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Old 08-08-2006, 10:15 AM   #1
winnyis
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Letter to Teachers about pulling kids out of school - Update Post 53 & Post 61

I need to write a letter to my childrens schools so that they excuse the absences for our upcoming wonder cruise. Does anyone have a letter they have written they would mind sharing.
Not sure how much detail I should go into but I want to make it sound good because if they excuse the absences the kids can make up the work and if they dont - they cant.

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by winnyis; 08-10-2006 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:35 AM   #2
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Here's really bad parental advice: fib and say they were sick or visiting a dying relative.

Ok, back to reality: we will be in a similar situation in October. We booked a 4 day (Sun-Thurs). DD is in Kindergarten, so it's not like she will be missing Physics or the SAT's. But our excuse is that our May cruise got postponed and we could only reschedule for October. (which is kinda true; My parents were supposed to come on the May cruise, but due to illness they couldn't go. We still went, but that's besides the point!) It probably won't work, but like I said, it's just kindergarten, and she can already read/write, so she won't fall behind.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:54 AM   #3
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There is an excellent one on another site, I cant remember what is was, but will TRY and get it posted here, in a minute. Im not that technical !
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:56 AM   #4
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here is the one that I roughly modified. Hope this helps.


Please be advised that Elouise will be out of school during the week of [date]. We ask that her absences be excused.
The reason for Elouise's absence is that our family will be on holiday to Florida, visiting Walt Disney World, and taking a Caribbean cruise. We believe that Elouise will be learning many things during this trip and that her education will continue in her absence from school.

Some things Elouise will learn about:

* Different cultures of the world, including architecture, language, diet, and dress, by visiting the different countries in the Epcot World Showcase (Japan, China, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Canada, France, etc.) We will have the chance to explore the exhibits from each country and …………………..
* Marine life in both Sea World and The Atlantis in the Bahamas. As a family we will be snorkelling with String rays, and dolphins.
* Understanding nature and importance of conservation at Animal Kingdom.
* Science, by exploring the Mission Space ride in Epcot where she will have a chance to see and feel what it would be like to travel by rocket to Mars. Also viewing exhibits which teach about fossil fuels, energy, and conservation.
* Maths, by managing her own spending money and making budget decisions on how to spend it.

We strongly believe this will be a wonderful family and educational experience for Elouise. We hope you agree not to charge her with unexcused absences as a result.

If you require Elouise to take any assignments with her to be handed in when we return, please let us know as soon as possible. We will encourage her to collect handouts and leaflets from her travels to share with her class, to support future projects.
If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me.
[Parent's Signture]
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:18 PM   #5
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I plan on telling the truth without any embellishment. I'm the parent and I make the choices and decisions. Is anyone really more concerned with my child's development or education than me? Sorry but when you're caring for my child 24/7 then you can make all the decisions.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindy Loo
here is the one that I roughly modified. Hope this helps.


Please be advised that Elouise will be out of school during the week of [date]. We ask that her absences be excused.
The reason for Elouise's absence is that our family will be on holiday to Florida, visiting Walt Disney World, and taking a Caribbean cruise. We believe that Elouise will be learning many things during this trip and that her education will continue in her absence from school.

Some things Elouise will learn about:

* Different cultures of the world, including architecture, language, diet, and dress, by visiting the different countries in the Epcot World Showcase (Japan, China, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Canada, France, etc.) We will have the chance to explore the exhibits from each country and …………………..
* Marine life in both Sea World and The Atlantis in the Bahamas. As a family we will be snorkelling with String rays, and dolphins.
* Understanding nature and importance of conservation at Animal Kingdom.
* Science, by exploring the Mission Space ride in Epcot where she will have a chance to see and feel what it would be like to travel by rocket to Mars. Also viewing exhibits which teach about fossil fuels, energy, and conservation.
* Maths, by managing her own spending money and making budget decisions on how to spend it.

We strongly believe this will be a wonderful family and educational experience for Elouise. We hope you agree not to charge her with unexcused absences as a result.

If you require Elouise to take any assignments with her to be handed in when we return, please let us know as soon as possible. We will encourage her to collect handouts and leaflets from her travels to share with her class, to support future projects.
If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me.
[Parent's Signture]
I'm not a teacher, but if I were and received this letter I would be less than thrilled. You are laying it on just a tad thick don't you think? I fully agree that recreational travel has educational benefits but you try to make it sound as though her educational benefit is the primary purpose of this trip. Most teachers have heard of Disney and have a pretty good idea what is entailed. At the end of the day you are going on a cruise and to an amusement park. You're not signing on for a tour with the Peace Corps or living in a monastery etc.
Option 1) Be honest about your intentions. Don't insult the teachers intelligence. Yours is likely not his/her first student to visit Disney. If anything, state how rare it is for the entire family to spend some quality time together and how you've been saving for this for years.
Option 2) Tell a tall tale. Sick relative etc. But be prepared for the consequences. Kids talk!
Option 3) Send your kids to private school. If they want your tuition, which they do, no hassles whatsoever!!! ( This and a sprinkling of Option 1 continues to work well with my Son).

Bottom line. Go on your trip and enjoy!!
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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This has to be the most controversial and personal subject that ever comes up on this board.

My advice is:

1) find out what the laws are in your state and the penalties for missing school

2) evaluate the impact of missing school on your child

3) decide what is best for your situation.

DW and I did a lot of juggling, but we managed to get DS from Kindergarten through 12th grade without missing a minute of school for Doctors, Dentist or Orthodondist appointments. He also managed not to miss a school day due to illness for high school too. He got special recognition for all this when he graduated from high school.
DD has done the same so far, and she starts 10th grade next week.

It is against the law here in the public schools to miss school for vacations. Since our kids attended private schools, it wasn't a legal issue, but as you can see from our mindset, leaving school for vacations isn't something we would consider for our family. And yes, it did cost me more for our Disney cruise since we have to go on a peak week. DW and I also work jobs the prohibit vacations (and highly frown on sick time) during February, May, July and November, so we have those restrictions to deal with.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:43 PM   #8
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Man, pull them out of school and homeschool. Then you do not answer to the state nor an administration that cares more about funding than about educating.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:56 PM   #9
winnyis
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Thanks to everyone for your replies. The letter was a good starting point but I agree it was a bit embellished.

I will not lie to them either. Fact is - I am going whether they excuse it or not. Kids might have to work a little harder when the come back if they dont excuse it... but in the grand scheme of life - 7 days out of school wont make a bit of difference to their education but the memories of that vacation spent with their family will last a lifetime.


No flames here please. This is just my opinion.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winnyis
I need to write a letter to my childrens schools so that they excuse the absences for our upcoming wonder cruise. Does anyone have a letter they have written they would mind sharing.
Not sure how much detail I should go into but I want to make it sound good because if they excuse the absences the kids can make up the work and if they dont - they cant.

Thanks in advance
Are you sure a vacation could be excused ever? I noticed your info said you live in FL. Maybe it's different for Brevard County than where you are- in Brevard I'm pretty sure it's unexcused no matter what. I'm not sure about the make up policy though. I do know you only get 9 unexcused days per semester or you don't pass the semester. That's why we're going at Labor day so DS only has to miss 4 days. He's only in 2nd grade so I don't care if he misses a few days, but I will insist he do whatever work he misses while he's gone even if he won't technically get credit for it.

Good luck getting a cruise excused- but quite honestly I don't see how a family vacation could be an excused absence. I'm doing it anywway, I just don't think they will excuse it.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:18 PM   #11
winnyis
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We are in Hillsborough County and from what I understand it is subjective whether or not they excuse it. There is language in the handbook that explains that "other preplanned absences" also need to be requested in writing so lets hope.

Last year we moved to Florida 3 weeks before our Panama Canal cruise. My employer transferred me after the cancellation penalty had kicked in so we would have lost $5K if we cancelled. Anyway DH went to the school and explained this to them and they were great and excused the whole thing. Our kids didnt miss another day the whole year.

Our main issue this year is that DH just started his job 9 months ago and by the time that he felt it was appropriate to request vacation time, the summer weeks had either been already taken by someone with more seniority or I couldnt coordinate the same week with my job.
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August 2001 - Eastern, August 2002 - Western, November 2003 - Navigator of the Seas Western, August 2004 - Hurricane Francis 10 day Western, August 2005 - Panama Canal Repo Cruise, Sept 2006 - 10 Day Southern Carribean Wonder, November 2006 - Girls Only Carnival Cruise, March 2007 - 3 Day Wonder, Oct 2007- Girls Only RCI Soveriegn of the Seas, Nov 2007 - Thanksgiving on the Magic, August 2008 - Panama Canal Repo Cruise Again, October 2008 - Girls Only Carnival Inspiration, Oct 2009 - Girls Only Carnival Destiny, Oct , 2009 - Halloween on the Wonder; April , 2010 - Spring Break in Hawaii; Nov 2010 - Girls Only Carnival Destiny again; March 3, 2011, Disney Dream, August 16, 2011, Disney Dream

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Old 08-08-2006, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrodptl
I plan on telling the truth without any embellishment. I'm the parent and I make the choices and decisions. Is anyone really more concerned with my child's development or education than me? Sorry but when you're caring for my child 24/7 then you can make all the decisions.

Thank you for the voice of reason. We are still the parents.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:29 PM   #13
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My niece was pulled out for our cruise in Feb. While her history teacher did excuse her if she did a report, her other teachers did not. She went out of her way not to miss any days of school except for the days of the cruise. Lucky for us the younger ones weren't that big a deal. I can see where the older the kids get the harder it is to take them out and the schools are having less and less time out.

I can see the advantage of homeschooling and if I ever have kids. It will be something I will think about real hard.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:37 PM   #14
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first you need to find out if your district is doing any excued absences this year. My district has decided not to excuse absences for vacations this year
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:41 PM   #15
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Par8hed.... Whilst I appreciate your views, my Daughter does go to a private school in the Uk, and we still have to write to ask for permission to have holidays. Even with fees at $15,000 a year for a 4 year old.

By law we can request 10 days, in private or state schools, after that its up to the head if its authorised or not.

I havent actually sent the letter yet ( as we dont go till Oct, and she is on school holidays till Sep )and I will modify it to sound less " desperate". However this was the "master" off "all ears.net" ( I think,) so I thought it might be of use to the Op.

Its always a tricky decision for us, as we always go for 3 weeks, and this of course does impact on schooling.
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