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Old 06-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #46
yaddakal
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Our school k-4 allows 5 excused days. We pulled them out this year. It's a personal decision because honestly it is so pricey to go in summer or at Easter
Our third grader had quite a but if make up work.
Our next cruise we hope to take in summer to avoid makeup work ..but then our son will
Be in middle school.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:29 PM   #47
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Every year my kids miss between five and ten days of school as we take family trips and vacations. We like traveling in the off season because prices are better and the places we like to go are less crowded. It works for us. My kids are both doing extremely well in school and they both do work far above their actual grade level. Honestly though even if they didn't I would still pull them out since I think there is a lot of value in family vacations and going to new places. You won't get a consensus on this question. Everyone is just doing the best they can for their families and that doesn't always mean the same path for everyone.
This is a pretty good description of my entire school life. For example, we took two weeks to go to Paris and Switzerland while I was in high school. I am the oldest of four kids so they pulled one out of HS, one out of MS, and two out of ES. We all were expected to do all of our school work plus a project while we were gone. Plus reading of course.

My parents never chose to dismiss an opportunity for their kids to see the world because of school. They knew knowledge is something you gain by having many different experiences. However, if we had not done our work as instructed, and well, we would lose that privilege.

You have to know your kids.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:22 AM   #48
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As a retired educator and administrator I need to add my two cents. First of all, I am NOT opposed to children missing school for an occasional family vacation. I do think four weeks out of the year (180 days in our state) is excessive, over 10% of the school year. Please realize that checking with the teacher for approval does little other than placing him/her in a difficult spot. Of course they are going to give their blessing, what other choice do they have, other than to risk a positive relationship with the family? Teachers are expected to prepare work in advnce, then catch up the child, if needed (make-up tests, homework, new concepts presented during the absence, etc). These tasks are to be accomplished in their free time, or class time (possibly taking away from the educational time of other students including yours). Teachers do this all with a smile because they are who they are and I thank them abundantly for that. If you think that they have maybe 25 students in their class, and half of those take five days of vacation time, that's 100+ days of extra work to prepare or cover, in addition to the absences for illness. In my previous district, teachers were not required to prepare work in advance of unexcused absences, but would present a packet of missed work upon return. We did classify absences as excused and unexcused. In this age of school accountability and merit pay for teachers, attendance may become a relevant factor in the standardized testing score game. (in fact in some states distrct school attendance is figured in as part of the school ranking).
One can never discount the benefit of life experiences and family time. Of course, your children are your own and you are free to make decisions on their behalf. I hope to just point out that the family vacation impacts the classroom community. It simply wouldn't hurt to send a special thank you to the teacher who takes on the added responsibility and make sure to ask if there's anything you can do to make it easier.
That being off my chest - we take our dear grandchildren out of school for vacations. The only valid reason we can give is because it's less busy during those times
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:57 AM   #49
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We pulled our daughter out for the East bound TransAtlantic two years ago and it was definitely worth it. Since it was at the end of the year we worked with the teachers and got her final assignments as well as a test she would be missing. She did her assignments and we administered the test on the ship and then emailed the results back to the teachers.

The trip itself was very educational and was a great opportunity for our daughter and us as a family.

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Old 06-07-2013, 08:17 AM   #50
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As a retired educator and administrator I need to add my two cents. <snip> I hope to just point out that the family vacation impacts the classroom community.
Thank you for this comment. I hate reading about how weeks of class can be made up with some handouts.

Obviously parents can do what they want (and they are, based on reading this thread), but few of them think about the larger consequences--on the other students in the class; on the teacher, who is expected to cheerily provide "makeup work," which can't possibly represent what the child missed; and on the school district, which is charged with educating students and complying with state laws about attendance or losing funding.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:29 AM   #51
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Thank you for this comment. I hate reading about how weeks of class can be made up with some handouts.

Obviously parents can do what they want (and they are, based on reading this thread), but few of them think about the larger consequences--on the other students in the class; on the teacher, who is expected to cheerily provide "makeup work," which can't possibly represent what the child missed; and on the school district, which is charged with educating students and complying with state laws about attendance or losing funding.
Woa...I think you should breathe.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:04 AM   #52
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Adding my penny worth.

I vote for pulling them out of school. We get two back to back days off of school in October so I try to work around that schedule. So we are gone six days but she only misses two days. You only live once and if you are blessed enough to really vacation. I say go for it. She would only miss one day but its to expensive to fly back on a Sunday.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:06 AM   #53
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Just wondering what the consensus is in regards to removing a child from school for a cruise. As a working mother I feel as if this time is a necessity to keep my family intact since I cannot take vacations during "prime time" season. Does bonding time supersede schoolwork?
I'm taking my 16yo DD the week after Thanksgiving this year.
I was concerned about her school though. She had to apply to her school like going to college. She has to do some homework on Thanksgiving break to not have any on the cruise.

When I was a kid I had to be dieing to miss school.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:14 AM   #54
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Thank you for this comment. I hate reading about how weeks of class can be made up with some handouts.

Obviously parents can do what they want (and they are, based on reading this thread), but few of them think about the larger consequences--on the other students in the class; on the teacher, who is expected to cheerily provide "makeup work," which can't possibly represent what the child missed; and on the school district, which is charged with educating students and complying with state laws about attendance or losing funding.
Yes, this is the viewpoint I was trying to represent. It's the side that most don't see or understand. It impacts more than just that one student.
I did find that most families made these choices sparingly and with sincere consideration. But in truth, unless your work schedule ONLY allows vacation during school time, the real reasons are usually financial or crowds. The wonderful educational benefit and family bonding can take place during the many school breaks during the year. Most are just too afraid or embarrassed to say, "I'm taking a vacation now because it's cheaper and I don't want to deal with tons of other kids."
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:25 AM   #55
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Depends on you & your child. Are they a good student? Are they self-motivated, so they can make up the work without much struggle?

As a high school teacher, I don't mind parents choosing to take kids out when they plan ahead and help their child to get caught up quickly.

I, myself, have taken personal days to go to WDW, and no one has even blinked. I once took a week, but I had a math certified sub who taught my class in my absence. I always leave amazing plans & pick a great sub. If I can choose to do this, and the district is ok with it, a parent should have that right too.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:32 AM   #56
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It depends...

We pulled DS16 and DS12 for a week every year until DS16 got in high school. During HS, we pulled DS16 3 days max.

Of course, DS16 is a straight A student and got all his HW ahead of time and did it while we drove south (from NJ).

DS12 is high functioning ASD, so I plan on taking him out for a full week once he gets into HS regardless. For him, it is a very well needed break. He can't tolerate the heat much and we need to go during off season.

In years past when DS16 entered middle school I mentioned to the teacher that we would pull him out for a week in the fall - I was going to a convention in WDW - and she said "GO FOR IT!!!".
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #57
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My first instinct is to say taking off a little school time for a family vacation is much more valuable than not, if that is the only time that you can take a vacation. I'm thinking of it as a once in a lifetime trip, though.

Our district lets the kids enroll in homeschool if they are going to miss a week or longer. They can do the work before they miss or while they are missing. We have never done that, but if I was going to take my son out for a week or longer, I'd do that for sure. My son is an above average student. That wouldn't have worked for my daughter who has ADD. For her missing a couple days would be like missing a month.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #58
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Woa...I think you should breathe.
And you should be a teacher for a year.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:16 AM   #59
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Would your child take time out of college to go on a family vacation? Though it seems like a majority of responders feel it is ok to take their children out of school, reality is I will have 1-3 students do this each year....very small minority. Do I have a problem with it as an educator. For the most part, no. Depends on each individual student and family support they each receive.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #60
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As a retired educator and administrator I need to add my two cents. First of all, I am NOT opposed to children missing school for an occasional family vacation. I do think four weeks out of the year (180 days in our state) is excessive, over 10% of the school year. Please realize that checking with the teacher for approval does little other than placing him/her in a difficult spot. Of course they are going to give their blessing, what other choice do they have, other than to risk a positive relationship with the family? Teachers are expected to prepare work in advnce, then catch up the child, if needed (make-up tests, homework, new concepts presented during the absence, etc). These tasks are to be accomplished in their free time, or class time (possibly taking away from the educational time of other students including yours). Teachers do this all with a smile because they are who they are and I thank them abundantly for that. If you think that they have maybe 25 students in their class, and half of those take five days of vacation time, that's 100+ days of extra work to prepare or cover, in addition to the absences for illness. In my previous district, teachers were not required to prepare work in advance of unexcused absences, but would present a packet of missed work upon return. We did classify absences as excused and unexcused. In this age of school accountability and merit pay for teachers, attendance may become a relevant factor in the standardized testing score game. (in fact in some states distrct school attendance is figured in as part of the school ranking).
One can never discount the benefit of life experiences and family time. Of course, your children are your own and you are free to make decisions on their behalf. I hope to just point out that the family vacation impacts the classroom community. It simply wouldn't hurt to send a special thank you to the teacher who takes on the added responsibility and make sure to ask if there's anything you can do to make it easier.
That being off my chest - we take our dear grandchildren out of school for vacations. The only valid reason we can give is because it's less busy during those times
I could see 4 weeks being excessive, not sure where that came from? Maybe a post I missed?

But one or two weeks is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. And yes, it could impact the teacher (although, it shouldn't impact that much, if lesson plans are prepared enough in advance).

As far as school ranking, to be blunt, I don't really care if it affects the school's standardized tests or not, that's their problem, not mine. The same goes for funding, if they can't handle it, they need to push that family reasons become excused absences. Bottom line is employers are required to give time off for family reasons, why not schools? I know schools don't want to hear this, but again, FAMILY is the most important thing we will EVER have and it takes work to keep a family together. Yes, sometimes that work is playing together, but that is still doing work to keep the family together.

Personally, I like to schedule my vacations around holidays, so that get more time with taking less vacation time, which would also happen to coincide with school breaks in most cases. But, if I needed to, I would not hesitate to pull the kids out for a week or two. If I had to, I would put them on independent study (which the school is apparently required to permit in our state) or, if the school doesn't permit that and was being insistent that they can't miss, as I said before, I pull the kids out and homeschool them.
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