. I asked the teacher what was the issue, and she told me that attendance is part of their performance, and that the administration was really trying to discourage parents from taking their kids out for vacation during school.

I told her that the other school district had given my kids assignments to complete, which we work on with them. Our view is that education is a partnership of the schools and parents. She responded that it would not be such an issue if all parents thought that way.

Needless to say, we are going, we will have a good time, and my kids will learn something --how to manage time, how to read a bus schedule, how to count change, how to budget money, how to meet new people, how to dream/wish/play...you know things the schools don't teach but we still need to know.

brodyjen
09-12-2007, 07:08 PM
That is exactly what I'm hearing around here - that they have to have *something* in place, mainly for those parents who, for whatever reason, won't get their kids to school.

I was shocked to hear that, in my very nice, new, middle class suburb, with excellent public schools, that many parents keep their kids out of school for things like waking up late. A nearby school district sent letters home to parents, telling them that they would be charged $X a day for unexcused absences - which they can't legally, since it's a public school, but it's a wake-up call.

For us, my DH gets one week of uninterrupted vacation a year and it happens to fall the last week of September. If we want a family vacation, that's when we get to go. We pulled DD out 2 years ago, when she was in kindergarten, and we're going to pull her in 2 weeks, from 2nd grade. Both teachers were fully supportive of us going, and prepared schoolwork that was optional (DD did it, and more). If I had the option to pay $X per day to have her out, I'd pay it because we need that week together.

brodyjen
09-12-2007, 07:25 PM
In a perfect world, people would also be able to take vacation from work whenever their children happen to be on vacation/break. :confused3 I'd much prefer to travel in the late spring or fall, but my DH gets the last week of September off, period. If we want vacation, we take it then, and therefore the kids have to be out of school.

I work in my DD7's classroom once a week, volunteer with PTA, and help at my DD3's preschool as well. We help with any activities or fundraisers that we can. We place a high value on their education, which is why we live here and not a less expensive place with not-as-good school districts. I can't exactly argue that going to WDW is going to enhance her in same way as, say, going to Europe or DC would ;) but this is the vacation that we can do this year - and the lessons of travelling, and spending time with your family, are good ones as well.




I have to agree with school policies. I think that education should be prioritzed with children. While some children can miss a week of school and make up the work with ease, others can't. In a perfect world, parents would be responsible and not allow a struggling child, or a child who aready has excessive absences, to miss school, but this is not a perfect world. The policies have to be made regarding absences, because, unfortunately, there is a problem with absenteeism, and these policies MUST include everyone equally.

Male up work or extra instruction also invovles a burden on the teacher. I think it is unfair to think that a teacher is merely a buch of worksheets. There is so much more that goes into his/her day. Not to mention tests and projects that have to be made up have to be done so on the teacher's time.

Family vacations can be scheduled around school holidays, minimizing absences. Missing one or two days is preferable to missing a week or several weeks in a row.

*donning flame suit*

It is unethical to ask a doctor to falsify medical records and it is unethical for him to do so.

Sunbeamblue2002
09-12-2007, 07:31 PM
In our school district if you have more than 7 unexcused days you don't promote to the next grade. Last school year I knew a parent who kept copies of the letters she sent to school. She was glad she did b/c in the middle of summer she found out the her son got a letter in the mail that said he didn't pass the eight grade b/c of attendence.

Its a big problem where I live because education isn't value as much when you don't feel you'll ever make it out of the hood.