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Old 07-13-2009, 08:29 AM   #1
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Experience on taking kids out of school to go to WDW??

We have booked a trip for Dec 5-11, which will mean taking DS12 and DD9 out of school for a week (7th grade and 4th grade, respectively). They have always been A+ students (high 90 avgs in all subjects) and the week we will be out will be 2 weeks before school is out for the Christmas break. I don't anticipate that they will have any tests or major projects happening during that week. For those of you who have taken kids out of school to go on vacation, have you met with any resistance from the school district? I realize all school districts are different,but am a little nervous about the response I will get from school. I assume it is an unexcused absence? My plan is to ask the teachers to allow the kids to make up their work before we leave. Have you met with any resistance in allowing your kids to complete work ahead of time? I would not even consider doing this if my kids weren't such excellent students and if the week we were going to be gone wasn't so close to the end of the semester. Thanks-
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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I'm going approximately the same time.....12/7-12/-13....................I was wondering the same thing. DS8 is a good student as well, and I want to be able to take his homework for the week w/ us so he can do a page a night. So hearing how it is for other families would be awesome.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:39 AM   #3
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Depends on your district. Mine is very very very strict after 3rd grade.So I am taking my kindergartner out Dec 12-18 this year, and probably the next couple. WE are limited to when we can vacation.Thanks to my job and Dh's job we can not travel during Holidays, or summers.Which is great for Disney, not so good for the school district
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:41 AM   #4
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You will have a better chance of pulling this off if you choreograph the lesson plan for the teachers to rubber-stamp instead of asking the teachers to prepare lesson plans.

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Old 07-13-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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When I was younger, my parents always took us out of school for vacation. Talk to the school office before hand. At the schools I attended there was always paperwork to fill out as it always had to be an "educational" trip (it's easy to make Disney educational: Epcot! Conservation Station! etc...) Then they'd approve it or not. The schools I was in always approved it, but you're right, it's totally up to the school district.

My parents always had us gather our work from our teachers. Then we had set times throughout the stay that were designated homework times. Going down on the plane was time #1. Basically, during those designated homework times, we had to work. My parents always stressed the importance of getting the work done before we were able to go "play." If we got all the work done before the end of the trip, we got to chose what to do during our designated homework time with one parent (in case say my brother still needed some time) such as going to the arcade, swimming pool, etc around the resort. If we both were done, then we got more park time! But always always ALWAYS, work came before play and if we needed more time to complete the work, my parents rearranged the schedule so we didn't feel rushed or overwhelmed that we didn't have enough time to get it done. In other words, don't expect your kids to have enough time to get everything done on the plane and when you get home from your trip.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:45 AM   #6
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It really does depend on your school district. I have taken my kids out twice for WDW vacations and each time I let the teachers know well in advance. When I asked about taking work with them only once did my son's 2nd grade teacher ask him to journal about his trip everyday, all of the other teachers just told us to enjoy our family vacation and not worry about missing school! Hope your district is as nice about it!
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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I took ds(then 9) out of school for a week this past Dec. (week after Thanksgiving Break). I was really anxious about it, but it was the only time that worked for us (and in particular my work schedule). Like your kids, ds is an A student and does not struggle at all in school. (unless you count sitting still and waiting his turn to speak!! ughh he's not so good at that!)

When I spoke with his teachers they were very understanding and his lead teacher even said she wished that she could go with us! They were very accomodating and in the weeks leading up to our departure they began pulling ds aside and letting him work ahead. By the time we left for the trip he was well ahead of the class and had done some of his work up through the Christmas Break. And we didn't have to do any of that extra work at home!!

Of course, we live in a town with only 4 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school. Our neighboring districts have a lot more schools at each level. I used to teach in one of the other districts, so I have a point of reference. We are very, very lucky to live where we do! We are in a wonderful district, a wonderful school, with wonderful teachers.

I am not sure how it would be in districts which may have populations which struggle with things like attendance. If your district has any of that they might have policies in place which do not allow for family vacation time. But, since your kids are doing well in school, I would hope that their teachers would be your advocates in asking that your family time be an excused absence.

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Old 07-13-2009, 09:00 AM   #8
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I would let the district and teacher know as soon as possible. I am a teacher, and we have no problems with families taking vacations during the school year as long as the parents and students are realistic and be willing to put in the effort to make up the work. However, we are no longer permitted to give out work before a vacation. So work has to be made up when the student returns, either after school or during recess.

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Old 07-13-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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I have taken my 2 sons out of school atleast once a year for vacation. We are going to WDW August 22-29 and they will miss the first 2 days of school. I figured 2 days was better than a whole week and it also will allow me to schedule another trip for later in the school year if I would like. We never have any problems getting the homework or completing it. We did December at WDW last year and had a good time and great weather.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:14 AM   #10
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I'm taking my children out for a week in Nov (7th grade and 3rd grade) and I told the prinicapl "this is when we'll be gone" and what do we need to do? I also told her that even if it wasn't excused, we were still going. LOL

When the school starts paying for our vacation, THEN they can dictate when we go.

FTR, about two weeks before we go, DS (7th grader) needs to fill out a form to give to his teachers and can either do his homework before we leave or turn it in when we get home.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:24 AM   #11
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You really need to check with the district. In our district it is considered an unexcused absence with no make up work possible. Anything the student misses is considered a zero in the grade book. I took DD out for the 2 days before Thanksgiving during second grade. On those 2 days they had a party on one and a tv watching day on the other. She missed nothing. I came home to a letter from the truancy officer reminding us that we would be in front of the judge if she got a total of 8 unexcused absences. This wasn't an issue for me since as of the end of the semester I had already decided to homeschool. Now we go to Disney World whenever we want. If you take your child out for a full 5 days and your district is anything like mine, you might be looking for more trouble than you realize.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:27 AM   #12
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We took our kids out of school for several years and never had a problem. They also were good students that caught onto things quickly. We just notified the teachers in advance and they were actually given their work to take with them so they wouldn't be swamped after. They did their work on the plane to and from and worked whenever they had a little time when we were in the room. The last time we took them out our daughter was a sophmore in high school and she missed 2 1/2 days at Thanksgiving. That was the last time we took them out. Thankfully college and grad school is now in the past and we don't have to worry about that at all.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:28 AM   #13
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As a teacher for middle school I find it difficult for the students to make up the work when they return. That is generally our policy and they must make it up before and after school and at lunch/recess. The timing before the Christmas break is so short and for us, exams. Students that miss right before them do not do as well.

Parents always think that the teachers don't care, I wish I could go too, well we do wish we could just take off during work, but trying to catch up students, predict what we will do while they are out 2 weeks ahead of time, prepare it all for them ahead of time, etc. and then when they miss the classwork and discussions and their high grades drop a letter grade from that time because they missed the explanation and then get the request for extra credit that follows makes it no so much fun for us.

Reverse it and see how you feel if your teacher takes weeks off to take a vacation during the school year. We can, but parents frown on it because it hurts their kids education. That is generally from the parents that take their vacation during school as well.

I do not discourage the trips, do not give them a free pass either, and it is up to the student to make up the work before the end of the semester for grading.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:28 AM   #14
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I pull my kids out of school for WDW every year. When they were young, I took them out for a week. Now that they are older (12, 13), the last several years I have made sure we go a week when they have some days off so they miss no more than 3 days (preferably 2). This year we are going in Nov. and they will only miss 2 days. I did notice last year that my oldest did have a harder time during that marking period. I will be more vigiliant in the future to make sure that I coordinate with the teachers. It is harder in middle school to do that but I won't rely on her to do that anymore!
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jenn- View Post
I came home to a letter from the truancy officer reminding us that we would be in front of the judge if she got a total of 8 unexcused absences.
they still have truancy officers??...go before a judge??...where do you people live??...

i'm in massachusetts...if i want to take my kids out of school for a week to go to disney, i send a note in saying our kids will be out of school for a week, see you when we get back...as far as i'm concerned, teachers work for us, not the other way around...i help my kids catch up with whatever work they missed (which usually isn't much)...
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