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Old 09-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #46
PatchPixie
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I think your email was sweet and I'm glad you were able to get your child's vacay excused. Enjoy your time together
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:49 PM   #47
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I have to be honest - I would be horribly embarrassed to send a letter like that. I find it a huge insult to any educator's intelligence. Most teachers would see right through that.

I mean really? Is your daughter really going to learn about dinosaurs by playing in the sand at AK? At least you didn't say she was going to earn about sociology by studying the crowds and crowd control.

If people want to take their kids out of school for a vacation, fine. Heck, I'm taking mine out for a cruise in December. But own up to it and face the consequences if you make that choice. Don't pass it off as something it isn't.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #48
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Um no, that isn't an excused absence. That is nothing more than a parent calling the school and informing them their kid won't be there. The "excused" or "unexcused" part comes from why they won't be there. Some reasons are acceptable, i.e. excused (illness, death in family, doc appts) some are not, i.e. unexcused (vacations, shopping with mom day, just not wanting to go). Our kids are allowed 10 unexcused absenses a year before there are truancy issues. So, if I want to take my kid to Chuck E Cheese for the day, I can call them and tell them that, but its not going to be an excused absence.
As long as I call into school, it is an excused absence. It could be for illness, out of town, family vacation, etc. as long as they hear from me, it is excused.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:47 PM   #49
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You all are lucky as Indiana will not let them make up any home work for a vacation to anywhere. wanted to take both grad daughters and they live in different couties and both said NO
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:14 PM   #50
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You all are lucky as Indiana will not let them make up any home work for a vacation to anywhere. wanted to take both grad daughters and they live in different couties and both said NO
Same here. I don't know if it's just our district or Texas in general, but I looked it up in the handbook. Excused is illness with doctor's note, death or serious illness in family with proof (? how do you prove serious family illness?), religious holiday observance (not to exceed 3 per school year), and that's it. You get 3 unexcused per semester, 9 excused, and anything further, truancy officer is calling. According to our district handbook, the teachers are not permitted to issue make-up work for unexcused absences and all assignments are zeros. If you are 12 or older you represent yourself in court. I think this is a bunch of crap because everyone knows doctors can't do anything for 24 hour stomach bugs or flus, but yet you still have to go or risk your gpa.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:27 PM   #51
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I'm really amazed that some school districts are so lax on what they will excuse.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:38 AM   #52
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Hey, Catnip...live in Alabama, do you??
Yes. We live in Northern Alabama. We are about 5 minutes from the Alabama/Tennessee border.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:58 AM   #53
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Wow. A lot of places are strict. Our school district allows 5 prior approval days per year as excused. This can be for vacation, surgery etc.

Maybe it varies from school district to school district. I was very honest about the 2 additional days. I told him that we were going regardless. The principal said that it was fine. I would just have to send in a note with my son.

For us, Disney has always had an educational twist to it. We have done the Behind The Seeds tour at Living With The Land. Complete with a list of questions that my son wants to know about. Now that he's older, the questions are more complex. He's looking forward to trying to stump them with hard biology questions.

At AK he loves watching the shows and will stay afterwards and ask questions of the trainers. I'm amazed at how complex his questions are. Things I would never think of asking at a theme park, my son asks.

And you know those boring movies about the countries? We make him watch them and he actually takes notes on them. Why? Because he knows we are going to ask questions later.

This year, he's taking Spanish 1. His teacher has given him a list of questions to ask the cast members at the Mexico pavilion. Guess what? He has to ask the questions in Spanish and also answer them in Spanish.

He's also taking creative writing and has to come up with a 5 page Disney themed story based on different criteria that she's given him.

For us, it isn't all about the rides. It's about spending time as a family and having fun and maybe, just maybe learning something in the process.....
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #54
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As long as I call into school, it is an excused absence. It could be for illness, out of town, family vacation, etc. as long as they hear from me, it is excused.
So if you called into school 15 times to say your kid won't be there because they don't want to go to school, its an excused absence each and every time?
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:21 AM   #55
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So if you called into school 15 times to say your kid won't be there because they don't want to go to school, its an excused absence each and every time?
Yup, but unfortunately for my kids, I'm not that kind of mom.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:34 AM   #56
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Yup, but unfortunately for my kids, I'm not that kind of mom.


That is crazy, what deters moms (and dads) from doing that?
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #57
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At our school, even if you call in because your child is sick it won't be an excused absence. You have to have a doctor's note. So, if your kid has more than 10 (I think) days a year where you call in because they're sick, then you'll get "the letter."

On the other hand, I've taken my kids out of school for a couple of days for a vacation. The older they get, the harder it is for them to make up the work. So, we're no longer doing it. The kids are heading to NYC to visit their dad and they'll get a late flight out on a Friday after school and come home on a late flight on Sunday night.

As mean as it sounds, I also thought that the school will probably be passing the letter around the office and laugh at it. I'm sorry that may sound mean, but I couldn't stop laughing at the part about digging at AK while learning about dinosaurs...lol. But hey, it worked!
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #58
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Previously posted in another thread around April of this year:

I just got a letter yesterday regarding my oldest and his "excessive absences." His high school does block scheduling - A day/B day.

"Regulation 5-17.1 states that unless extenuating circumstances are established, a student who is absent from a course more than six times, in a semester, excused or unexcused, will fail the course for that semester. A student is considered absent if he/she misses more than 15 minutes from a class."

My son's 3 absences for his A1 & A2 classes were:

sick (Illness - excused)
absent for trip to NJ for my brother's wedding (Other - excused)
absent for 1 class/came in 30 minutes into the 2nd class for doctor's appt/bloodwork had doctor's note (DR-excused)

My son is currently taking medication that requires blood tests each month followed by an appt in the dermatology clinic at the naval hospital to get his meds. I can pull my son out during his lunch/study block for the blood work the day before his appt, have it done close by and get him back before he misses anything BUT he still needs a doctors note even though he's only missing lunch/study! The appt at the naval hospital has to be between 8AM & 2PM. His school day is 7:25-2:00. I'm going to have to call the school tomorrow to find out his B day absences so I know when to change his April appt to.

So, all that said, no during school vacations for us. All 4 of my boys missed 2 full days so we could attend my brother's wedding (which was on a Friday night) and none of them had any issues making any work up. It was all done within the first 2 days after they returned. They all get good grades (A's & B's or in the case of the kindergartener "on grade level" LOL) They all had their absences excused. Yet, I have to worry about my kid failing a semester? Just doesn't make sense. I can understand if these absences were unexcused but not when they excuse it. What's the point of sending in a note then? Why should I care if they excuse the absence when they can fail him anyway?


Interesting how different school systems are. Maybe I should start looking into the absence policy in the different school systems in the area where my husband is trying to get orders for at the end of this school year! LOL!

Editing to add about A Day/B Day in case your school system uses the everyday scheduling like I had growing up. Using my 15 yr old's schedule for this year - A Day is English, Biology and Spanish and B Day is PE, Geometry and History. Each class period is an 1 hour 35 minutes vs the 45 or so minutes each class was for me.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:45 PM   #59
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Geesh. This thread makes me happy we're homeschooling. We're in a "red state" for schooling (which means that it is not as easy to hs here than in other areas, there are more regulations etc) but not having to deal with asking/begging permission to take a family trip is a great thing. We do have to make attendance logs but I can put my school holidays whenever I darn well please - or as long as we're doing the curriculum, they don't care whether I do it in our homeschool room at home, the park, the library, the airplane, or a bench at Epcot.

Incidentally although I didn't write up a letter like the OP, I actually side with her and will be including a record of our upcoming trip on our homeschool blog. Maybe not a photo of Splash Mountain or anything, but especially Epcot is educational, and there are bits and pieces of other parks as well that are totally educaitional. I imagine for older kids (high school etc) there would be less leeway and I wouldn't bother trying to frame our trips like educational opportunities (unless they did extra tours or something) but for lower grades, absolutely. My son is learning to read right now, learning about maps, etc. as a typical kindy/first grader does. So what if he learns how to read a map of the theme park? Or learns to read the signs on the buses to see where each is headed? Or learns a few words in other languages via the Showcase? My daughter is 4 and she loves riding the Land ride, and they learned about where California was due to Soaring. We talked about different time periods after the Carousel of Progress, saw the Hall of Presidents... My son even wants to learn about how monorails and fireworks "work", and asked the crew of the ferryboats a bunch of questions about sailing, and, and, and. Oh, and the fire safety exhibit is even better than the local fireman's day the school sponsors. So, whatever... I don't think the OP is off-base at all!
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:15 PM   #60
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I think it depends on the age of the kid. For elementary school, I think the letter would be perfectly appropriate. Maybe not so much for high school, but IMO, Disney is at least as educational as some of the school sponsored field trips my kids have been on.
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