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TKERBELL
09-09-2005, 02:33 PM
Does anyone have any ideas on an excuse letter - we will be taking our kids out of school :teacher: for 4 days and I want to make sure that the schools know that while this is a family vacation they won't be missing out on any education while we are there - I am fully aware that most teachers do not appreciate taking students out of school for a vacation but my 3 school aged children are all on the honor roll and have been for most if not all of the school lives, it is the only way DH & I can justify to ourselves and to the kids that it is ok to take them out of school - they have always in the past provided a "project" to present to one or two of their classes - I have not in the past had to write a letter to the schools so this is a new thing for me :confused3 - the school system is now requiring written excuse letters(I am sure we are farther behind in school polocies than most)....Any help would be appreciated....Thanks.

28 days and a wake up til I am back at the House that the Mouse built ::MickeyMo :banana:

ktulu
09-09-2005, 02:46 PM
Simple!

"We're going to Disney World, when we get back, churros for everyone!"

TKERBELL
09-09-2005, 02:51 PM
OH VERY NICE!!!! I LIKE IT!!!!!! :rotfl2: :rotfl2: :rotfl2: the question is - will it work?????

DisneyFreq
09-09-2005, 02:56 PM
The schools in this area break it down into excused and unexused abscences. Although it is recommended that we inform the school when our children will be absent so that they may bring homework home, vacations are unexused and there is no point in me trying to convince them otherwise. (used to be, any absence that was prearranged by the parent was excused!) So, when my kids are absent for the last two school days prior to Christmas vacation, I will send a note to each of their teachers informing them of the absense and asking that work for those two days be sent home by Wed. so that it will be ready to turn in on the first day of school after New Years. I'm not even going to explain what the absence is for. If they want to ask my children and they tell them, then thats fine. I did this last year for US and the teacher had no problem with it (probably b/c my dd generally never misses a day). BUT unexused absences are monitered by the school b/c they get payed a per diem based on how many days your kids come to school and they want that money! Around here, the parents can even be charged (with negligence, I believe) if there are too many UE absences and the children will be held back........so I make sure my kids never have a absense in the event that they will miss a few days for vacation.


I know this provides absolutely no help to you but you brought up a sore subject. I think schools should be more leinient with good students that have a fairly solid attendance record!

tnhillbilly
09-09-2005, 02:59 PM
http://www.themouseforless.com/downloads/kids/SE.shtml
This a link to one. Look around this site(mfl) you will find downloads you can print for your kids to helpp with the trip.

jennz
09-09-2005, 03:23 PM
I'm getting ready to write our letter in the next week or so, will probably turn it in 2 weeks before...I don't know what to say yet though! :confused3 Our school deducts a % of their grade for each unexcused absence...

cinderelly76
09-09-2005, 03:34 PM
Well I would just tell them that you would like the kids to bring homework with them... My mom always does that but I never do it... I do it the day I get back when I am resting so that way when you take them out the teachers won't incredibly hate you...If you don't wanty them to take homework with them then just simply say that your going on a family vacation that has been planned for a while and that your children will make up the work when they get back... If they are all Honor Roll students, it should be a peice of cake for them tto make up the homework that they missed... Hope this helps

Jessie :paw:

TKERBELL
09-09-2005, 04:24 PM
Thank you all for your great advice -

The School Policy here is that if a child can produce an "educational" project from their trip they will change the UE absence to an Excused - so from October 11 - 14 they will go on record as be UE once the kids return with the "project" they will change it to Excused...Also anytime a child misses school and work they have that many days to complete the work and return it - 4 days absent=4 days time to make up the work - make sense???

I was just curious as to what to write in a letter to the school - Thanks for the link

J :goodvibes :goodvibes

Unregistered
09-09-2005, 04:43 PM
I teach second grade in the Northeast. I'm also a mother and a new Nana.
Your children will remember a trip to Disney with their family with a fondness that has no measure. Tell the school that you are taking the kids away to crate family bonding and loving memories. Take work with you, or, as I prefer, help the children make it up when you get home by doing a little extra every day.
Have fun!

Unregistered
09-09-2005, 04:50 PM
Do they allow as an excuse a parent who says they have to take their children out of school to go on vacation because that's the only time they (parents) can book vac at work?

But then again, wait a minute...I'm going to Disney tomorrow (WOO HOO!) with hopes that since all the kids are in school, that'll mean less lines for me! So "technically" I don't really want kids to be excused from school. LOL JUST KIDDING!!!!

WDW is much more fun when there's kids around.

Tiki Room Fan
09-09-2005, 04:52 PM
Do they allow as an excuse a parent who says they have to take their children out of school to go on vacation because that's the only time they (parents) can book vac at work?

But then again, wait a minute...I'm going to Disney tomorrow (WOO HOO!) with hopes that since all the kids are in school, that'll mean less lines for me! So "technically" I don't really want kids to be excused from school. LOL JUST KIDDING!!!!

WDW is much more fun when there's kids around.
Ooops! Sorry that was my post but I didn't realize I wasn't signed in! :blush:

nliedel
09-09-2005, 05:30 PM
We called out school last spring and talked to the principle before we booked this thing. Then we VERY NICELY called the teachers individually and apologised profusly about the absence (Gene only gets a very few weeks to choose from. He has been at his employer for 5 years now but he is still low man on the totem pole). We talked about why we have to go now and we also told them that we did not expect the teachers to make packets or anything. That we did not want to add to their workload.

Both teachers offered to use a trip jounral for reading and writing and budget tracking, individual and family, for math. I was thrilled and thanked them. We will also be bringing them back a small gift. I have never ever had teachers so willing to let kids go on vacation before. With my oldest I can see why she might want him to be gone for a few days (the kid yammers constantly) but the 1st graders teacher also was supportive.

4fireworks
09-09-2005, 06:14 PM
http://www.themouseforless.com/downloads/kids/SE.shtml
This a link to one. Look around this site(mfl) you will find downloads you can print for your kids to helpp with the trip.

This letter is great- a little overboard but it works! If you don't want to use this particular letter, you can use bits and pieces of it to get a general idea of a good letter. When I turned mine in ( we go to a private catholic school ) the principal acted like she was impressed ( like I had put a lot of effort in it) , and said that she wouldn't have counted the abscences as " unexcused" anyway.

10 days to go and we'll be at CBR!!!!!!!!! :Pinkbounc Starting my packing this weekend!

mark&sue
09-09-2005, 06:45 PM
I like the letter and I have used the one about not being able to get time off from work for both myself and DH.

What about saying that you are getting married or renewing your vows.

I did think of saying we have a Disney timeshare for only those two weeks of the year but thought the school would say sell it!!!!

If our school does not agree to time off we will get fined. But apparently is currently £50 so would be worth it. As we are from UK we need to go for at least two weeks or jet lag and price of the flight not worth it and we always combine our trip with a week of school holiday. We are DVC members so in the scheme of things we only have another 5 years to do this and 40 odd years to go anytime we like!!!

Good luck and thank for the tips.


Susan

Unregistered
09-09-2005, 06:53 PM
This will be our third trip in a row during school. What i send in is that we will be going on an educational trip. That way there are no problems. Disney is a world of education.

tnhillbilly
09-09-2005, 06:56 PM
http://www.themouseforless.com/downloads/kidsdownloads.shtml
This is a link to some stuff for your kids school project.

Ladybugsy
09-09-2005, 06:58 PM
:lovestruc AHHHHH!!!! I love homeschooling. :lovestruc

AdventurerKat
09-09-2005, 07:03 PM
I had to write a note for my KINDERGARTEN student explaining the "educational value" of our trip. I just told them we would have a chance to learn about animals at Animal Kingdom and Sea World and the different countries at Epcot. Worked fine...he's in KINDERGARTEN for heaven's sake!

marcyinPA
09-09-2005, 07:08 PM
Does anyone have any ideas on an excuse letter - we will be taking our kids out of school :teacher: for 4 days and I want to make sure that the schools know that while this is a family vacation they won't be missing out on any education while we are there - I am fully aware that most teachers do not appreciate taking students out of school for a vacation but my 3 school aged children are all on the honor roll and have been for most if not all of the school lives, it is the only way DH & I can justify to ourselves and to the kids that it is ok to take them out of school - they have always in the past provided a "project" to present to one or two of their classes - I have not in the past had to write a letter to the schools so this is a new thing for me :confused3 - the school system is now requiring written excuse letters(I am sure we are farther behind in school polocies than most)....Any help would be appreciated....Thanks.

28 days and a wake up til I am back at the House that the Mouse built ::MickeyMo :banana:


Our school district requires us to fill out a Vacation Request Form for vacations. We have a very strict policy that states that you can only take your child out of school a total of 15 days over the first through 5th grades for vacations. Anyway, on the request form, it asks for the educational benefit of the trip. I simply put "We are going on vacation for uninterrupted family time". I did not state WHERE we were going. I don't think it's any of their business!

I wrote to both of my ds's teachers as well, telling them when we'd be gone and for how long, and asked them for their policy on making up homework. They both emailed me back and were very easy to work with. They said the boys were capable students and could make it up when they returned. No problems! The vacation is a surprise, so I also asked the teachers to keep it hush, which they both agreed to do.

Personally, I wouldn't get into a lot of detail in your excuse. A good friend of mine works for the school district and has seen excuses that are PAGES long, describing in detail the educational benefits of a trip to Disney World. They make fun of those excuses in the office. The one they liked the best, though, was the one that said "Educational benefit: None. Absolutely none. We are going to enjoy ourselves as a family, and we'll see you when we get back." :rotfl2:

mark&sue
09-09-2005, 07:16 PM
macy in PA

I thought this was so funny. You are probably right the more excuse you make the worse it is.

DD bought home a leaflet from school today saying that children must not take holiday (vacation) during school time. As I have just booked next year's flight to Orlando from London I felt really paranoid like they knew and they had these leaflet printed just because of me.

I have now read the leaflet carefully and it says if I ask for permision and it is not granted I will be fined £50. I hope we get permission but if not £50 is a small price to pay not to have to argue with my boss about time off work during the main summer holidays, Christmas or Easter.

Hope you all have a great time.



Susan

TKERBELL
09-09-2005, 08:49 PM
This DIS board is amazing - you have a problem post it and help arrives in all sorts of ways - What I am getting at is very simply - Thank you Thank you Thank you !!!!!! :banana:

HappyLawyer
09-09-2005, 09:00 PM
I think this is an issue that is blown way out of hand sometimes when it is discussed, i was a teacher for a few years and our policy was vacations are unexcused, i feel like if the kids get the work and do the work while they are on vacation so be it, i go during december and i had to lie basically but i know there is not much that will be missed, and parents are not stupid, they can give their kids the work and have them do it while on vacation, i made sure every school day we were gone my daughter did something, 30 minutes of homework time is plenty to me, these are my thoughts

DisneyFreq
09-09-2005, 09:05 PM
I think schools that allow absenses based on their educational merits are great. My son missed a week at a free state funded preschool where they actually had a waiting list. I told the teacher about our trip (to DL) and was worried that he might loose his spot but she was very encouraging and said she loves it when families take vacations together because its important to promote bonding and create memories.

I think the only thing here that qualifies as excused is death and dismemberment. Okay..so its not that bad...sick absences are excused as long as there is a doctors note but there is some rule about no more than five sick days in a row...so I guess you'd better get well for at least one day!

I'm afraid I can't use the excuse that "we can only go now" b/c I think we may go back on spring break...wouldn't that look bad?

I have to hand it to the schools in Santa Rosa County...even though they have VERY strict attendance rules, they aproved a fall break this year during the first week of October and moved Spring Break up to about a MONTH before Easter. I think they realized that if we're going to be forced to vacation on school holidays, that we needed more "off season" options. What did we give in return for Fall Break? well the kids had to start school a week early...oh boo hoo! Take them two weeks early and let em have the whole month of December off...lets barter! :rotfl2:

bigmac5
09-09-2005, 10:56 PM
I'm glad I live in Ontaio. Family vacations are embraced. They do prefer that they are not during school time but we don't have to ask permission. I was actually surprised to read in my son's high school handbook that they ask that you not book vaccation during exam time. I would never think about taking my kid out of high school for an extended period of time-they really would miss too much(and I wouldn't even be able to help him) Family time is so valuable especially now when everyone seems so busy.

pamouselover
09-09-2005, 11:59 PM
Just write that you will not leave your child behind at disney world.
LOL :rotfl: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just put on my letter please excuse so and so due to we will be on a family vacation at Disney World.

lisaviolet
09-10-2005, 12:38 AM
I don't know quite how to say this...

I find these threads perplexing. I just think....well I know... that these children are your children. I don't know. I just don't understand asking for permission to do something that you think is important for your children and your family.

I know you are not technically asking permission. So forgive me if I've used the wrong words. And I would do whatever I needed to make sure that my child does not fall behind. And I would not take a child out of school during crucial times (maybe high school, exams, if my child is struggling in school). It just seems to me that some states have schools that seem to have a lot of control over your children.

And in the scheme of things does it really matter that Oscar or Sasha had an UA or or an EA on their report cards ten years from now? (but I don't want anyone to fall behind).

I was really surprised that some of your schools take % off for UA. Very surprising to me. But then again if they are doing well enough in school, and are not in the years close to college/university I think a family trip/family memories are more important. Escpecially, since some families have stated in past threads that they can only vacation certain times of the year for financial and other reasons.

Forgive me if I have offended any of you. I am just so surprised when I read what some of you put yourself through to simply make decisions for your family and your children. I mean dealing with the "rules". I feel for you.


Have fun on your trip!!!

Tiki Room Fan
09-10-2005, 01:19 AM
I kinda agree with that. Just as adults don't live to work, kids don't live to go to school. They won't fail life miserably because they miss a few days here and there to take a vacation. At least they ARE a family and ARE doing things together like a vacation. Schools should understand people having to go in the "off season" - some folks could swing an off season vacation, but peak season prices just break some folks' budgets.

I never had to ask permission to take my son from school for a vacation, I just called and said he wouldn't be in and gave them the dates. No reason. They didn't even know we were going on vacation. For all they knew, he was having surgery!

Any teachers/principals who don't give permission are just jealous! :rotfl:

In about 10 hours I'll be flying to WDW!!!! I can't sleep!!!!!!

:banana: :bounce: :Pinkbounc: :hyper: :jumping1:

graygables
09-10-2005, 02:21 AM
When my now 17yo DD was in our local public school, she fell and broke her arm. Due to problems with the cast and being jostled too much (on purpose) in the hallways, she missed quite a bit of school. We had won a trip to WDW from Kellogg's and already had it all scheduled (couldn't change it...deadlines and blackout dates), so she went over the "limit" of "unexcused absences" (even though we had a note from the doctor for the broken arm). At semester, she was given failing grades in several courses that she had actually had As and Bs in. I re-delivered a declaration of parental rights to the school, they had their attorneys look it over, and within a few weeks, her grades were reinstated.

It boils down to parental rights. You have the right to excuse your child for whatever reason you as the parent sees fit. The school rules, when they attempt to usurp that right, become moot.

That said, I provided my DDs charter e-school with 7 pages of the educational benefits we were reaping on our trip and they reimbursed our admission. :Pinkbounc I wouldn't expect that from your school by any stretch, but they cannot argue with the educational experience at WDW.

marcyinPA
09-10-2005, 10:42 AM
I don't know quite how to say this...

I find these threads perplexing. I just think....well I know... that these children are your children. I don't know. I just don't understand asking for permission to do something that you think is important for your children and your family.

I know you are not technically asking permission. So forgive me if I've used the wrong words. And I would do whatever I needed to make sure that my child does not fall behind. And I would not take a child out of school during crucial times (maybe high school, exams, if my child is struggling in school). It just seems to me that some states have schools that seem to have a lot of control over your children.

And in the scheme of things does it really matter that Oscar or Sasha had an UA or or an EA on their report cards ten years from now? (but I don't want anyone to fall behind).

I was really surprised that some of your schools take % off for UA. Very surprising to me. But then again if they are doing well enough in school, and are not in the years close to college/university I think a family trip/family memories are more important. Escpecially, since some families have stated in past threads that they can only vacation certain times of the year for financial and other reasons.

Forgive me if I have offended any of you. I am just so surprised when I read what some of you put yourself through to simply make decisions for your family and your children. I mean dealing with the "rules". I feel for you.


Have fun on your trip!!!


I agree with you on so many levels. I fill out the required paperwork, but I don't "ask" permission to parent my kids. After all, they are MINE and I know what's best for them.

Unfortunately, here in the states, it comes down to the almighty dollar. If your district or school shows an attendance issue, then they receive less funding. So, of course, they try to make it difficult to take the kids out of school so that the attendance isn't comprimised. What really makes me mad is that there are kids (in our district for sure!) who miss MOST of school year because they have a lack of parenting...nobody to make them go to school,so they don't go! And they don't care!) But I get the "glare" of the principal when I turn in the "excuse" papers and my kids had PERFECT attendance last year!!

I'd like to think that I'm educated enough to know WHEN NOT to take my kids out of school. If they were behind, or not good students, or whatever, I'd think twice about taking them out of school for a vacation. But my oldest is a capable student (his teacher even said so!) and my youngest is in first grade. He won't be missing much, and what he does miss, I can teach at home (I have my ElEd degree).

Anyway, I try not to let the negative attitudes of the principal bother me (she really has more of an issue with it than the teachers do...because she's the one worried about the funding!!)

Marcy

2nd childhood
09-10-2005, 10:58 AM
I had to write a letter for our last trip in December. It had to state the educational value of the trip. We had our girls take their homework with them and since we drive (14 hours) they do it on the way down and on the return home. Luckily they were excused and it turned out to be our best trip yet.
Good luck to you and your family. :wizard:

bigmac5
09-10-2005, 11:11 AM
I had to write a letter for our last trip in December. It had to state the educational value of the trip. We had our girls take their homework with them and since we drive (14 hours) they do it on the way down and on the return home. Luckily they were excused and it turned out to be our best trip yet.
Good luck to you and your family. :wizard:

What would have happened if they weren't excused? If you went anyway would there have been a penalty?

eeyoresmountainpals
09-10-2005, 11:36 AM
lisaviolet ~ I agree with you completely. These are my kids and I do feel that I know what is best for them. I feel a week of uninterupted family time is more beneficial to them that the five days of school that they will be missing. My kids are great students and almost never miss school so I don't think 5 days of planned vacation time is unreasonable.

And in the scheme of things does it really matter that Oscar or Sasha had an UA or or an EA on their report cards ten years from now? (but I don't want anyone to fall behind).

Years from now I wouldn't care if it was just an UA or an EA on their report card under attendance. However, our school system does not allow work that is missed to be made up if it was missed due to an unexcused absence. For my younger two boys it still might not make a difference on their grades. But our oldest son, who is in high school, has some semester-long classes instead of year long classes. So missing five days is more like ten. Ten days of not being able to make up work = ten zeros and that could possibly give him a failing grade! (Even five days of zeros would be harmful to his grades!) He is on the A-B honor roll and we just couldn't do that to him!

BTW - We have a trip planned for Oct. The younger boys have already been excused with no great effort but we're waiting for the answer from the high school.

lisaviolet
09-10-2005, 05:32 PM
Wow. Thanks for educating me guys. I had no idea that funding for some schools is based on attendance. No clue. I don't know what to say. Speechless on that issue. It's not like that here....re:funding.

And I now have a better understanding of how a UA can affect someone's grades in some schools. Thank you for explaining that to me. I totally understand your choices. Like I hope I said earlier I would never want to negatively impact my child's grades. Especially in high school. So I hear ya.

Oh boy. I guess I have little understanding, on a philosophical level....I know it is reality, of how a parent can make an educated decision for their child, give notification of their decision before you leave and it be deemed unexplained. To me it's clearly "explained". It is not like these parents are taking a vacation every couple of months or anything! Unexplained in my head is the child missed school and no explanation is provided by the parent or guardian especially before the child is absent. Don't get me wrong I heard clearly how it works in some of your school districts. I am just talking outloud going, "my Lord" and sighing.

It's not like I can't relate to some of these concerns. I was hospitalized once during an exam period (at 16....many centuries ago) and a math teacher gave me the average mark that my class received on their exam despite the fact that I was producing 80s/90s at the time. Wouldn't let me write it or waive the exam percentage. And unfortunately it was a very low class average!!! He also gave me 4/10 for participation simply because I was away/sick for an extended period (two weeks) before the exam. I personally fought both decisions straight to the VP. She had the participation raised to represent my abilities in class but he refused to budge on the other.

But this story is not about having any restrictive educational policies up here......it is about a control freak teacher. :rotfl:

I am still mouthing, "wow". I am speechless.

Thanks for the added information. This is interesting to me.

disneynewbee
09-10-2005, 08:19 PM
I am sitting here trying to figure out my 2006 trip and new school policies is making it difficult. I took my oldest dd out of school for 2 wks in 2004 for vacation. We have no choice but to go during winter months because of my youngest dd's (2yo) medical issues. Well I explained the reason for a school season trip and gave an educational trip report and it was approved no problem. Now I just got the school rules for this year and it has been changed from 10 days excused to 5 days. This makes it hard since we drive and it takes 2 days (major fear of flying on dh's part). I like to plan ahead so I'm already trying to figure out 2006. I don't know what to do because based on the school schedule this year I could go Thanksgiving for 2 wks and only go over the 5 days by 2 days because of teacher days but I don't know if these teachers days will fall at the same time next year. GRRRRR! I just think if they expect you to meet there requirements or be fined then they should give you the school year schedules far enough in advanced to make a good plan. I can't wait till the end of this school year to plan since I have extended family going also. This is so frustrating.

eeyoresmountainpals
09-10-2005, 09:00 PM
disneynewbee ~ I understand where you're coming from! Last year we went to WDW in October and the kids missed 5 days of school. We took advantage of two teacher workdays so that they were actually out of school the Thursday and Friday of the week prior, so we had 11 days vacation with them only missing five days. We planned our trip for this October last spring and we made all of our arrangements around those same two teacher workdays. Now this year the school system has made both of those days half-days at school. So, we'll lose those two off our trip. We're still waiting to see if we're going to have any problems with the other five days. Five days is the limit for our school system.

alwayspooh
09-10-2005, 09:03 PM
I am such a new parent as far as a child in school. I have a DD5 who is in kindergarden and a 2 1/2 month old DD and we are planning a trip in Oct 06. I just never thought of the impact it would have as far as the school district is concerned. I will have to keep all this in mind when writing my excuse letter. I don't even know how many UA she can have now. I have a lot to learn. Thanks for all the insight. :confused3

solferino
09-10-2005, 09:13 PM
family vacations at our school are embraced and encouraged. A couple of years ago one of our teacher's daughters was getting married in AUSTRALIA. He and his 2 kids (also at the school) were gone for 3 weeks.

All I have to do is let DD's teacher know we're going to be out for XX amount of days (tail end of Christmas break so 3 days) and see if there's any homework she'll need to make up. More than likely there will be about a half-hours worth, which we can easily do on the plane. I like how they do homework there- for each grade level it's about 10 min of work a night- 1st 10; 2nd 20; 3rd 30= and so on.

Mind you we're also independent/private and certainly don't follow the same rules as the public school system. :cheer2: :cool1:

ButterflyJen
09-12-2005, 10:35 PM
It's funny how your view changes on this when you have kids. Before my DD came along, I thought taking your kids out of school to go to WDW was indulgent, at best. Why not go in the summer, or over spring break or Christmas, when the kids are off? No chance of them missing school then.

Now, we have our DD. And you know what, we'll be taking her (and future kids) out of school, most likely, to visit WDW. Why? Because we just can't afford to go in the summer (not to mention it's blazing hot and BUSY then!). Not to mention that that may be the only time our family would all be available to go on a trip (if we can swing grandparents too!).

At any rate, thanks for posting this topic. I'm currently reviewing the absence policies of our school district (and DD's barely one year old!).

(BTW, that first paragraph is not meant to flame anyone....as you can see, I've done a 180 since DD was born!)

corie161
09-13-2005, 05:29 PM
Our school basically says that they don't mind the family vacations but would like you to plan around the standardize testing dates for certain grades. By the next time we go to WDW my DD will be in 4th grade, a grade where they take one of these tests. The tests are in the spring and that's when we plan our trip, so I will need to plan around these dates. He stated that a certain percentage of students are required to take these or they look some funding.

I will gladly work around their schedule as long as they don't hassle you about yours.

heatherfeather24
09-13-2005, 05:42 PM
I find these threads interesting because, as a child of two teachers, we never took vacations when it wasn't a school break. Not because of some major philosophical "you can never take your kids out of school" social more, but rather because my parents couldn't take the time -- simply, if I was required to be in school, so were they. In fact, they would be docked pay if they missed school (for any reason -- short, maybe, of a death in the family) the day before or the day after a scheduled school break longer than one day. (i.e. -- OK to miss the day after Columbus Day Monday, but not OK to miss the day before or after Christmas break).

That said, we had many wonderful trips (to Disney and many other places). They all occurred during "high season" and were always crowded. Never bothered any of us -- it's just the way it went.

I'm curious (not judging, just curious), why pull your kids out of school? Is it just a matter of convenience (don't want to go when it's crowded), or are there usually other factors at play?

marcyinPA
09-13-2005, 06:58 PM
I'm curious (not judging, just curious), why pull your kids out of school? Is it just a matter of convenience (don't want to go when it's crowded), or are there usually other factors at play?

That's easy. Money. It's cheaper for us to go during value season, and that just happens to be when school is in session. The crowds don't really bother me, and the heat, well...it's Florida, after all. But the money is a biggie for our family. We need to go on vacation when we can afford to go. :)

NotGrumpy4sure
09-13-2005, 08:03 PM
What would have happened if they weren't excused? If you went anyway would there have been a penalty?

I am amazed at the policy difference in schools. When I spoke to my son's teacher and asked him if he would like to send some work with us he said, "Now what kind of vacation would that be?" "Why doesn't he just do a presentation when he gets back". As a responsible parent, I will ensure he does his home reading down there. I think some of the policies people have talked about would drive me bananas as a parent who does not get Christmas/Easter/Summer off. My child would never get a holiday!

Threeriversdisneyfan
09-13-2005, 08:07 PM
I just contacted our school in Pa, and was told we were required to fill out a form, excusing our kids. I guess is it so our kids won't be subjected to the "No Child left behind act", I think if you have 5 or more unexcused absentsess your child will not pass! No matter how good thier grades are! Going to the school tomorrowto pick up form and will ask more questions at school about it.

MiaSRN62
09-13-2005, 08:22 PM
I'm curious (not judging, just curious), why pull your kids out of school? Is it just a matter of convenience (don't want to go when it's crowded), or are there usually other factors at play?
One reason is because I'm a nurse. It's very, very difficult to get a vacation request granted during the very busy summer months (when everyone wants off). Also, I'm required (mandated) to work holidays.....so there again, it's very difficult to get out of work when they have off. My dh's work also can be strict with when he takes off. Trying to coordinate the two of us for the same week is no small feat. Takes blood, sweat and tears sometimes. We don't all have off weekends, summers, or holidays unfortunately.

Heat, crowds and money play a factor as well.
I'm so appreciative our school here in a suburb just outside Philly grants students 5 school year vacation days. Anything over that must be approved and it has always been. My children are given adequate time to make up the work, and in fact, a good portion of it is done while on vacation. We love escaping the cold of the northeast during Fall/Winter too. It's such a treat to leave Philly and 30 degrees and touch down in sunny FL for a week-long thaw. :sunny:

Good luck to the OP. We always mention the educational benefits of visiting FL during the school year (i.e. Epcot has many educational attractions. Stop by the Guest Services Desk at the park entrance and they'll give you plenty of literature about many educational things that Epcot does----AK too !). Offsite, Sea World is very educational and will also supply informational pamphlets if your child is required to do a report upon returning. Mine have to do this from time to time and we've never been lacking in information to compile the report.
Happy vacationing ! :flower:

Tramps_Lady
09-13-2005, 08:52 PM
I think its wonderful that your kids get 5 vacation days from school. We just got back from WDW and I had to call my youngest into school, because she missed the first day of school. I remember thinking that I hoped it was a legal excuse! I know she learned alot more educationally from WDW than she would have that particular day at school!

disneynewbee
09-13-2005, 11:48 PM
I'm curious (not judging, just curious), why pull your kids out of school? Is it just a matter of convenience (don't want to go when it's crowded), or are there usually other factors at play?

The reason I take my dd(12yo) out of school for our trips is because my youngest dd who is 2yo has had medical problems. She was born with a lung condition and had part of her lung removed at 5 days old. Since then she has asthma like symptoms which are aggrivated by extreme temperatures, hot or cold. So going in the summer would create major problems for her medically. Our school is usually understanding as I provide medical documentation to them. However even if this wasn't the case I still would not go during summer because me and the children are extremely sensetive to the heat. We get severe headaches, nausia, and just plain worn out from it and it would not be enjoyable. I'm also preggo with #3 so our next trip would be with a 10 month old that I would not want to subject to that kind of heat. I am trying to plan our 2006 trip around the Thanksgiving holiday and so I don't really mind the crowds or extra cost of going during a busier time. The schools make it hard though because they don't usually give the next school years schedule till the end of the current school year so it is hard to plan ahead. I'm planning on using this years schedule and hoping it doesn't change much next year. Just no way could we do this trip in the summer Florida heat :sunny:

LiLIrishChick63
09-14-2005, 12:10 AM
my fiancee told me when they pulled him and his brother out of school they wrote a note saying there had been a death in the family and the funeral was out of state.

Threeriversdisneyfan
09-14-2005, 02:43 AM
my fiancee told me when they pulled him and his brother out of school they wrote a note saying there had been a death in the family and the funeral was out of state.

A recent conversation with my father, DS and DD's grandfather, I asked him what he did back in the day when I was in school and we went on vacation during the school year. He said "I think you set the record of number of Grandparents, aunts,uncles and Cousins die in a ten year period", he said the record keeping back then was not the greatest.

TKERBELL
09-14-2005, 06:41 AM
I'm curious (not judging, just curious), why pull your kids out of school? Is it just a matter of convenience (don't want to go when it's crowded), or are there usually other factors at play?

We tend to lean towards the "value season" or "regular season" because yes quite honestly - it is less expensive and less crowded. DH is limited on when he can take time out from work (it seems that schools and company's are working against each other) so it does work out for us. We went in June one year (the first time we took the kids) we were there 8 days 7 nights - it rained 7 of the day and I don't mean FL rain - I mean rain all day talk about a miserable trip. DH had to go back to work after a less than stellar vacation and the kids had the rest of the summer - we made up our minds then - we would go in the "off season" - it is less stressful for me as well ( I don't do very well with crowds - I panic )

Side note - something I have noticed as of late - more and more people are willing to take thier kids out of school for a trip to WDW so crowds are starting to elevate even in the "value season"

Bronte
09-14-2005, 08:14 AM
Our school does not allow family vacation time, it is unexcused. Unexcused work can not be made up for a grade but must be made up ... that is right a big fat 0 for everything missed (the first year my DD went from A's to D's for two vacation days and that is horrible for fourth grade.) After 3 days according to their policy they can turn you over to social services. Crazy ... All that this policy has really done is made parents lie which is truely a bad example for the children but what can we do ???????????

ButterflyJen
09-14-2005, 08:25 AM
Our school does not allow family vacation time, it is unexcused. Unexcused work can not be made up for a grade but must be made up ... that is right a big fat 0 for everything missed (the first year my DD went from A's to D's for two vacation days and that is horrible for fourth grade.) After 3 days according to their policy they can turn you over to social services. Crazy ... All that this policy has really done is made parents lie which is truely a bad example for the children but what can we do ???????????
Wow, that's strict. A bit over the top, I'd say! In your case, I'd lie too. Just sad to hear about that.

Hatzie
09-14-2005, 08:29 AM
This is straight out of the Student Handbook. We are going in November taking my DS13 out of school for 3 days, my wife will be working things out with school. Personally I have a problem with a lot of policies the school has, I am probably not alone.

Thanks for this thread, now I know we are not the only ones that go through this.


*When a child is absent the parent is required to call school before 9:30 a.m. The only legal excuses for absence or tardiness allowed under the New York State Education Law are:

1. Personal illness

2. Serious illness or death in the family

3. Religious observance

4. Approved school supervised trips

5. Required presence in court

6. Doctorís appointment

Absences for any other reason are considered illegal and will be entered on the studentís permanent attendance record. Tardiness is considered after 7:57 a.m.

In the case of an absence or tardiness, a written excuse from the parent must be presented to the teacher on the same day the child returns to school. NY State law requires the written excuse explaining the absence from school, the date of the absence and the parentís signature. The school is required by law to keep all absentee excuses. Students are not authorized to write or sign excuses even with the parentís knowledge or consent.

Students are responsible for keeping informed of makeup work missed in class. The student must contact the teacher to arrange for makeup work when he or she returns to school. Parents who wish to pick up their childís work or have work sent home with another student must notify the office before 10:00 a.m. to make arrangements.

Students who are illegally absent, truant or cut a class will not be afforded the opportunity to make up work for credit. Students will receive a grade of zero for any graded work missed due to illegal absences, truancy or the cutting of class.

Oversleeping, missing the bus, non-medical appointments, shopping, trips with parents, and vacations are considered ILLEGAL. Family vacations should be planned to correspond with school recesses.

Excessive illegal absences may result in reports being filed to the proper authorities.

graygables
09-14-2005, 08:38 AM
Religious observance...I *LIKE* that one...let's use it! :rotfl2: "We are having services at WDW this year"

About handbooks and school rules, etc...if they violate your constitutional parental right to the "care, custody and control" of your own child, they don't count anymore. The problem is that parents have slowly handed over their rights to the public schools and have NOT fought to keep them over the years so the schools/legislatures think they can get away with it (and will continue to do so as long as people continue to let them).

I have had encounters with the public school system over this very thing and when I push my point (and they refer it to their attorneys), I have won every single time. BUT, you have to be willing to make the stand and walk the talk.

Good luck to everyone, it's not an easy road, but it is the right one.

MiaSRN62
09-14-2005, 08:40 AM
Our school does not allow family vacation time, it is unexcused. Unexcused work can not be made up for a grade but must be made up ... that is right a big fat 0 for everything missed (the first year my DD went from A's to D's for two vacation days and that is horrible for fourth grade.) After 3 days according to their policy they can turn you over to social services. Crazy ... All that this policy has really done is made parents lie which is truely a bad example for the children but what can we do ???????????
Wow, this is a harsh (over-the-top) policy Bronte. Sorry to hear your school district is so unflexible and not understanding of other's situations.
I know we'd rarely/never vacation if I had to go only during school breaks. These are some of the busiest/and or mandatory times for people in my profession to work. I have seen so many nurses get turned down for summer vacations at my hospital. It's so hard when schools think everyone has the same ease when it comes to vacations.

TKERBELL
09-14-2005, 08:44 AM
Our school does not allow family vacation time, it is unexcused. Unexcused work can not be made up for a grade but must be made up ... that is right a big fat 0 for everything missed (the first year my DD went from A's to D's for two vacation days and that is horrible for fourth grade.) After 3 days according to their policy they can turn you over to social services. Crazy ... All that this policy has really done is made parents lie which is truely a bad example for the children but what can we do ???????????

I think it's insane how school policies and administrators are dictating to us how to raise our family with regards to vacations/absences etc......and yet they are the first to complain that they are NOT there to raise our kids - I take issue with the attendence procedures with my kids schools because thay ask that you notify the teacher/administrators at least 2 weeks before an extended absence(if you MUST go during school) but they don't guarentee that it will be accepted - so I am simply confused on the whole situation....Well I have my letter done I just need to print it off and make MANY MANY copies (my two oldest have multiple teachers) and I will be sending them to the school ASAP!!!!

marcyinPA
09-14-2005, 08:51 AM
We tend to lean towards the "value season" or "regular season" because yes quite honestly - it is less expensive and less crowded. DH is limited on when he can take time out from work (it seems that schools and company's are working against each other) so it does work out for us. We went in June one year (the first time we took the kids) we were there 8 days 7 nights - it rained 7 of the day and I don't mean FL rain - I mean rain all day talk about a miserable trip. DH had to go back to work after a less than stellar vacation and the kids had the rest of the summer - we made up our minds then - we would go in the "off season" - it is less stressful for me as well ( I don't do very well with crowds - I panic )

Side note - something I have noticed as of late - more and more people are willing to take thier kids out of school for a trip to WDW so crowds are starting to elevate even in the "value season"


We must have been there at the same time in June 2002....because we had a very disappointing trip. Rain like I have never seen it....all day, all night. Just torrential! No poncho in the world could have kept us dry. In fact, the locals said it was the most rain they had gotten in one month!

After that trip, we said never again in June!!

Marcy

TKERBELL
09-14-2005, 09:51 AM
We must have been there at the same time in June 2002....because we had a very disappointing trip. Rain like I have never seen it....all day, all night. Just torrential! No poncho in the world could have kept us dry. In fact, the locals said it was the most rain they had gotten in one month!

After that trip, we said never again in June!!

Marcy


AMEN to that!!!!!

PA DISNEYLOVER
09-14-2005, 10:12 AM
My husbands job requires that we vacation during the months of Oct-May. We always pull our kids out of school to go in January. We have never had a problem, as a matter of fact our school district has a form and one of the options to check is this is a Disney trip.

TKERBELL
09-14-2005, 10:12 AM
Religious observance...I *LIKE* that one...let's use it! :rotfl2: "We are having services at WDW this year"

About handbooks and school rules, etc...if they violate your constitutional parental right to the "care, custody and control" of your own child, they don't count anymore. The problem is that parents have slowly handed over their rights to the public schools and have NOT fought to keep them over the years so the schools/legislatures think they can get away with it (and will continue to do so as long as people continue to let them).

I have had encounters with the public school system over this very thing and when I push my point (and they refer it to their attorneys), I have won every single time. BUT, you have to be willing to make the stand and walk the talk.

Good luck to everyone, it's not an easy road, but it is the right one.


love your first comment - maybe I will use that - my family is Greek Orthodox - so many of our religious practices are NOT listed in everyday calenders (example - Our Easter usually falls the week after the Christian Easter - note we are still Christian - (we just follow the Julian Calender as opposed to the Gregorian) - even though Greek Orthodoxy is the 2nd largest religion (second to Catholic) to most people (especially here is WEST-BY-GOD-VIRGINIA)it's like an alien landing -

I would like to know more about your second comment and how I would go about insuring that my parental rights are NOT being violated....

And again - I reiterate that it is very disturbing to me that some school districts are controling our ability to spend time with our children even for educational purposes and yet at the same time complaining that they are NOT there to raise our kids......

When I originally posted my question - I was not aware the severity of this issue across the board - until now. I do undertand how absences effect the funding that our schools get - so I wonder if this is more of a Constitutional issue and Government issue than any of us truly recognize.

Thanks to everyone and Good Luck to everyone making the same choices I am - Our children are only children once - we need to enjoy them while they still enjoy being with us :rotfl2: - They grow so fast and then they have families of thier own - I only hope that I will have given my children the security of themselves and the ability to enjoy their family when they have one......

heatherfeather24
09-14-2005, 10:40 AM
[QUOTE=TKERBELL]

I reiterate that it is very disturbing to me that some school districts are controling our ability to spend time with our children even for educational purposes and yet at the same time complaining that they are NOT there to raise our kids......
QUOTE]


I agree with you, but only to a certain extent. There are many parents out there -- obviously the ones on this board -- who value family time as well as school obligations and work to make an effective balance. These are the good guys.

Unfortunately, I think there are too many other parents out there who expect their children to be 100% relieved of any obligations during their fun family times (and not have ANY consequences, including making up work, upon their return) or, on the opposite end, don't spend any time with their kids and do leave it up to the schools to raise them. These are the people who put our educational system between the rock and the proverbial hard place.

PA DISNEYLOVER
09-14-2005, 11:14 AM
Heatherfeather-
I Totally agree with you. When I take the kids out in January all homework goes with us and since the parks close early it gives them plenty of time to work on homework after we get back from the parks.

Hope73
09-14-2005, 11:22 AM
Thanks thnHillbilly your thread to the excuse letter was great. I will be using that for our trip in Jan.

Hope73
09-14-2005, 11:24 AM
We took our children out of school last year in Jan and are planning on doing the same this year. I really don't think it will hurt them in their educational career if they miss one week of school. I feel that while Disney is a totally fun place they learned a lot there and really expanded themselves by being there. I can't wait to go back again.

Sunny37
09-14-2005, 11:38 AM
About handbooks and school rules, etc...if they violate your constitutional parental right to the "care, custody and control" of your own child, they don't count anymore. The problem is that parents have slowly handed over their rights to the public schools and have NOT fought to keep them over the years so the schools/legislatures think they can get away with it (and will continue to do so as long as people continue to let them).

I have had encounters with the public school system over this very thing and when I push my point (and they refer it to their attorneys), I have won every single time. BUT, you have to be willing to make the stand and walk the talk.

Good luck to everyone, it's not an easy road, but it is the right one.

My, my we certainly are an extremist, aren't we? You are just the type of parent school administrators LOVE to see withdraw their children and "home school"!!! :bounce:

Personally, my children would not WANT to be taken out of school for a trip because they value their education and enjoy being there. We have just as much fun taking our vacations during school holidays. Imagine that!

:sunny:

digskat
09-14-2005, 11:58 AM
I soke with my son's teacher today and she said to my son " You're going to leave me here.. Not fair. Then told me she'd make up a package for him. No remarks yet from daughter's teacher.

tnhillbilly
09-14-2005, 12:14 PM
Thanks thnHillbilly your thread to the excuse letter was great. I will be using that for our trip in Jan.
You are very welcome.

MiaSRN62
09-14-2005, 04:21 PM
Personally, my children would not WANT to be taken out of school for a trip because they value their education and enjoy being there. We have just as much fun taking our vacations during school holidays. Imagine that!
That's great that your kids value their education Sunny (and I sincerely mean this)----mine do as well---but we still take them out often over the years due mostly to necessity.
The point is, some families can't take trips to WDW during the summer or school holidays but it doesn't mean we don't value the education. I think you may have missed this point along the way ? If you read back over the posts, there are several valid reasons parents take their kids out of school. In my case, in addition to my being an RN and unable to get summer vacations/holidays granted most years, we also traveled with my mil over the past 6-7 years. Her age and health did not allow her to handle the heat, humidity and crowds of the summer in FL either. The last couple of years vacationing with her she was undergoing chemo/radiation as well.

Vacationing in offseason was "heaven-sent" for her and we'll always treasure those times we took the kids out of school in order to allow us to vacation with her. Her life was cut short all too soon last summer and I thank God for those memories that we will always have. Will my kids remember that they missed school for a week or those memories with grandmom ? :goodvibes This is what is most important to our family. :flower3:

Shastie
09-14-2005, 05:05 PM
These posts have been really interesting! In our school (private Catholic) we send out a school calendar for the current school year during the previous year.
We just sent our parents the school calendar for 2006-2007. We encourage parents to try to plan around school breaks, but don't deny them the many memories that families make during family trips. Of course, when you have a private school, some families travel all the time, Every year! That gets a bit extreme!
In my case, we have been planning our family trip since last November and when
I talked to my "boss", the principal, she said that she was so excited that we could go! Of course we did plan around some school days off, so both my DD (soph) and I will miss 3 days of school. We have never done anything like this before, we are not among those that can afford trips like this very often! Remember I work in a Catholic School! :goodvibes
Anyway, I wouldn't feel too guilty about taking your children out during school time, as long as you are not among the extreme! Enjoy the many memories!
I know our family trip will consist of 15 members and we are celebrating our parents 50th anniversary and I wouldn't miss that for the world! School work can and will be made up, but memories last a lifetime! :lovestruc

bigmac5
09-14-2005, 05:15 PM
We live in Ontario and we have several times taken the kids out of school just to go to Michigan, get a hotel with a pool and visit our friends. My husband works 12 hr shifts and a lot of overtime so when he has a Fri, Sat, Sun. off we have taken them out of school, told the teachers what we are doing and they say have a great time. I don't feel guilty because I belive family time is very important and sometimes you have to get away to reconnect with them.


Enjoy your time with your family when ever you can get it. We never know what the future holds for us.

Tangible
09-14-2005, 08:33 PM
I don't see the problem..they are your children..you simply tell the school office and the teachers that you are going on a family vacation. If it's harder than that...it shouldn't be. I have 2 kids in school. One teacher even said she gives her students a disposable camera and tells them to take pics and give an oral presentation when they return (if they would like to). I have never heard of a teacher being upset with a kid going on a family vacation...if they feel that way...they have some misguided child-rearing issues!!! Ha!

Don't stress over it! There is no need...ENJOY YOURSELF! :earsgirl:

Sunny37
09-15-2005, 10:33 AM
That's great that your kids value their education Sunny (and I sincerely mean this)----mine do as well---but we still take them out often over the years due mostly to necessity.


I totally understand your situation and I realize that not everyone can take their vacations during school holidays. I used the word "personally" because I can only speak for my children (who are both in HS). They would FREAK if I tried to take them out of school for a vacation because they have been told their whole lives that attendance was very important. Both of them have had perfect attendance just about every year--and that is something I feel is quite an accomplishment---not to mention they are both straight A students!! :Pinkbounc ~sorry for the brag moment~ :) My only beef is with people who state that they take their kids out of school because it is "off season" or "cheaper". I am a huge supporter of our school system and I don't feel like the attendance rules that they set forth are taking away my parental rights!! *I* feel that these rules are there to HELP students, not harm. Yes, I realize that that is just my opinion. :rotfl2:

ghostinthecar
09-15-2005, 10:35 AM
Tell them CHURROS FOR EVERYONE!!!!!! YAY! :banana: :banana:

candleonwater
09-15-2005, 11:11 AM
Our school (a private Catholic school) just reminds us NOT to plan vacations during school days. They really don't get into the whole excused/unexcused bit. On the first day of school I sent a letter in to my daughters teacher explaining that she is a competitive figure skater, and as such occasionally has to travel for competitions. I pointed out that, being the dutiful parent that I am ( :rotfl: ) I try to keep that to a minimum. Last year she only missed 3 1/2 days... 3 for a competition in a city 8 hours away, and 1/2 for our spring break trip to Disney. The teacher seemed appeased by that, and suggested that we bring as much of the school work with us as possible. Last year the teacher wouldn't allow it, and my daughter had a hectic schedule to catch up.

In a month we're travelling to Tampa for her big competition... have to leave on Wednesday, but fortunately they don't have school on Friday, so she should only miss 1 day of school. HOWEVER... I'm in Florida, it's Food and Wine Fest time, it's MNSSHP time... am I NOT going to slip a trip in to WDW?

:rolleyes1

As a result, she's going to miss Monday and Tuesday as well. Them's the breaks!

Unregistered
09-15-2005, 12:45 PM
I am really surprised that some school systems are putting you all through this for a vacation. Although my school system doesn't relish family vacations, they don't make a big deal out of it. Excused or unexcused, I don't care what they call it, they are MY children and this is MY family vacation. I have two good students, who are always in attendance except for illnesss. They will miss 3 days in Oct so we can go and have the best time. I choose to go in Oct because that's when I choose to go. I'm the one that works hard all year to pay for it. I wouldn't give them a reason. If it's a public school they should not be able to deny your child the education and can make up the work. Go with a clear conscious and have a great time!!!

MiaSRN62
09-15-2005, 03:32 PM
I used the word "personally" because I can only speak for my children (who are both in HS). They would FREAK if I tried to take them out of school for a vacation because they have been told their whole lives that attendance was very important. Both of them have had perfect attendance just about every year--and that is something I feel is quite an accomplishment---not to mention they are both straight A students!! ~sorry for the brag moment~
This is truly a brag moment for you Sunny. That is terrific about your kids and the perfect attendance.
I guess some of us put things in perspective differently though, like if it weren't for vacationing in offseason we really wouldn't have those family quality time moments and memories to treasure. So I'm thankful my kids (personally) don't feel that attending school is an "end all". I'm glad that they appreciate the reasons we do take them out and enjoy this time spent together. They still see school as being very important. My oldest ds just got accepted by all three of his college choices (based on good school and SAT grades) and is now a college freshman. My middle child is in the Honor Society in HS and my youngest, though not straight A's, does very well. So, there is a way for kids to get "A"s and do great in school and still take off the time for family vacations. I'm glad my kids can balance all this as well as they do.
So this is just a different perspective really----that kids don't have to attend every single day in order to do well if you see what I mean ? But if perfect attendance is as important to your kids as you say, then I admire that they stick to their guns. It is a good goal they've set and met for themselves. I just don't think this is a personal goal of every kid or every family. There are just too many parameters and variances for each family---even those that might say they want to save money. For some of these families (here on the DIS or not represented), saving money might be the ONLY way they would be able to even take a family vacation. I, personally, don't feel it my place to judge all the different reasons why some go in offseason---even when it comes to saving money. This might be the only way these families can get away together. But I'm sure many have their own personal thoughts and opinions on this matter. My reasoning is that all families are different and many different things work for each of us.
So to lighten the mood......a Mickey icecream bar for us all & let's all be happy that we can afford to take vacations to WDW whatever the season ! :mickeybar

Sunny37
09-15-2005, 04:05 PM
This is truly a brag moment for you Sunny. That is terrific about your kids and the perfect attendance.
I guess some of us put things in perspective differently though, like if it weren't for vacationing in offseason we really wouldn't have those family quality time moments and memories to treasure. So I'm thankful my kids (personally) don't feel that attending school is an "end all". I'm glad that they appreciate the reasons we do take them out and enjoy this time spent together. They still see school as being very important. My oldest ds just got accepted by all three of his college choices (based on good school and SAT grades) and is now a college freshman. My middle child is in the Honor Society in HS and my youngest, though not straight A's, does very well. So, there is a way for kids to get "A"s and do great in school and still take off the time for family vacations. I'm glad my kids can balance all this as well as they do.
So this is just a different perspective really----that kids don't have to attend every single day in order to do well if you see what I mean ? But if perfect attendance is as important to your kids as you say, then I admire that they stick to their guns. It is a good goal they've set and met for themselves. I just don't think this is a personal goal of every kid or every family. There are just too many parameters and variances for each family---even those that might say they want to save money. For some of these families (here on the DIS or not represented), saving money might be the ONLY way they would be able to even take a family vacation. I, personally, don't feel it my place to judge all the different reasons why some go in offseason---even when it comes to saving money. This might be the only way these families can get away together. But I'm sure many have their own personal thoughts and opinions on this matter. My reasoning is that all families are different and many different things work for each of us.
So to lighten the mood......a Mickey icecream bar for us all & let's all be happy that we can afford to take vacations to WDW whatever the season ! :mickeybar

MY GOSH!!!!! This is why I don't post much on these boards. People get so defensive if others do not see things their way. It's a never ending battle! Show me where I stated that children can't keep a straight "A" average AND take a vacation during the school year--never said it!! :confused3

Arghhhhhhhhhh.........nevermind. Back to lurking again. Thanks so much. :rolleyes:

graygables
09-15-2005, 04:15 PM
My, my we certainly are an extremist, aren't we? You are just the type of parent school administrators LOVE to see withdraw their children and "home school"!!! :bounce:

Personally, my children would not WANT to be taken out of school for a trip because they value their education and enjoy being there. We have just as much fun taking our vacations during school holidays. Imagine that!

:sunny:
I prefer to think of myelf as a PARENT rather than an "extemist". I'm sure the school administrators for my DDs schools have had uncomfortable moments with me, but they've also learned what they can and cannot get away with. It's too bad more parents aren't holding them accountable.

I was delighted to be taken out of school as a child for vacations (and I 'valued' my education, as well). Because my parents weren't hung up on "perfect attendance", I was able to spend a month in Italy, a month in Great Britain, a month touring the North Sea countries, a month in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece, several weeks around western Europe, and a few weeks in Jordan and Israel. All told, in 7 years, 13 months of that were spent travelling, frequently *during* school b/c that was the only time my dad could take 30 days leave (his subordinates who wanted to visit the States tried to do it in the summer to correlate with US public schools, so they got summers first) I still did well in school, I still learned to "play the school game" (I did become an English teacher, after all).

There was not a single thing going on in that building that I missed out on by going on vacations with my family. There were PLENTY of things I would have missed by sitting in a classroom. Going to "East Germany" (btw, my parents have pieces of the wall from the first night it was put up and the last night when it fell), driving across Yugoslavia and throwing candy out the windows to children, riding in a gondola in Venice and going to our tour guide's daughter's wedding reception (*fresh* calamari), getting a private tour of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul b/c it was closed to the public, but our guide was friends with the curator, buying flokati rugs in Greece at some little dive off the main drag, bartering with children in Israel who are selling some little thing they've made "2 for a dolla", seeing Great Britain during the year of our bicentennial (our "revolution", their "rebellion") and talking with school children about what THEY learn about it (it's not what kids sitting in American school chairs are learning!) So much about life and the world that would have been missed while I stood up to receive my perfect attendance certificate. :(

If that works for you, by all means, enjoy your school break vacations, but don't name call or bash those who choose to go during the school year because it costs less, is less crowded, or may be the only opportunity they have.

Sunny37
09-15-2005, 04:29 PM
I prefer to think of myelf as a PARENT rather than an "extemist". I'm sure the school administrators for my DDs schools have had uncomfortable moments with me, but they've also learned what they can and cannot get away with. It's too bad more parents aren't holding them accountable.

I was delighted to be taken out of school as a child for vacations (and I 'valued' my education, as well). Because my parents weren't hung up on "perfect attendance", I was able to spend a month in Italy, a month in Great Britain, a month touring the North Sea countries, a month in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Greece, several weeks around western Europe, and a few weeks in Jordan and Israel. All told, in 7 years, 13 months of that were spent travelling, frequently *during* school b/c that was the only time my dad could take 30 days leave (his subordinates who wanted to visit the States tried to do it in the summer to correlate with US public schools, so they got summers first) I still did well in school, I still learned to "play the school game" (I did become an English teacher, after all).

There was not a single thing going on in that building that I missed out on by going on vacations with my family. There were PLENTY of things I would have missed by sitting in a classroom. Going to "East Germany" (btw, my parents have pieces of the wall from the first night it was put up and the last night when it fell), driving across Yugoslavia and throwing candy out the windows to children, riding in a gondola in Venice and going to our tour guide's daughter's wedding reception (*fresh* calamari), getting a private tour of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul b/c it was closed to the public, but our guide was friends with the curator, buying flokati rugs in Greece at some little dive off the main drag, bartering with children in Israel who are selling some little thing they've made "2 for a dolla", seeing Great Britain during the year of our bicentennial (our "revolution", their "rebellion") and talking with school children about what THEY learn about it (it's not what kids sitting in American school chairs are learning!) So much about life and the world that would have been missed while I stood up to receive my perfect attendance certificate. :(

If that works for you, by all means, enjoy your school break vacations, but don't name call or bash those who choose to go during the school year because it costs less, is less crowded, or may be the only opportunity they have.

Great for you, have you taken your children to all of these wonderful places? I simply don't understand the "me vs them" attitude toward school officials. You must have had some tough battles to fight with your school system. I bet they LOVE your attitude--"they've also learned what they can and cannot get away with"--schools are not out to harm students, just educate--plain and simple.

Take care! :)

graygables
09-15-2005, 04:58 PM
I have not had the privilege of taking my children to the places of my childhood b/c we are clearly in a different place/time/situation. I have carried my understanding of the world and passed it on to them.

If anyone thinks the public school is innocently there to educate children, they really need to look/think again. I was a public school teacher. I deal with public schools frequently.

Here is a quote from 1972 (Dr. Chester Pierce): "Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being.... It's up to you, teachers, to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future."

Here it is again (this was his written word): "Every child in America who enters school at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with an allegiance toward our elected officials, toward our founding fathers, toward our institutions, toward the preservation of this form of government that we have. Patriotism, nationalism, and sovereignty, all that proves that
children are sick because a truly well individual is one who has rejected all of those things, and is truly the international child of the future."

The public school is less about true education and more about social engineering and parents are letting it happen (boiling the frog, so to speak). No one wants to be labeled an "extremist" or a rabble rouser. Everyone wants Mike and Sue to make the football team/cheer squad/honor choir and knows that if they are labeled it won't happen. More social engineering...you will quietly play by our rules, or you don't get the goodies.

If you choose to play by their rules, again, that's fine, I'm glad you are content with that, but don't jump all over others who are choosing to make a stand. My dad fought for and served this nation to preserve everyone's rights, you BET I'm going to do my part to honor his service.

MiaSRN62
09-15-2005, 05:16 PM
MY GOSH!!!!! This is why I don't post much on these boards. People get so defensive if others do not see things their way. It's a never ending battle! Show me where I stated that children can't keep a straight "A" average AND take a vacation during the school year--never said it!!
So sorry you took it this way Sunny....that wasn't my intent at all. I interjected "my personal" and "another perspective" in my post to show this is just another way of seeing it & that it was my "personal" way of seeing things. I even mentioned that it was admirable that your children have perfect attendance.
That's all it was meant to be/show......that everyone is different and different things work for different folks. Sorry that you seem upset by my post :confused3

heatherfeather24
09-15-2005, 05:33 PM
If anyone thinks the public school is innocently there to educate children, they really need to look/think again. I was a public school teacher. I deal with public schools frequently.

The public school is less about true education and more about social engineering and parents are letting it happen (boiling the frog, so to speak). No one wants to be labeled an "extremist" or a rabble rouser. Everyone wants Mike and Sue to make the football team/cheer squad/honor choir and knows that if they are labeled it won't happen. More social engineering...you will quietly play by our rules, or you don't get the goodies.

If you choose to play by their rules, again, that's fine, I'm glad you are content with that, but don't jump all over others who are choosing to make a stand. My dad fought for and served this nation to preserve everyone's rights, you BET I'm going to do my part to honor his service.

Wow! This is the first post in this entire thread that actually strikes me as getting awfully personal. I don't think anyone was jumping all over you for your decisions, but you certainly made it your business to tell off those of us who believe strongly in the public school system.

HeatherFeather24

Public school graduate -- preschool, elementary school, jr. high, and high school -- and, no, I don't feel that anyone "socially engineered" me.

Daughter of two life-long public school teachers and sister to one public school teacher.

graygables
09-15-2005, 05:44 PM
Wow! This is the first post in this entire thread that actually strikes me as getting awfully personal. I don't think anyone was jumping all over you for your decisions, but you certainly made it your business to tell off those of us who believe strongly in the public school system.

HeatherFeather24

Public school graduate -- preschool, elementary school, jr. high, and high school -- and, no, I don't feel that anyone "socially engineered" me.

Daughter of two life-long public school teachers and sister to one public school teacher.
I was responding to being called an "extremist" on this thread, that's pretty jumpy in my book.

Dawn, public school graduate, former public school teacher, daughter of a public school professor.

heatherfeather24
09-15-2005, 05:48 PM
[QUOTE=graygables]I was responding to being called an "extremist" on this thread, that's pretty jumpy in my book.
[QUOTE]


Sorry, missed that part.

I still think, however, that it's an awful big (and prejorative) jump from discussing the various (and often unreasonable) public school policies about family vacations to "social engineering." :confused3

I guess we just agree to disagree and move happily on to getting back to Disney -- whether it be during the school year or otherwise.

pearlieq
09-15-2005, 06:25 PM
Of course public schools are instruments of social engineering--it's one of their charter functions! If schools were only supposed to teach the "3 Rs" we'd have a society of people who were excellent readers and math geniuses but also thought it was acceptable to eat paste and call someone a "butthead". Schools are one part of our system of social control and order.

I also think it's kind of naive to think that the sole function of any school, public or private, is to educate students. Schools are run by people and people often have agendas. They may be perfectly benign, but they exist.

For the original question, "My child will be absent on X date" is the most the school will get out of me! There's no reason to be hostile or difficult about it, but there's also no reason to perpetuate the idea that the school can "appove" or "give permission" for it either.

My mom pulled me out of school at least once a year when she had to go on business trips. She was single and had no other means of child care, and traveling helped her advance in her career so we could have, you know, food and stuff. Somehow I still managed to graduate in the top 0.5% percent of my class and get a full academic scholarship for college. Unless a child is really struggling, one week of the 3rd grade is not going to make or break them.

PaulaSue
10-18-2005, 01:47 PM
Bumping this for a friend and soon me. :cheer2:

byoung
10-18-2005, 08:00 PM
Good luck :banana: :Pinkbounc :banana:

mommaU4
10-21-2005, 04:29 PM
Wow this thread is something else. :earseek: I just had to deal with this issue about 2 weeks ago. We are taking 4 kids out of school for a total of 6 days and I was worried about it. In a way I'm gald I didn't see this thread before because I think it would have freaked me out more! :)

I have two DD's in Kindergarten, a DD in 3rd grade, and a DS in 5th grade. Taking them out of school wasn't something we decided to do on a whim, we thought long and hard about it. School is important but not as important as family. Not to me. And on this trip my kids will have a chance to spend not only some quality time with us but with their grandparents which not all kids get a chance to do.

Luckily when the teachers conf. came around and it was time for me to bring it up to 3 different teachers, they all said the same thing,"No problem". I asked them what homework they'd be expected to do and they said a journal if they had time! Amazing. I was so relieved.

One last note about vacations... take them when you can even if it does mean taking them out of school. I read another post about Disney trip things you regreted and someone said their main regret was not taking a family vacation sooner before their mom died unexpectedly of cancer. None of us, young or old, are garaunteed a tomorrow so school can wait. :flower:

Just_AzUrE100
10-21-2005, 04:36 PM
I got pulled out of grade 8 last year and all I had to do was sa this

"I will be going away for 2 weeks and was wondering if you had anything you would like me to do?"

PaulaSue
10-21-2005, 04:44 PM
One last note about vacations... take them when you can even if it does mean taking them out of school. I read another post about Disney trip things you regreted and someone said their main regret was not taking a family vacation sooner before their mom died unexpectedly of cancer. None of us, young or old, are garaunteed a tomorrow so school can wait. :flower:

I totaly agree on this. Right now is not a great time finacially for us to go but if we wait what could happen til then? My father is in bad health, Dh's parents are much older than mine.

I understand why school discourage it but I don't agree with it and some other things they say. (ex. no halloween, christmas, valentines parties in school and no snack can come in for the kids b-day, I am talking 1st grade). They seem to be taking all the fun out of school compared to when I was little.

Tigger2252
10-21-2005, 05:38 PM
I will be taking dd out for 3 days before Thanksgiving (my oldest is in college and they don't care). We try to shoot for Thanksgiving or Christmas as we have a limited time for when we can get vacation. My dh works construction, and summer is when he is busiest and his employer will not approve vacations during the busy season. It has been my experience with my two kids that schools do almost nothing constructive the few days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are no state tests scheduled, and I have seen an awful lot of "holiday themed" stuff going on (puzzles, word searches, parties, holiday videos, etc.) during that time period. But, because our state will consider her absence "illegal" I will give a false excuse so she isn't penalized. Is it the right thing to do? Probably not. Does it set a good example? No. But, it is 9 days that the four of us get to spend exclusively together, to reconnect and re-energize, without any external pressure from jobs, school, other people, and the day to day garbage we all have to deal with. So, the school will be told she is ill, and when we return, she will be given her make-up work and it will be completed and turned in. And I will be grateful that we could go on a wonderful vacation and enjoy each others' company. Those are the memories my children will remember, not the turkey word searches they missed. :rolleyes: