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MSWint
09-05-2007, 03:33 PM
For those of you that take your children out of school for a Cruise (or any vacation for that matter), do you normally send a note (or email) to your childs teachers? If so, what do you normally say in said note?

We will be taking DD11 out of school for 2 1/2 days (picking up from school at around noon on a Wednesday) for our upcoming 2 Days in Disney and then DCL (she has the following week off from school, Fall Break). We don't normally take her out of school for that long, usually just for a half day on a Friday, but this time she will be out for 2 and a half days. We want to be sure that her teachers know why ... what should we tell them?

wifeofgrumpy
09-05-2007, 03:45 PM
We are getting ready to take our daughter out for a week cruise, she is in 6th grade and I think this will be the last year we can do that w/o her getting behind. I have done this twice before for week cruises. Normally I go to the school and actually talk to the principal and her teacher, I've already talked to her teacher for our October cruise, but am dragging my feet w/ the principal talk. Schools normally do not approve, but my daughter is a straight A student and I figure she's seeing alot of things that children in our small school don't get the chance to see. We normally get her work for the week and do it while we're away.

patsal
09-05-2007, 03:54 PM
Some schools have policies for requesting vacation while others won't really mind for such a short amount of time. Let you school or teacher(s) know as soon as possible so that they can give the work ahead of time and your child will be up to speed with the other children and know if there are going to be any tests given while away that your child will have to make up ASAP in order to be prepared. Occasionallly if the child is going to be out and they know ahead of time the test can be given before they leave. Remember all vacation time absances are considered illegal absances so be prepared for that to show on the report card/transcript.

Perrier
09-05-2007, 03:58 PM
( Hey wifeofgrumpy, we're neighbors! I'm in southwest MO! :wave2: )

I took my twins out last year for a week at WDW, & we're doing it again this year for the cruise. I'm always nervous about what the teachers will say, or if they'll make an issue out of it. But so far, I've just advised the teachers in person (& then reminded them w/a note) & no problems. The teachers sent work home w/us b/f we left & more after we got home. In fact, my son's teacher thought it was fantastic they he was getting to go on a trip, & both my kids wrote in their journals & then had a chance to share stories w/the class when they returned.

I still waffle on whether I should take them out of school, but will probably continue to do so in elementary.

Now a friend of mine, on the other hand, who's twins go to a different school, had to write a formal letter to the Principal & litterly plead her cause to get her kids' absence excused for a vacation.

Somewhere on one of the parks boards is a letter that someone wrote to the school & shared w/everyone; I think it's a sticky.

iloveokw
09-05-2007, 03:58 PM
Our school district has an official form you have to fill out and turn in at least 2 weeks ahead of time. Then I would also write a personal note to each teacher asking for assignments and have my daughter take it to school a week ahead of time. I never had any problems, but some schools really frown on absences. :thumbsup2

StinkerbellsMom
09-05-2007, 04:35 PM
We were just having this discussion today. Actually, for a few days now ... we are scheduled to leave on the Nov 25th cruise for 4 nights. A trip that is truly a dream come true! We have been aching to do DCL for ages but they were always so expensive. This year, I was beyond thrilled to find a Verandah Cat 4 room for the 5 of us for just over $3K and jumped on it! I seriously thought it was the week of Thanksgiving and figured the girls would only miss 2 days of school since they are off Wed., Thurs., Fri. for Thanksgiving. WELL, Thanksgiving is NOT the week we are going -- DUH on me -- we will be leaving the week AFTER Thanksgiving. So, in order to cruise, we'd have to take them out of school for a whole week. In the past, we have taken them out and it was really no big deal since the 3 of them are A Students and have a great work ethic and finish assignments easily and quickly. But this year I am afraid to take them out because the older two are now in 7th and 10th grade -- Algebra and Geometry - not easy subjects to get caught up with if you miss a week, kwim. Then of course there is American History and French. It just won't be the same if they miss an actual week of instruction!

I am beyond devastated that we will likely have to cancel this trip!! I am just so afraid to take them out of school for a week at this age. My 3rd grader will be fine, she's got the readin', writin', rithmetic type of learning LOL I am so sad. We are at the 80 day mark and I must make a decision NOW or risk losing my money! Not to mention the fact that I have sat on this so long that I haven't even gotten my passport yet! I think I was secretly sabotaging myself by NOT obtaining passports sooner. Oh yeah, and my oldest is also gearing up for the NYS Regents! So she really has to kind of be around I guess.

My kids are going to be crushed. *I am crushed. Would you cancel? Should I just take the chance and go anyway? I am making myself crazy over this. Anyone ever pull them out with a similar situation? I am not sure how the HS teachers would react or the Middle School Teachers either. I know our elementary school teachers would be fine with it and give me work to take with us if need be. But the older girls may actually fall behind (especially in Math because one really should be present for new concepts, lessons, etc - not the same when you read it from a book, kwim). I wish I could decide what to do already - I'm stumped! Any pearls of wisdom out there?

love2travel
09-05-2007, 04:46 PM
I just write a letter to the school and the teacher stating that my DD will be absent due to a family vacation. Nothing else.

Perrier
09-05-2007, 04:50 PM
Stinkerbellsmom, my kids are still in elementary, so I don't have first hand experience, but I wouldn't take them out. You already said your daughters would likely fall behind. I would cancel now, get your $ back, & search for a different time to rebook. What about Spring Break, Easter Break? Any time in their calendar where they'd only miss 1-2 days?

Also, have you discussed it w/them? How do they feel about having to make up all that work? Algebra, French, etc. is NOT elementary work.

I know some will disagree w/me. But it sounds like from your post that you know you probably shouldn't go, you're just wanting someone else to tell you so. JMO. :goodvibes I imagine what a difficult decision it must be!

I have taken mine out, but that will stop once they're out of lower elementary.

graysm
09-05-2007, 04:52 PM
The teachers used to give the kids homework to do while we were on vacation, but due to recent changes in the school's policy, they have to make up all their work when we get back from vacation.

I send a note to the school about a week or week and a half before our vacation. The teachers already know before they get the note because the kids are usually so excited about it they're talking up a storm. I generally send a note to each homeroom teach and the principal.

Mom24Princesses
09-05-2007, 04:55 PM
Every system has a different policy. You may be able to check on-line. I teach in one and DDs attend another. AT MINE, it is no problem. Write a letter to the principal at least 2 weeks in advance and to the teacher. If I were the teacher, with enough notice, I could get most work ahead of time.

DDs system is a little stricter, ESP High School!!! My oldest DD would NEVER let us. She can exempt 2 exams with less than 3 days out and a 94 in the class.

StinkerbellsMom
09-05-2007, 05:10 PM
Stinkerbellsmom, my kids are still in elementary, so I don't have first hand experience, but I wouldn't take them out. You already said your daughters would likely fall behind. I would cancel now, get your $ back, & search for a different time to rebook. What about Spring Break, Easter Break? Any time in their calendar where they'd only miss 1-2 days?

Also, have you discussed it w/them? How do they feel about having to make up all that work? Algebra, French, etc. is NOT elementary work.

I know some will disagree w/me. But it sounds like from your post that you know you probably shouldn't go, you're just wanting someone else to tell you so. JMO. :goodvibes I imagine what a difficult decision it must be!

I have taken mine out, but that will stop once they're out of lower elementary.

You're right - I am kind of looking for someone to 'justify it' for me! ;) LOL I have asked them about falling behind and one feels she will do just fine (the 7th grader), but my HS girl is a little apprehensive. School work generally comes naturally to them, but she is a bit weary about the upcoming Regents she will have to take. They are rarely absent and so I am not too concerned about that aspect of it (a certain amount of absences can mean automatic fail), but like I said, the instructional time is what makes me worry. It was so much easier when they were younger!!! They are going to be so bummed out! I have looked into other times of the year, but they are more "Peak" times and are double what we paid. So sad, so sad ... I probably will end up cancelling after all ::sigh:: :confused3

fldisneymommyto2
09-05-2007, 05:41 PM
My DD is only in 1st grade, but I addressed it as an "educational experience"... I mean she is leaving the country... isn't that an experience in itself!! But she is an awesome student and way above grade level, so I am not worried. I am also a teacher, even though I am not working anymore, I know that she will be just fine. Our schools policy is that if she is given any work that she is going to miss, she must turn it in the first day back. If she was in high school and it would affect her more, I would reconsider.

Selket
09-05-2007, 05:56 PM
We were just having this discussion today. Actually, for a few days now ... we are scheduled to leave on the Nov 25th cruise for 4 nights.

My kids aren't out of elementary school yet but I think you should just take the bull by the horns at this point. Talk to the teachers/school or whomever you need to talk to and see what the deal is. I wouldn't give up on the trip without investigating all your options....especially if your kids are excited about it. It might make them do worse to miss a highly anticipated trip than to take it.

I wonder if getting a tutor to help them make up the missed work in some subjects (like math) would help. Could one of those "learning center" type places fill the gap? Of course that would cost more money but it might be worth looking into. The worst that can happen is that you reschedule!:goodvibes

crissichef
09-05-2007, 06:00 PM
I think every school district is different. Ours in PA allows you to take your children out for 5 days per school year (all at once) for an "Educational Trip." You have to fill out a form 5 days in advance. Basically it is just a technicality and they will approve anything as long as it is only 5 days or less.

We are taking our DD9 who will be 10 out of 5th grade next year.........probably the last time we will be able to get away with it!

Good luck !

atinkerbellmom
09-05-2007, 06:03 PM
My DD is only in 1st grade, but I addressed it as an "educational experience"... I mean she is leaving the country... isn't that an experience in itself!! But she is an awesome student and way above grade level, so I am not worried. I am also a teacher, even though I am not working anymore, I know that she will be just fine. Our schools policy is that if she is given any work that she is going to miss, she must turn it in the first day back. If she was in high school and it would affect her more, I would reconsider.

FLDISNEYMOMMYto2 & STinkerbellsMom- Tell the teachers you are going on a trip, it is out of the country and ask what you need to do to make sure it is not a truancy issue. JUST DO IT. You do not need to go into details. We just announced to my kids teachers today. Grant it, I used the "wee booked the trip last year based on last years Spring Break, it is not my fault you guys swithced the date." I have to explain to you, I fire under all of my friends whom take kids out for vacation and saw that this trip, I save 3 thousand $$ if I go the week we are going and have decided to invest that into college funds:lmao: . My principal said, if it is out of the country, I say it is fine because they gain so much more than they ever can in a classroom. She then went on to say, how many adults do not even understand the passport thing or customs? You are making rounded adults she says. Even the dining exsperience is different and full of knowledge. She went on to say, it is good you can afford to buy culture. I then added, plus I'm teaching my DD how to deal with her allergies on another country's ground. Different goverments. So, just speak to the teacher and see what needs to be done. Leave out the "Disney" part and let that slip out when they return. Plus you have to use those pillowcases:banana: .

jsfein
09-05-2007, 06:12 PM
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fldisneymommyto2
09-05-2007, 06:13 PM
FLDISNEYMOMMYto2 & STinkerbellsMom- Tell the teachers you are going on a trip, it is out of the country and ask what you need to do to make sure it is not a truancy issue. JUST DO IT. You do not need to go into details. We just announced to my kids teachers today. Grant it, I used the "wee booked the trip last year based on last years Spring Break, it is not my fault you guys swithced the date." I have to explain to you, I fire under all of my friends whom take kids out for vacation and saw that this trip, I save 3 thousand $$ if I go the week we are going and have decided to invest that into college funds:lmao: . My principal said, if it is out of the country, I say it is fine because they gain so much more than they ever can in a classroom. She then went on to say, how many adults do not even understand the passport thing or customs? You are making rounded adults she says. Even the dining exsperience is different and full of knowledge. She went on to say, it is good you can afford to buy culture. I then added, plus I'm teaching my DD how to deal with her allergies on another country's ground. Different goverments. So, just speak to the teacher and see what needs to be done. Leave out the "Disney" part and let that slip out when they return. Plus you have to use those pillowcases:banana: .
Oh I have already had Karley's absences approved!! I told them we were going on a cruise... with another family in the same school!! No Problem!! I totally agree with the principal... so many people never experience leaving the country. This will be Karley's 3rd time.
We are taking her out for 2 days. We originally were going to leave her in on Thursday till 12 so that it would count as a full day, but then decided to pull her out for the whole day and get to the port as early as possible!! I want to enjoy the ship as long as we can...LOL
And we can't wait to get the pillowcases done!!! But I have got to learn how to use photobucket so I can upload pics to the DIS!

MississippiMom
09-05-2007, 07:11 PM
Our girls attend private school, and this is the first year that the handbook contains a section about travel during school time. We happened to have traveled twice last school year - one WDW trip and one NCL cruise - and the girls missed four days of school for each trip. They had a lot of classmates that traveled also. I suspect that the administration (and/or the teachers) had a bit much of the travel related absences and decided to address it this year.

We have a September 2008 cruise booked during a week that the students have historically only had three days of school, but I have no way of knowing if that will be the case next school year. This year our Christmas break starts later and runs longer than in the past, and Spring Break is all weird, and the year before, we were short-changed during Christmas break, but had a ton of three day weekends, all over the calendar. The inconsistencies from year to year make it incredibly difficult to plan any travel in advance. IMHO, if you already have a cruise booked during the school year, just take it. It isn't like most of us have the next couple of years or more of school calendars in front of us, even though, for many cruise lines, we can plan a trip out to 2009.

Hobbitmomma
09-05-2007, 07:29 PM
My kids are going to be crushed. *I am crushed. Would you cancel? Should I just take the chance and go anyway? I am making myself crazy over this. Anyone ever pull them out with a similar situation? I am not sure how the HS teachers would react or the Middle School Teachers either. I know our elementary school teachers would be fine with it and give me work to take with us if need be. But the older girls may actually fall behind (especially in Math because one really should be present for new concepts, lessons, etc - not the same when you read it from a book, kwim). I wish I could decide what to do already - I'm stumped! Any pearls of wisdom out there?

I think you should postpone your trip until the girls have a break from school. It's particularly important for your high schooler. They will of course be disappointed, but your oldest sounds like she is worried about missing school anyway. Try to reschedule for winter or spring break.

professorandmom
09-05-2007, 07:30 PM
Every school is very very different. My children attended a private school several years ago. One of the moms got breast cancer. Everyone rallied around her. School had special prayer vigils etc. Very emotional.

6 mo later the chemo was done and her family decided to take a two week family vacation - one week was spring break and one additional week. The school went ballistic - told her if she took out her kids (5th grade and lower) they would be assigned zeros on every assignment missed

huh? How about some common sense?

Barb

yndygo
09-05-2007, 08:15 PM
Every school is very very different. My children attended a private school several years ago. One of the moms got breast cancer. Everyone rallied around her. School had special prayer vigils etc. Very emotional.

6 mo later the chemo was done and her family decided to take a two week family vacation - one week was spring break and one additional week. The school went ballistic - told her if she took out her kids (5th grade and lower) they would be assigned zeros on every assignment missed

huh? How about some common sense?

Barb

Seriously?
I think that would be the point that I'd be shopping for a different school...
But not before telling them "well, tell you what - for every Monday you take off for 'in-service' items that is not a federal holiday, you can return one of those zeros to a 100, and we should break even. Thirty years from now, my child(ren) won't remember what she did or didn't do that specific week in school - but she sure will remember this trip."

Then again - DD's current parochial preschool's response to 'we're going to be out the week before thanksgiving break on a Disney cruise' was 'oooh! Neat!! Bring back lots of pictures!!'
;)

tvguy
09-05-2007, 08:16 PM
FLDISNEYMOMMYto2 & STinkerbellsMom- Tell the teachers you are going on a trip, it is out of the country and ask what you need to do to make sure it is not a truancy issue. JUST DO IT. .

Please don't "just do it". Check with your Principal or school district FIRST. It may very well not be an issue. Here, it would be a truancy issue because vacations are not an accepted excuse. So check first, so you know exactly what your options are.

My DD is in private school, and until last year, they left it to the individual teachers as to whether they would give kids their homework to do, and allow them to make up tests. Now, they have a policy. The teachers MUST give the kids the work and tests, but CAN NOT give them more than 50% credit since they missed the classroom portion of the lesson plan.

Heather98012
09-05-2007, 08:21 PM
I don't know...maybe it's a good thing my dd is only a toddler still.

If any school tried to give my child zeros for her homework or marked her down with unexcused abscences....I'd pull her from the school. It's INSANE to me that they can blackmail parents into taking vacations when it is more crowded, costs more, etc.

Please....it won't affect her IQ score. Go on your trip. Honestly....I'm about as nice & easy going as can be, but if some school administrator tried to tell me how to parent MY kids....watch out. I'd turn into Insta-Witch. :scared1:

mommasita
09-05-2007, 08:27 PM
I will answer the question, and refrain from comments, as you asked for those of us who do write a note, and I do..

I talk with the teaching staff as soon as we are aware, and write the notes to the principal, teachers, etc. I let them know it is OUR responsibility for what we miss, not theirs...If possible we do the work ahead, if not when we come home, and even during the trip if necessary..

I never expect the teachers to suffer, and we travel ONLY when there are no vital exams, etc...We have never had an issue to date, and hope we don't.

Soccermom-Cheri
09-05-2007, 08:35 PM
I don't think it's a matter of blackmailing parents. It's more that teachers don't have time to go back and reteach things to a student who has missed concepts (or has learned them slightly wrong from a book on vacation).

I pulled my son during middle school and he had so much work that (if he did it all) he would hardly see daylight on board. When we returned he was not allowed to make up the science labs or tests he missed. There is no way I would pull him from high school now.

Mickeyhugger
09-05-2007, 08:48 PM
We took our DD out of school up through 4th grade. (She attends a private school which had a policy in their handbook 'prearranged absences.') We always secured the assignments from her teacher ahead of time, and she did her work in the hotel room at night, on the plane ride, etc.

She's in 7th grade now, and there's no way we'd pull her out again. (After looking through her math and science books, I don't see how students understand this stuff while ATTENDING class.:lmao: )

CSwan1
09-05-2007, 08:55 PM
My DD started kindergarten yesterday. In between my crying fits:sad: :sad: :sad: (did I mention my baby started kindergarten??:sad: ), I was wondering when I should tell her teacher about our cruise in May? I read thru the handbook but didn't see anything about missing school due to vacations. What would you do? WHat have others done? She is my one and only so I haven't experienced this yet. :thanks:

yndygo
09-05-2007, 09:00 PM
My DD started kindergarten yesterday. In between my crying fits:sad: :sad: :sad: (did I mention my baby started kindergarten??:sad: ), I was wondering when I should tell her teacher about our cruise in May? I read thru the handbook but didn't see anything about missing school due to vacations. What would you do? WHat have others done? She is my one and only so I haven't experienced this yet. :thanks:

Well, honestly? Tell her teacher now... and then remember to give her a heads up about a month in advance, and then shortly before you go.

If there's something that your teacher needs her to work on while you're gone, they'll tell you.

As Mommasita said above, it's more about working with the teacher to make sure the burden isn't on them.

We told our current school before we enrolled her about our trip in November, then again when we showed up for the 'parent night' before school - and I let her teachers know the first day. The earlier the warning you can give the better, so that the teacher can work with you to make it a positive experience! :)

Congrats on kindergarten!!

disneydance
09-05-2007, 09:28 PM
I know at my school that when you know you will be absent you get a note from your parents signed and turn it into the office and you get a pre-arranged absence slip and give it to all your teachers then turn it back into the office. Then you are automatically excused for those days. I dont know how your childs school works since all school work differently and our school is usually careless about these thing but i do know all schools are different.

BamaMomof3
09-05-2007, 09:36 PM
I am taking mine out of school next week for our cruise. I ask the principals of the schools if it was ok and what I needed to do. In this case, I had to write a note to the teachers 1 week before leaving.

Good luck!

tvguy
09-05-2007, 11:14 PM
. Honestly....I'm about as nice & easy going as can be, but if some school administrator tried to tell me how to parent MY kids....watch out. I'd turn into Insta-Witch. :scared1:

In some parts of the country you'll turn into Insta-inmate :scared1: so check your district's policies. (up to $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail here).

But you do bring up a good (but off topic) subject. If you have a toddler, it isn't too soon to start school shopping, and if taking your child out of school for vacations is important, look for a school with a policy that fits your lifestyle. Check your public school policy, and then the private schools.

Around here, the public schools are strict, however many of the specialized (High Tech, Fundamental and Charter Schools) run by the public school district have even stricter standards than the rest of the non-specialized schools in the district.

Heather98012
09-05-2007, 11:30 PM
LOL....well, I meant I'd pull her out & homeschool, or switch her to private. We don't have charter schools in WA state, so that isn't an option.

Oh, don't get me started on our school issue...we moved 18 mos ago, & it's been one big $%#& up as to which district we are in. The parents in the community are livid & trying to address it. So yeah....I'm already shopping around for private schools.

I should add, that I wouldn't take my kid(s) out in jr or sr high. The workload is too much then, IMO. But elementary? Come on....let kids be kids.

And I guess I'm biased, 'cause I was an exchange student in high school. I learned more in one year, than the rest of my formal schooling...& most of that knowledge wasn't from attending school, it was from experiencing real life. And travel is a big part of learning about the world...or at least, I think so. :)

MSWint
09-06-2007, 06:13 AM
Thanks for all your feedback!!! Didn't realize this was such a hot topic :rolleyes1

I am drafting a note now to forward (probably via email) to each of DD11's (6'th grade) teachers and to the principal. DW will also contact the school directly to ensure we have everything covered.

Thanks again for all the feedback on this ... if anyone has any further suggestions or examples of your notes that you have sent, please keep em coming.

Hanover
09-06-2007, 07:12 AM
Our son's schools also have a prearranged form that you fill out with the vacation dates and destination(s) of your trip. They have to be submitted at least 2 weeks before your trip. We are cruising in December and I already put the form in the 1st day of school (August 28th). I picked them up on orientation night in the office the week before school started.

I will email or write the teachers a note again a week before we leave. When ds10 was in kindergarten, I had visions of him getting the 100% attendance certificate at the end of his school year. We arranged for a trip over spring break. His school ended up making up 2 snow days over spring break that year. We went on our trip anyway and after dealing with horrendous crowds we figured we'd go over the summer. DS also had 4 bouts with strep throat that year and missed another 4 days. After doing WDW in the summer in intese heat and crowds, we figured we'd take them out when we pleased since there is no policy against doing so.

Vacationing during the school year works best for us. We have had lower crowds and better weather. Makes for a much more pleasant trip. I asked our son's principal what the limit was on number of days missed and he said there isn't one...as long as the child isn't truant and gets good grades. DS10 is now in 5th grade and all of the teachers he has had have been very supportive of our family trips. Some of his teachers have sent all the work in advance, some half of the work, and some have just asked him to keep a journal. He has had teachers see his DCL tshirts and ask him to tell the class about his vacations and where he has been.

We get more grief from our son's sports coaches than the schools! When ds10 is in junior high we will probably try to go over school vacations or go in the summer.

lbgraves
09-06-2007, 08:54 AM
You're right - I am kind of looking for someone to 'justify it' for me! ;) LOL I have asked them about falling behind and one feels she will do just fine (the 7th grader), but my HS girl is a little apprehensive. School work generally comes naturally to them, but she is a bit weary about the upcoming Regents she will have to take. They are rarely absent and so I am not too concerned about that aspect of it (a certain amount of absences can mean automatic fail), but like I said, the instructional time is what makes me worry. It was so much easier when they were younger!!! They are going to be so bummed out! I have looked into other times of the year, but they are more "Peak" times and are double what we paid. So sad, so sad ... I probably will end up cancelling after all ::sigh:: :confused3

We have always taken the kids out for 8 days for a cruise and a few days at WDW. Last year I wrote out what we would be doing...interactive tour of the Mayan ruins, distributing school supplies to the kids in a nearby village, feeding and swimming with the stingrays. The principal said that she couldn't teach them what they would learn on that cruise in school. Their teachers had them do presentations to their classes (1st and 2nd grade last year). For the 2008 PC repo cruise there is no question that they will learn more on the cruise through their experiences. When I called the school board and talked to the director over the end of grade testing she told me not to think twice about it and my son could take the make up test after we returned...that it was the chance of a lifetime to go through the canal at his age. We will be going in August instead but I am not at all concerned about them missing the first week of school.

dragonflydreaming
09-06-2007, 09:02 AM
Our school was great! We turned it into a learning experience and included the whole class. My DD was given the work they would be covering while away (11 days worth) which we did a little of daily.We scheduled it. Every day after breakfast, we completed an assignment and then it was done for the day. By 10am we were at the pool.
We also brought our laptop and e-mailed the class daily with a reverse version of "show and tell" they call "Tell and Show" We would give numerous hints of where we were each day, some geographical, historical, food clues etc. and they would try to figure out where we were. The answer and photos would be included in an attachment. They would send us all of their guesses and DD loved come of the crazy answers. The class tracked our voyage on a map. It was really fun and kept her somewhat in school mode.

Our kids are still in primary school so think it's easier for us than for kids in high school. I think getting the work ahead and completing it while away will avoid a lot of anxiety and stress when they return if it is allowed. It can be really difficult to catch up once behind. This was our fear. I quietly asked for extra and we worked ahead so that she was a little ahead of the class when she returned. A little time set aside each day made the return a breeze.

My vote is take them if your kids will be able to get back on track when they are back. It is an education to see all of these places, and a priceless family memory. Ask the schools what they would like them to complete while away and comply with that. If it may compromise their year, reconsider.

Good Luck!

mickeyworld
09-06-2007, 09:12 AM
I am a teacher who pulls her kids out of school every year and encourages people to do the same. I have their kids 180 days a year in my classroom. If missing school for 5 days affects their education and I cannot compensate for that, I am a lousy teacher. I do NOT give them much homework to do... life is really more about experiences than memorizing facts on a certain date.

I also travel with a principal who takes her kids out for a week. Our girls are now in 8th grade and honors classes in high school and we STILL take them out.

Five years ago my husband suddenly passed away a few months after a DCL trip. My girls were 7 and 11. Just think if I had "waited" to get the right time for everyone..... they never would have had the memories they have now of their dad. If the trip is important...I would go for it!

Pixie Dust for Me!
09-06-2007, 09:38 AM
To the mom of a highschooler,

Go ahead with your trip! You may need to arrange for your daughter to see a tutor for a few weeks after you return, but do go ahead with your trip.

My parents pulled me out of school every year that I was in high school(sometime between September and January) to go on a family trip. For me, it usually meant missing a week of field hockey (and my coach was upset). Those trips though are some of my fondest memories as an adult! My mom and I still talk about the time we got lost in Charlotte Amalie and the time we (unknowingly) went to the wrong beach (it was completely nude and the taxi dropped us off and left...talk about a complete anatomy lesson for a 17 year old!) :rotfl2: We still laugh hysterically about the man who was probably 80 and wandered by as my eyes were popping out of my head and my mom was saying....hmmm...wonder if he forgot his clothes today before we realized everyone on the beach was nude!

Anyway....I assure you it will not damage your child's education (if she's a good student). I always took my responsibilities for education seriously...I went to a Tier 1 university (with lots of scholarships) and now I work/teach at a Tier 1 university!

Talk with your daughter. Think about a tutor or, in the case of French class, hiring a conversationalist partner and/or a tutor. Geometry isn't hard to catch up on...in fact, she could likely take her book with her and go through all of the exercises for the week and stay caught up.

Hope you all have fun!

Oh, and we routinely take our 9 year old out of school for trips (he's going to be gone 2 weeks in November....1 to Washington D.C. and 1 on a Disney Cruise) and we will continue to do so even in high school. Fortunately, he's in a thematically integrated, experiental education type of school (it's private) and they understand the enrichment a child gets from travel. In fact, the Head of School (principal in other schools) advocates that children travel as often as possible...both in and out of school! The really wonderful thing is that his entire class of 26 children is going to Conner Prairie in Indiana in October for 3 days (we live in Missouri) as part of studying early American history. I love his school!

WHATIF
09-06-2007, 11:55 AM
I completely agree with Heather98012, dragonflydreaming, and mickeyworld.
We take my grandson out for a week each school year to vacation. And he is
NOT and A student! (Bs and Cs) He is in junior high this year and we will take him again. His school district is not thrilled, but they give us his work in advance, and we do some on the plane, and a little each day. We also have him keep a journal and give it to his teachers.

I know formal education is important, but nothing is as important as, or will replace the memories we make and the great experiences we have together. I don't believe our times together would be half as great if we had to put up with overcrowding and paying twice as much.

Just my opinion, but it works for our family. I say take the kids, be pirates!

Mommaraven
09-06-2007, 12:12 PM
What a timely issue...I've been dealing with this too. We are leaving for a 7 night cruise on September 14. My son is in half-day Kindergarten in Loudoun County, VA this year. I told his teacher during the info night a few days before school started...and found out that I have to request PERMISSION from the principal to take him out for more than 1 day. :furious:

Quite frankly, I find this insane. Regardless of the fact that it's 3 hours a day of Kindergarten (what is he going to miss? Coloring?), it is my child and I should be able to pull him. It bugs the hell out of me that the school is getting so much power over my child's life. I wrote a letter to INFORM them that I was taking him out because 1) as parents it is our decision, 2) We've spent WAYYY too much money on this cruise to back out now, and 3) he's been looking forward to this for almost a year and there is no way I'm going to disappoint him.

I grew up in Fairfax County and Catholic School and never had this kind of issue. Times, they are a'changing...

nobodycares
09-06-2007, 12:17 PM
We will be having our 8th grade daughter miss 2 (maybe 3 days depending on the in-service schedule) of school for our November cruise. We try to schedule our vacation during "Teacher's Convention" week. Our New Jersey school district usually only has 2 days of classes that whole week. I just go online to see when the Teacher's Convention is and that way I don't have to wait for the school calendar to come out to know that is my target week.

Therefore, we enjoy warm weather at WDW (and hopefully in the Caribbean this November), lower prices and fewer crowds. (July and August and Spring Break at WDW are for TOURISTS!!:rotfl2: )

Every since the schools went behind locked doors, there just isn't the same relationships between parents and teachers. I'll send the group an email and if I'm lucky I hear back from 1 or 2 of her teachers. On our 2005 jaunt, the teacher's were very cooperative about making up assignments and since we target that short week the impact is minimal.

Don't even get me started about inservice days, snow days, 1/2 days, and on and on. As a working parent, the school schedule is an impossible mess. My take on it is since I yield to all their scheduling whims, a little reciprocation for our vacation is in order. :eeyore:

rdy2bpampered
09-06-2007, 12:49 PM
I am a teacher who pulls her kids out of school every year and encourages people to do the same. I have their kids 180 days a year in my classroom. If missing school for 5 days affects their education and I cannot compensate for that, I am a lousy teacher. I do NOT give them much homework to do... life is really more about experiences than memorizing facts on a certain date.

I also travel with a principal who takes her kids out for a week. Our girls are now in 8th grade and honors classes in high school and we STILL take them out.

Five years ago my husband suddenly passed away a few months after a DCL trip. My girls were 7 and 11. Just think if I had "waited" to get the right time for everyone..... they never would have had the memories they have now of their dad. If the trip is important...I would go for it!


Boy, if that isn't a lesson in 'you never know when it's too late!' and 'you only regret what you didn't do'
I am taking both my kids out of school this year for a 7 night trip in Oct. My DD (9) just came back from the transatlantic cruise with her father (bringing the Magic back) and missed 3 days (the first ones) of school. Next week she is having surgery and missing 4 more days. Her school allows 15 days and after 15 she is required to have a Dr's note. So that leaves her 3 days for the rest of the year. We are going to be cutting it really close but I won't regret what she is learning this year. My goodness, she has been places in her 9 years that I may never see.
Now my DS(15 grade 10) is another story. He is a very smart boy but like alot of kids-- just does not apply himself. He is in an advanced Euro history class that is weighted and very intense(he will get dropped if grade falls below C-). He had to have special permission to get in to the class. I am concerned about him doing everything he is supposed to do while off- he comes up with the lamest excuses! :confused3

Well, I am still intending on taking them on the vacation..DS and I are having our first trip outside USA- DD- now that is another story and boy do I wish I could have seen what she saw last week!

disney1990
09-06-2007, 04:32 PM
We live in Maryland. If you child misses school in our county, they are given a zero for every assignment, quiz and test that they miss. They are not allowed to make up any work.

If you want to blame anything for the schools' increased interest in your child being at school each and every day, you can blame "No Child Left Behind". Schools are required to report the attendance of their students. Schools can be cited for their attendance figures not being good enough.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:

Children who are chronically absent are at higher risk for falling behind academically or dropping out altogether. Attendance policies are made at the state and local levels. However, there are many things schools can do to encourage better attendance. For instance, the No Child Left Behind Act requires that localities keep detailed records of truancy.

professorandmom
09-06-2007, 04:36 PM
The principal said that she couldn't teach them what they would learn on that cruise in school.

Clearly, a person with less self-focus than in the schools my children attend....there aren't any questions about sting rays or Mayans on the standardized tests

Barb

redmomof4
09-06-2007, 05:00 PM
I could read about this topic forever, which because of the nature of the beast I certainly can here on the dis. It's been dis'cussed over and over. I pull my kids out. That's just it. Two years ago when we did our last disney cruise, my eldest was bummed he was going to miss homecoming so cancelled last minute and stayed with his dad. He said that will never happen again. Not that his dad isn't great, he is, but he missed us and missed out on so much. We are leaving on Monday and I did not book his airfare right away for fear he'd cancel again. I then gave him the option of missing MOnday or leaving after school. He is going to go to school on Monday and fly out independently :scared1: after that. We'll pick him up at Orlando International that night. He thinks he'll be able to round up more work that way with it being after the weekend.

I emailed all of his teachers and got a response from one! The pe teach who just said he could make up the classes when we get back (did I mention he'll miss eight days-the elementary kids are missing nine) He did talk to his other teachers though who said they would give him the work they could. Three of his textbooks are available online so he can read online! :cheer2: Less books to lug around. We use infinite campus so can see when some assignments are due. He is an A/B student so we hope that is to our advantage.

In the past we have done homework on the plane, at our layover and tidbits during the day (usually no more than 30minutes). I am taking statistics and physics this semester so we may need more time :rolleyes1

I personally can't afford to go during the summer/springbreak/christmas time, nor have I wanted to in the past. This time on the ship we are going to look at prices for Christmas '08 and Spring Break '09 (prob leaning toward the latter) we went once in Dec and it was a tid bit chilly at CC.

I personally told the elementary principal whom told me I didn't need to do anything special except inform the teachers. I told all three of them at open house night and meet the teacher night and sent reminder emails yesterday that tomorrow would be their last day before our big trip in case they had anything they wanted to send home. If they do not send any thing home, I will print off spelling words I deem appropriate, and math facts for my second grader, letters and numbers for my kindergartner to practice writing and counting, but not sure yet for our fifth grader. Hmmm, will have to think on that one.


Just sharing my humble opinion.

tvguy
09-06-2007, 08:05 PM
What a timely issue...I've been dealing with this too. We are leaving for a 7 night cruise on September 14. My son is in half-day Kindergarten in Loudoun County, VA this year. I told his teacher during the info night a few days before school started...and found out that I have to request PERMISSION from the principal to take him out for more than 1 day. :furious:
I grew up in Fairfax County and Catholic School and never had this kind of issue. Times, they are a'changing...

My kids are doing/did Catholic High School and they are cracking down too because they have found the kids just do better if they don't miss school.
Interesting about half day Kindergarten, the big push here is full day Kindergarten in the public schools since the private schools have been full time for years.
My wife and I just made a decision our kids would not miss school unless they were sick. We juggled doctor, dentist and orthodondist appointments...and had the good fortune of having good health (or only bad health on weekends) with DS, he graduated with perfect attendance, and got a Bank Of America award for it. DD is a junior now, so far so good, and she had braces TWICE. We still have 16 weeks a year that they are out of school (well 10 weeks, since DW and I both can not take time off in February, May, July or November because those are rating periods, and if they could, they would ban sick time during those months too!!)

bevtoy
09-06-2007, 08:42 PM
Its interesting the different experiences people have with this issue.

A vacation that is planned is excused in our school district.
So I send in notes for DD(10) and DD(17), they are given their homework early and have it completed before we leave. My 10 year olds teacher asked her to keep a journal of her experiences.

I have to write a note tonight for the 17 year old.
35 days till we leave.

WIFamily
09-06-2007, 08:52 PM
My kids are doing/did Catholic High School and they are cracking down too because they have found the kids just do better if they don't miss school.


That's interesting, and I like to see the studies that found that. Not that I'm asking you for proof, just that it would be an interesting read.

To the main point, when we registered our children - 8th, 4th, and K - we sent in notes for each about the absence in December. During open house we talked with each students teachers, and for the 8th grader, we sat down with the principal to ensure his schedule would support a 10 day absence in early December. The old two will have extra work to make up, and they are aware that we and the teacher will expect it mostly done before we leave. Money or not, if our kids slack off before the cruise, they will stay home with the grandparents, and they will attend school while we cruise.

For my kids, a week of no school at their ages will not affect their IQ, or college plans, so we're going for it. When they're in High School, we might think about it a lot more first,,, though.

mom2dina
09-06-2007, 09:15 PM
I was just discussing this on the cruise meets board ...

In TN if my DN misses more than 5 days of school a semester (unexcused) and a planned family reunion is not excused they can take the parents to court. (she goes to public school) she is 9.

My other DN who is 15 goes to a catholic school whose mom went to the school and asked permission before booking the trip then sent a letter was given a hard time after the fact and was later told that if her daughter misses more than five days a semester her grades can be deducted.

My friend in MA who has a DS in highschool was told at the start of the year that family vacations wer excused because they realize that the kids grow up so fast and family time is so important.

My kids catholic school has been very understanding. (they are 7 and 6)

With all the diff rules in the diff states it can get confusing when you are planning big family trips (we are all planning on going).

I don't know but to me a DCL cruise should always be allowed ;)

StinkerbellsMom
09-06-2007, 10:27 PM
Well, I thought for sure we were going to cancel! Things have come up financially that require our attention and we could use the money we spent on the cruise to take care of it all. But then things started happening that brought in a bit more money! So, more confusion! LOL I have 2 days to decide. I have spoken with the principal of our elementary school who was less than thrilled (she is also a good friend and I am PTA President too so I think she reacted stronger because of our affiliation than if I weren't friendly with her). My HS'er told me she is a bit concerned because while she is a straight A student, she really has to work for her A in Math. I told her that I could get her a tutor and assignments ahead of time, etc and she is still on the fence. The last time I took them out of school she was in 6th grade and catching up was a breeze for her, not sure if it will be the same now. I still have two days ... Technically 18 absences is automatic failure and if I take them out for 6 days it isn't the worst thing in the world, provided they don't get really sick afterwards! My 15 yo will be speaking to her teachers to get a vibe from them (they told me she is a strong student and while they can't condone a DCL trip, they are secretly jealous! LOL), but I want my 15yo to feel them out since she knows them better than I do. My stomach hurts from all of this back/forth! Its just never easy, is it?!

wwwosie
09-07-2007, 01:00 AM
In our elementary school district they also frown on abscenses but they do understand if you give them advance notice. There is a truancy policy after three abscences (or if you are late 30 or more minutes or if you are taken out of school 30 or more minutes early - thus no more pulling your kid out after attendance is taken). Even though, each "truancy" case gets reviewed before they call the police, which is the civilized thing to do, I think.

If you do take your child out of school, they ask you if you would pretty please pay $27 per day to make up what the district loses. Of course if you are out because of sickness then you don't have to pay. :banana:

DD is in 5th grade and I would pull her out of school in a minute to do a trip like this, luckily we don't have to because we have a three week break in october:cool1: . DS however, is a junior and if he misses school he would be sunk.... so alas... he's not coming, neither is DH....

Make the decision that feels right for you and your family...

WIFamily
09-07-2007, 06:47 AM
If you do take your child out of school, they ask you if you would pretty please pay $27 per day to make up what the district loses.

If I saw something like this from my children's school, I would respond with "I ask that the school pretty please send me a check for $27 for every in-service day, and any other non-holiday/summer day that the school is closed."

Shannon1984
09-07-2007, 08:33 AM
I had to post on here, because I let my 5 year olds school now we were going on the cruise and they told my if she misses 5 days she will be withdrawn! She's in Kindergarten! Turns out I'm ok because I left out the part that she is 5. If she was 6 they would withdraw her from the school. I was completely shocked! I am glad we chose this year for our vacation. It doesn't look like we will be going again for a while.

mom2dina
09-07-2007, 08:39 AM
If I saw something like this from my children's school, I would respond with "I ask that the school pretty please send me a check for $27 for every in-service day, and any other non-holiday/summer day that the school is closed."

I realize they are underfunded and I wouldn't mind so much paying the $ if it kept the kids out of trouble. But what about all the people sending their kids to private/catholic schools they still have to pay town taxes (some must go to the schools) - not that I'm complaining it is a choice that the parents made to send the kids to a private school and I think that having a good school system in the community is worth it. It is just such a confusing issue.

Caitsmama
09-07-2007, 10:05 AM
My dd will be out for her second week of school next September,for the 5 night DD cruise. She will be in Second grade at that point, and i plan on just sending in a letter in a sealed envie (the trip is a surprise) to the teacher the first day of school, and ask her to send home any worksheets in a sealed envie..
I honestly don't feel the need to explain myself to the schools. This is my choice, and MY family...... in the long run,what will they remember most down the road, a chance to visit another country -- or school work? To me, any trip IS a learning expierence in itself!

WIFamily
09-07-2007, 10:38 AM
I realize they are underfunded and I wouldn't mind so much paying the $ if it kept the kids out of trouble. But what about all the people sending their kids to private/catholic schools they still have to pay town taxes (some must go to the schools) - not that I'm complaining it is a choice that the parents made to send the kids to a private school and I think that having a good school system in the community is worth it. It is just such a confusing issue.

To me it seems that Public Schools act too much like a business now. I would also question underfunding compared to other perks, expenditures, wastefulnesses, but I think we're getting way off course here ;)

Gina
09-07-2007, 11:12 AM
Our next cruise is in early February, and I told DS's homeroom teacher about it last night at open house. He just asked where we were going, told me to send him a note a few weeks ahead of time to remind him, and told DS to take lots of pictures for the class. (His homeroom teacher is also his social studies teacher.)

DS is in 6th grade, all pre-AP classes, and will be missing 7 school days. My main scheduling concern was making sure the trip wouldn't interfere with TAKS testing, but aside from that I couldn't care less what the teachers/school/district have to say. As many others have said, this is education you can't get from any book, and these memories are priceless.

wwwosie
09-07-2007, 11:27 AM
If I saw something like this from my children's school, I would respond with "I ask that the school pretty please send me a check for $27 for every in-service day, and any other non-holiday/summer day that the school is closed."

Although this is not the place to discuss education issues, and I do understand how you feel but in our District, in-service days and professional development days are NOT part of the 180 days the state requires for children to be in school, so if the teachers didn't have these in-service days your child would still have the time off because then it would go beyond the 180 days.

Cheers!

Soccermom-Cheri
09-07-2007, 12:48 PM
Although this is not the place to discuss education issues, and I do understand how you feel but in our District, in-service days and professional development days are NOT part of the 180 days the state requires for children to be in school, so if the teachers didn't have these in-service days your child would still have the time off because then it would go beyond the 180 days.

Cheers!
Yup, here too. The kids are in school the required number of minutes. Our kids get out in late June because every Friday is a minimum day so the teachers can have in-services, meetings, etc.

swilphil
09-08-2007, 05:05 AM
We were just having this discussion today. Actually, for a few days now ... we are scheduled to leave on the Nov 25th cruise for 4 nights. A trip that is truly a dream come true! We have been aching to do DCL for ages but they were always so expensive. This year, I was beyond thrilled to find a Verandah Cat 4 room for the 5 of us for just over $3K and jumped on it! I seriously thought it was the week of Thanksgiving and figured the girls would only miss 2 days of school since they are off Wed., Thurs., Fri. for Thanksgiving. WELL, Thanksgiving is NOT the week we are going -- DUH on me -- we will be leaving the week AFTER Thanksgiving. So, in order to cruise, we'd have to take them out of school for a whole week. In the past, we have taken them out and it was really no big deal since the 3 of them are A Students and have a great work ethic and finish assignments easily and quickly. But this year I am afraid to take them out because the older two are now in 7th and 10th grade -- Algebra and Geometry - not easy subjects to get caught up with if you miss a week, kwim. Then of course there is American History and French. It just won't be the same if they miss an actual week of instruction!

I am beyond devastated that we will likely have to cancel this trip!! I am just so afraid to take them out of school for a week at this age. My 3rd grader will be fine, she's got the readin', writin', rithmetic type of learning LOL I am so sad. We are at the 80 day mark and I must make a decision NOW or risk losing my money! Not to mention the fact that I have sat on this so long that I haven't even gotten my passport yet! I think I was secretly sabotaging myself by NOT obtaining passports sooner. Oh yeah, and my oldest is also gearing up for the NYS Regents! So she really has to kind of be around I guess.

My kids are going to be crushed. *I am crushed. Would you cancel? Should I just take the chance and go anyway? I am making myself crazy over this. Anyone ever pull them out with a similar situation? I am not sure how the HS teachers would react or the Middle School Teachers either. I know our elementary school teachers would be fine with it and give me work to take with us if need be. But the older girls may actually fall behind (especially in Math because one really should be present for new concepts, lessons, etc - not the same when you read it from a book, kwim). I wish I could decide what to do already - I'm stumped! Any pearls of wisdom out there?

I wouldn't cancel. The day after Thanksgiving is probably going to be reviewing what was covered before Thanksgiving or beginning a new unit but very SLOWLY since everyone was gone for 5 days. In high school, they will probably start reviewing for finals that week or the next. If your daughters are A students and you give the teachers plenty of notice, they should be fine. If it's a week with standardized testing, the school may not be too happy but they will deal with it.

I've worked at a high school for 15 years, and right before or after a longer break is the BEST time to miss. Just don't make a habit of doing it every year.

tvguy
09-08-2007, 02:17 PM
That's interesting, and I like to see the studies that found that. Not that I'm asking you for proof, just that it would be an interesting read..

I honestly don't think there is a study to read. I think too many parents abused the fact that the school allowed vacation absences that they had to do something. When DS was there, (he's a Junior in College now) one of his classmates always took 2 different weeks off for vacation during the school year, (always the week before finals, dead week). She graduated with a 4.5 GPA.
And my daughter, who is now is a Junior there, has a friend who took 4 weeks off her first year there just "because she didn't feel like going to school".

So I think abuse is the issue.