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Old 09-16-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
Disneydreamer5
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Need to write letter explaining educational value of WDW to take kids out of school

Well the subject matter says it all.
My son is QB for the varsity team this year and I had to work around his football and basketball schedule whie planning our vacation.
We are leaving on the 11th of Oct and I need to notifiy the school.
I want to give them details about how educational WDW is and that is will be both a family vacation but the kids will be learning alot about many different things.
Any tips or insights as to where I can gather some info would be great.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
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The value of Disney

As a high school teacher my advice would be to cite the "transitional value" of the trip rather than the educational value. Most schools believe a child's educational needs best served by being in class, however most cannot argue that a student's ability to transition into a post secondary setting is largely shaped by the influence of family and things outside of the school. Tell them about the life skills your child will be practicing such as map skills (have your child look at the map before hand and do some calculations on distance, gas mileage, velocity, etc), budgeting (ask them to be in charge of their own money for the trip), exploring public transportation (busses and planes and trams - oh my!), and communication skills (talking to people you don't know is a major adult skills that most teen lack). Just please be sure to actually have you child do these things...some teachers will be bratty enough to actually "quiz" them when they return - lol

Have a great trip!
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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First of all, I'm wondering if your son is aware you're planning a trip then. Because around here, he wouldn't be starting QB if he were gone, and he might not even be backup QB if he wasn't in school, especially if he was out for a vacation, educational or not.

And secondly, those letters really don't work for high school. They are borderline OK for grade school. I wouldn't bother with it.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Metsfan520 View Post
First of all, I'm wondering if your son is aware you're planning a trip then. Because around here, he wouldn't be starting QB if he were gone, and he might not even be backup QB if he wasn't in school, especially if he was out for a vacation, educational or not.

And secondly, those letters really don't work for high school. They are borderline OK for grade school. I wouldn't bother with it.
I have to agree here. While I think you can learn everywhere you go WDW isn't exactly like touring the museums of Rome. If I was a teacher in High School I would laugh if I got a letter explaining the educational value of WDW. That may be just me though.
As for football, I can't imagine the season being over that early and if it isn't then I also cannot imagine your son being a starting anything if he was going to miss for a vacation.
I would just write the letter that the kids are missing school because they will be away. Going on about the educational aspects of WDW would just make you look ridiculous.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:25 PM   #5
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I agree with the others. PLEASE don't write a letter claiming Disney is educational for your HS son.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:34 PM   #6
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If you think a 16yo is going to learn something at Disney World, then perhaps you need to seriously rethink his schooling situation.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:01 PM   #7
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Yeah, I have to agree with the others. If your letter says anything other than that he will be absent and the dates he will be missing, you will be the talk of the teachers' lounge, and not in a good way. Believe me, they have heard it all when it comes to the trumped up reasons why parents think their family vacations will have some educational value.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dogodisney View Post
I agree with the others. PLEASE don't write a letter claiming Disney is educational for your HS son.
I agree...I don't think any high school teachers would take this claim seriously. There is a sample letter floating around here on the dis, but it is kind of ridiculous, imo, especially for a high schooler. It contains something about learning about the sociological aspects of crowds by waiting on lines.

Also, I'm curious how taking a trip in October is "working around" his football schedule-isn't that football season? Even if he won't miss a game, he would miss practices. My kid's hs varsity coaches would not have allowed that. Well, you could do it, but you wouldn't be on the team anymore.

From your signature it looks like you have more than one kid in high school-are they okay with missing school for the trip? Or maybe you're only going for a long weekend?
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Metsfan520 View Post
First of all, I'm wondering if your son is aware you're planning a trip then. Because around here, he wouldn't be starting QB if he were gone, and he might not even be backup QB if he wasn't in school, especially if he was out for a vacation, educational or not.

And secondly, those letters really don't work for high school. They are borderline OK for grade school. I wouldn't bother with it.
Around here he wouldn't even be on the team!

I agree unless he was doing an internship while at Disney there is no way you could claim a weeks vacation at Disney is anyway equal in education to a senior in HS. (unless like someone else said you better be questioning your school if it is)

Is he willing to miss this much school as a senior? are his grades good enough that zero's won't hurt him for his GPA for college and Basketball?
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:58 PM   #10
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I teach high school, and when I get one of those letters I chuckle to myself a little. There is no way to justify a trip to Disney as an educational experience for a high school senior. I am sorry, but it is a VACATION. Just tell them you are pulling him to go on vacation, but be prepared to deal with the consequences. I agree that, at least around here, he would not be starting QB, and likely would lose his spot on the team alltogether if he missed a week of practice for vacation. It is simply not acceptable for a starter to have a non illness related absence of that magnitude. Also, he would be getting zeros that would likely make him academically ineligible untill he pulled those grades up. I would think long and hard about wether going to disney at this particular time is worth risking his FB and grades.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:00 PM   #11
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I agree unless he was doing an internship while at Disney there is no way you could claim a weeks vacation at Disney is anyway equal in education to a senior in HS. (unless like someone else said you better be questioning your school if it is)
Or unless he was doing a lot of work to support it. I took a college level course on Disney (Art History), and got credit in college for a financial analysis and Annual Report audit, so it IS possible to get enough education out of Disney to justify credit...but its going to need to be more than the trip. Its going to involve several hours of work every day in researching, analyzing, and writing about what he has learned - and that still isn't gong to be the sorts of material the school needs him to learn - because the sorts of things you can learn from Disney tend to either be in elementary school depth or things that are subject specific towards college level work (Finance, Art History, Theatre, Logistics Management)
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:16 PM   #12
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A letter like that is totally inappropriate past grade school.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by finallygoingtoWDW View Post
If you think a 16yo is going to learn something at Disney World, then perhaps you need to seriously rethink his schooling situation.

Really? My son is 15 and missed 6 days to go to Disney. He learn alot just by talking to people from other countries. He is interested in other cultures and learn just by asking tons of questions.

One thing we learned was that the Brits had non sense of humour. He went around asking if any had seen a blue police box and none of them had a clue what he was talking about.

I would not send a letter to the school outlining what we will do at Disney it is a family vacation and that is all they need to know. I would say that there is value in the education you learn on any vacation.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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Just tell them its a trip

As a high school teacher, I can tell you that around here, there is no need to explain where you are going. There are very few absences that are excused (sickness, death, and court), so it wouldn't matter where the destination....a family trip is not excused. Just tell them its a family trip. Many teachers will work with a kid to make up work whether its excused or not. He can always bring work with him to keep him up to date.

As a parent, I agree that WDW can be educational. My own son has a learning delay and his expressive verbal communication grew exponentially after a trip to Animal Kingdom. But...as a PP mentioned...most teachers wouldn't see it that way, so why worry about it. Go and enjoy!!
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:01 PM   #15
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I also think the letter is a bad idea. I was also wondering why if your son is the QB, why are you taking him away mid season? In Jersey HS football goes into November, especially if they make states.
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