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Old 11-26-2013, 07:37 PM   #136
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I agree about the year long school. I actually think the summer vacation is too long of a break for the children. In Germany they have a few longer breaks throughout the year and not such a long break in the summer. I think it works better.
Personally a really big fan of this type of system. Children do not forget everything during the summer have have to spend the first several weeks back at school reviewing what was forgotten over the summer. Not to mention that breaks throughout the year would allow for families to vacation at various times throughout the year, maybe at some discounts that this thread is really about.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:24 PM   #137
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Personally a really big fan of this type of system. Children do not forget everything during the summer have have to spend the first several weeks back at school reviewing what was forgotten over the summer. Not to mention that breaks throughout the year would allow for families to vacation at various times throughout the year, maybe at some discounts that this thread is really about.
Even the social aspect and the routine for kids. They miss their friends in the summer, routine gets all out of whack. During the school year there are some long stretches where they could use a little break to refresh. I really think year long school would be better all around.

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #138
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I don't think that missing one week is an educational sacrifice.
It certainly is a hot button topic on these boards. Has been in our public schools here too because it is considered truancy, and when they do the once a semester round up of parents whose kids missed too much school, there are usually a few of very good parents who get arrested and hauled before the judge to explain.
I know when my kids were in private high school there were parents who selected private school because it was easier to take time off for vacation. That has changed in the last 5 years as the association that accredits privates schools has said it is no longer an acceptable policy.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #139
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Personally a really big fan of this type of system. Children do not forget everything during the summer have have to spend the first several weeks back at school reviewing what was forgotten over the summer. Not to mention that breaks throughout the year would allow for families to vacation at various times throughout the year, maybe at some discounts that this thread is really about.
They built a high school here just for year round school, back in 1974. It was the only school in the area with air conditioning at the time. 30 years later they converted it to a traditional schedule.
Elk Grove schools went year round because they had more students than schools, and it allowed them to get more kids in the same buildings. The recession dropped the population, so they are moving away from it.
I know for one former co-worker with 3 kids, it was a disaster. They would go 3 months on and one month off. She had 1 kid in elementary school, 1 in Junior High and 1 in high school, each on a different track. Other than Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, her kids never had the same time off the school wouldn't make any adjustments.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #140
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They built a high school here just for year round school, back in 1974. It was the only school in the area with air conditioning at the time. 30 years later they converted it to a traditional schedule. Elk Grove schools went year round because they had more students than schools, and it allowed them to get more kids in the same buildings. The recession dropped the population, so they are moving away from it. I know for one former co-worker with 3 kids, it was a disaster. They would go 3 months on and one month off. She had 1 kid in elementary school, 1 in Junior High and 1 in high school, each on a different track. Other than Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, her kids never had the same time off the school wouldn't make any adjustments.
That is interesting. Germany has an interesting schedule of a few weeks on one week off and similar. Various fragments here and there to allow. Summer off is a hold over from no AC. Granted there are many schools that do not have AC. In my senior high we had one or, if it was a big room, two fans. I think this option has some merit and should be explored to some extent. There are several countries that work this schedule. About same amount of time off but broken up throughout the year.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #141
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Well, first of all, it is not my choice not to have a textbook. I have to use what I am given-- a textbook is not one of resources. I wish I had one.

Second, I have no problem giving my lesson plans to parents. In fact, I give a comprehensive syllabus to every student. If you feel guilty for taking them out, that is on you. I simply provide the information. It's your call to make as it should be. However, please don't bury your head in the sand that we won't be learning new concepts that you might not be able to fully teach to the level required on their assessments.

Thrid, you have kind of proved my point with the question above. Being able to graph a system of linear inequality is a required skill tested on standardized testing. There isn't "another way to solve it." Either you can read and interpret it or you can't. My point is that parents do have their limitations-- I'm a specialist in my field, and they are a specialist in theirs. I don't expect them to know all of the concepts we teach. I'm not saying parents CAN'T learn it, but the majority of parents I know do not how to solve these problems because it has been so long since they have had to do anything like that. Parents take them out for a week and then get mad when their student doesn't understand. It happens all the time. I do the right thing and tutor them after hours, but please understand that if every student did that, it would be bad.

Fourth, I am paid for 180 days that is stretched over 365. I know you may not think there is a distinction there, but I assure you that my hourly rate for sick time says other wise.
Yes there is one way to solve the question for a standardized test. But the same answer can be arrived at in many ways as a LIFE SKILL.
Not everyone thinks of learning in terms of standardized testing.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #142
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Let me know how that works out for the next time a cop pulls you over.
If I am pulled over while operating within the constraints of the law, you bet that'll be the FIRST thing I say.

I'm not afraid to speak up for my rights, as a parent, or otherwise.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:35 PM   #143
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That is interesting. Germany has an interesting schedule of a few weeks on one week off and similar. Various fragments here and there to allow. Summer off is a hold over from no AC. Granted there are many schools that do not have AC. In my senior high we had one or, if it was a big room, two fans. I think this option has some merit and should be explored to some extent. There are several countries that work this schedule. About same amount of time off but broken up throughout the year.
This would be horrible for us as we only get a few hot months a year. Kids need to be outside during those months. But if we lived where it was warm/hot all the time I would love that schedule.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:36 PM   #144
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I think, really more than anything, this thread is indicative of many varied and strong opinions about our education system in general. I think it's clear that in this country, we need a change. What that change should be, isn't quite as clear.

Thanks, OP, for giving everyone a chance to vent and speak their minds.

Looks like there won't be any consensus on vacation absences, but what a discussion!
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #145
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I just spent several minutes reading through this thread and most have valid points. We had never even considered taking our children out of school for a cruise or any other vacation until recently. We were booked on the Fantasy for the last week of May 2014 with the cruise leaving the day after school let out. The problem was that we didn't realize when we booked that my son was scheduled to be with his dad that week and my stepson, with his mom. By the time I realized our mistake, the prices for the next few weeks after our original date had risen tremendously and we were not willing to pay the higher prices. We instead, are choosing to take them out of school the last week of April. This is not our spring break week but I can't take off work until after April 15th. This is however, after the all important CRCT tests. We could have gone in September or October but I felt it was better for MY children to take them out of school closer to the end of the school year versus shortly after school starts.

These will be unexcused absenses but we are working with their teachers and hope that it will all go smoothly. We have booked April 2015 in anticipation of everything going well but if they have any problems or fall behind, we will gladly move the cruise to summer vacation.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:00 PM   #146
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My family is going to miss the year-round schedule next year after four years of kids in middle school. The first year and this year only one of them have that schedule, but it has been great. Having only one kid at home at a time for most of their breaks has allowed me to spend one-on-one time with each of them. I hadn't been able to do that since they were in preschool. I know that my daughter especially has benefited from the nine weeks on, three weeks off with a 4 1/2 week break in the summer. The kids don't get burned out, in addition to not spending the first month of school reviewing. I really am NOT looking forward to the endless summer next year. DS has already gotten permission to take an online class from HS counselor. It's through NCVPS, and he started taking HS classes through the virtual public school in 7th grade. He actually prefers that to dealing with the constant interruptions & disrespect in class by kids who are only there because it's the law. He was in class with other HS students, and the classwork was challenging for him -- which he needed. The structure of the class also taught him to manage his time since the list of assignments was given Monday and kids were on their own to get the work done by Friday. This was with a block schedule, so an entire course covered in one semester. Now that he is in HS, these skills have helped him in his freshman year and he started out with four credits. This allows him to take additional math & science classes, though he could graduate early without them. Not every student who did this at his MS did well. If your child is motivated, structured, and determined to learn, they might do very well with online classes.

ETA: They are doing away with YR schools here next year. The ultimate reason is that they desperately need to redistrict but most of the schools involved would move a child from a traditional school to YR or vice versa. Changing the schedule takes away the argument parents have about the change of schedule.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:07 PM   #147
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No we can take our kids out of school when we want. I choose not to if they are having trouble in a certain subject or if it's a standardized testing year, which can be stressful on the kids already without missing extra school. My kids are high in most areas this year (not the case last year. One of my girls was struggling with math AND it was a standardized testing year for math). I didn't realize until past our pic date how much she was struggling or else I wouldn't have taken her out. Thankfully by the test she was feeling much better about it. And it was only 3 days of missed school so the teacher just kept her in for recess a few days.

In our school system the real problem is when teachers are expected to keep children, of whom are sometimes low, up to standard when they miss a month or more when they go on vacation. My sister is a teacher, and that's when she recommends the parents buy the book, shows them the sections they are to cover and if when they get back, they haven't done the work, they get a "insufficient data" on their report card instead of a grade.

We were planning in taking them out in June (report cards are done by then even though there are still 3 weeks of school). What my kids did in June last year was ridiculous. I am willing to do the last two weeks of May for a good deal, though as that's just review. Nothing is booked as of yet. In two years I'll have two doing standardized testing so I will likely not vacation during the year (well, maybe After early June when the test is) that year again.

We do have to tell the school ahead of time and the teachers so if they want to send anything along they have the time to do so. It works out as two of the three of ours are going to be studying canada in geography and we are going to vancouver and Yukon on our travels this year.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:14 AM   #148
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Reading through these posts makes me happy about our district's vacation policy. DD7 is in 2nd grade and she's been pulled out for a week or so every year since preschool. Last year wasn't for a vacation, she caught a nasty bug and was out for almost 2 weeks off and on over a month's time. I didn't feel comfortable with her missing any more school so I was glad we didn't have a trip planned. As for taking her out for a vacation all I needed to do was write a letter to the principal stating she would be gone on these dates and for this reason. Principal approved it and sent me an email asking if she could join us. I kept an open line of communication with her teacher before and after the trip and there were no issues at all. Absences were marked excused. Honestly her gym team coach grumbled more about her being gone for a week than her school did.

Personally I feel if a student is doing well academically, socially and otherwise in the classroom there's really no reason why a week of vacation should be marked unexcused. Now I don't try to pretend, and thankfully don't have to, with our school that we are taking an "educational" trip. Sure DD learns things, and I have no problem taking an hour each day to do school work and things. But we're on vacation and I won't insult her school with saying us sitting by the pool all day should count as a learning experience. But I did make a point for her to learn and do an activity learning the different sides of the ship and what they are called, things about the ports we visited, etc...and to me those things are a lot more practical than whatever she was taught in school on Columbus day about Columbus. I'm a twisted mom and can turn anything into a math problem. For example. You ordered 2 Mickey bars from room service. They brought you 10. How many extra bars did we receive than were ordered? Give me the correct answer and you can have your Mickey bar.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:31 AM   #149
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Here in the UK you can get fined for taking your child out if school. It's a different cost for where you live, but where I am, it's £100 ($160) per parent per day of the absence.

The cost of holidays, especially package holidays to Europe are astronomical during the main summer break (late July to early Sept) and also during our half terms (Feb and Oct) and Easter. Prices outside of these times are about half so I see why people remove their children.

Our Government says it values families with the traditional 2 parent household, but it then fines both parents for unauthorised absences. A single parent would get just one fine.

There has to be middle ground for this ... Like some have said, they can't get time off during holidays due to their own job .. Do we say those people shouldn't have a holiday? Thought needs to go into this as there is no right or wrong ... Just what each person thinks.

I have no children of my own, but I have grandchildren through my hubby to be. They are being taken out of school for our wedding on the WBTA next year. Luckily they will be 5 and 9 so no exams being done at that time. It's not perfect and they'll need to catch up, but they will. They've never flown before, never been on a ship and only the older one has ever been on a holiday .... They are going to build some magical memories to tell their teachers.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:33 AM   #150
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Reading through these posts makes me happy about our district's vacation policy. DD7 is in 2nd grade and she's been pulled out for a week or so every year since preschool. Last year wasn't for a vacation, she caught a nasty bug and was out for almost 2 weeks off and on over a month's time. I didn't feel comfortable with her missing any more school so I was glad we didn't have a trip planned. As for taking her out for a vacation all I needed to do was write a letter to the principal stating she would be gone on these dates and for this reason. Principal approved it and sent me an email asking if she could join us. I kept an open line of communication with her teacher before and after the trip and there were no issues at all. Absences were marked excused. Honestly her gym team coach grumbled more about her being gone for a week than her school did. Personally I feel if a student is doing well academically, socially and otherwise in the classroom there's really no reason why a week of vacation should be marked unexcused. Now I don't try to pretend, and thankfully don't have to, with our school that we are taking an "educational" trip. Sure DD learns things, and I have no problem taking an hour each day to do school work and things. But we're on vacation and I won't insult her school with saying us sitting by the pool all day should count as a learning experience. But I did make a point for her to learn and do an activity learning the different sides of the ship and what they are called, things about the ports we visited, etc...and to me those things are a lot more practical than whatever she was taught in school on Columbus day about Columbus. I'm a twisted mom and can turn anything into a math problem. For example. You ordered 2 Mickey bars from room service. They brought you 10. How many extra bars did we receive than were ordered? Give me the correct answer and you can have your Mickey bar.
Last year both their teachers and the vice principal were trying to convince me how education travelling was for the kids. And also that family time was important (dh can't take much vacation time during their off time)
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