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Old 11-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #61
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Me too! Now if only DCL would base one of their ships up here it would be nearly perfect!

I agree that every family is different and in the end it is the parent's right to decide, but it's also the school's right to decide if they will accomodate. Every school is also different and you know the rules from the beginning. If there are negative consequences for absences you have to take that into account and decide if it's worth it. Don't say it's no fair for the school to "punish" your child for unexcused absences when it was your decision to go, not the school's and not the child's. It's the school's right to make rules for the school just as much as it's your right to make decisions for your family.
Agreed!!
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:54 PM   #62
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Grumpy's wife here, I'm glad my husband posted! To be honest, and I'll probably get reamed for this, there are so many complaints I just want to say STOP and listen to yourselves. Think about what's being said and the validity of it all. When a family goes on a cruise, thousands of other people will be there too. If that's not something you like or can deal with, go somewhere else. If you don't want to be around smoke, don't go to a DESIGNATED smoking area. The point of a vacation is to be with people you care about while you relax and enjoy some time away. How can that be done if no one is courteous enough to compromise?

As for policies and rules... It is impossible to please 100% of the population so the best alternative is to create policies that will cover the most important issues pertaining to a huge mass. We as people, and customers, need to UNDERSTAND that not everything will be in our favor. I hear complaints about the cost of the cruise, smoking on the balconies, wearing shorts in the dining room, etc. Shorts in the dining room, really? Who cares? What does someone's outfit have to do with enjoying a meal? As long as the clothing, or lack of, is suitable for all audiences... I don't care what you're wearing. My question is simply put, WHY is it so important that complaints are worth the time and energy they require? If the cost is too high- save longer or choose a different option. If shorts shouldn't be worn in the dining room- don't wear them and don't pay attention to those who do. Really these issues aren't worth being called issues, they seem more like an excuse to complain.

I can understand both points about smoking on the balconies. I do not smoke nor do I like to be around it but at the same time, I do not try to make it impossible for others or try to make their smoke breaks miserable. If you want to smoke on the balcony that you PAID for, go for it. I might ask, politely of course, is that if I'm out there with a child when you come out, that you could hold off for a little while, at least a few minutes to get inside. Or I simply go inside on my own and come out later. Compromise.

Vacationing during the school year... yes, it's much cheaper and not as crowded (from what I've been told), but then the kid(s) is out of school and has to learn and make up everything on their own (without the teacher). While I think there are some places that could be made into educational experiences, I don't think Disney Cruises fall into that category. Bottom line, we all need to do what is best for our families, but also think about what kind of example we are setting for our kids. Are we really taking them out of school for a Disney Cruise because it's "educational" or because of the great deal that was running? If this same trip was taken during the summer, the only differences being the dates and price, would it still be considered educational? If so, great, I'm happy that you can turn it into an educational opportunity. My husband and I on the other hand, use the "applicable life lessons" as the educational portion for our child. To take vacations, one must work hard, save, and plan. Patiences is a key and learning how to shop around will be extremely useful, that kind of theme.

Really all of this is silly, I think. Go on a vacation that you and yours can afford and enjoy. Don't care about what others are doing or wearing, unless it is actually important (could lead to an injury, theft, indecent exposure.... those kinds of issues). Enjoy the special time, make new memories and new friends, think of all the wonderful possibilities. That's what is important about vacations. If your family can only go during the school year, then figure out if it works for you, and enjoy. The negative is pointless and drains everyone. Figure out the compromises you're willing to make and have fun making those precious memories that will live on.

Ok, I'm done with my book. If anyone is offended by my post, I apologize. These are my opinions and feelings and I understand not everyone will agree. May you all make the most of your vacations and create many happy memories!
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:59 PM   #63
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No disrespect, but I have never understood why it is necessary to take kids out of school for a vacation. The public schools here are out 14 full weeks, surely there is one week you can find in those 14 that will work. If it is worth it to their education, it is worth the effort to save the money for the extra cost by not going during a non-peak week.
Because if I am going to travel to the Caribbean I want to do it in the winter. Because when schools out in the winter it is more expensive, especially during spring break, Christmas, Thanksgiving. Because my child could handle being taken out of school for a week in elementary and three days from Jr. high on up; got A's. He's now 21 and getting great grades in college.

Because our Schools had NO PROBLEM taking them out as long as they had at least two weeks notice and a sheet signed by each of his teachers so they know and can work around it. He had only ONE teacher that wasn't happy about it the rest begged to be taken along.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #64
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Grumpy's wife here, I'm glad my husband posted! To be honest, and I'll probably get reamed for this, there are so many complaints I just want to say STOP and listen to yourselves. Think about what's being said and the validity of it all. When a family goes on a cruise, thousands of other people will be there too. If that's not something you like or can deal with, go somewhere else. If you don't want to be around smoke, don't go to a DESIGNATED smoking area. The point of a vacation is to be with people you care about while you relax and enjoy some time away. How can that be done if no one is courteous enough to compromise?

As for policies and rules... It is impossible to please 100% of the population so the best alternative is to create policies that will cover the most important issues pertaining to a huge mass. We as people, and customers, need to UNDERSTAND that not everything will be in our favor. I hear complaints about the cost of the cruise, smoking on the balconies, wearing shorts in the dining room, etc. Shorts in the dining room, really? Who cares? What does someone's outfit have to do with enjoying a meal? As long as the clothing, or lack of, is suitable for all audiences... I don't care what you're wearing. My question is simply put, WHY is it so important that complaints are worth the time and energy they require? If the cost is too high- save longer or choose a different option. If shorts shouldn't be worn in the dining room- don't wear them and don't pay attention to those who do. Really these issues aren't worth being called issues, they seem more like an excuse to complain.

I can understand both points about smoking on the balconies. I do not smoke nor do I like to be around it but at the same time, I do not try to make it impossible for others or try to make their smoke breaks miserable. If you want to smoke on the balcony that you PAID for, go for it. I might ask, politely of course, is that if I'm out there with a child when you come out, that you could hold off for a little while, at least a few minutes to get inside. Or I simply go inside on my own and come out later. Compromise.

Vacationing during the school year... yes, it's much cheaper and not as crowded (from what I've been told), but then the kid(s) is out of school and has to learn and make up everything on their own (without the teacher). While I think there are some places that could be made into educational experiences, I don't think Disney Cruises fall into that category. Bottom line, we all need to do what is best for our families, but also think about what kind of example we are setting for our kids. Are we really taking them out of school for a Disney Cruise because it's "educational" or because of the great deal that was running? If this same trip was taken during the summer, the only differences being the dates and price, would it still be considered educational? If so, great, I'm happy that you can turn it into an educational opportunity. My husband and I on the other hand, use the "applicable life lessons" as the educational portion for our child. To take vacations, one must work hard, save, and plan. Patiences is a key and learning how to shop around will be extremely useful, that kind of theme.

Really all of this is silly, I think. Go on a vacation that you and yours can afford and enjoy. Don't care about what others are doing or wearing, unless it is actually important (could lead to an injury, theft, indecent exposure.... those kinds of issues). Enjoy the special time, make new memories and new friends, think of all the wonderful possibilities. That's what is important about vacations. If your family can only go during the school year, then figure out if it works for you, and enjoy. The negative is pointless and drains everyone. Figure out the compromises you're willing to make and have fun making those precious memories that will live on.

Ok, I'm done with my book. If anyone is offended by my post, I apologize. These are my opinions and feelings and I understand not everyone will agree. May you all make the most of your vacations and create many happy memories!
I really like your post its basically " to each their own" as long as they aren't hurting anyone else it's really no ones business. I agree.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by twindaddy
Do you want an honest opinion from a teacher? Flame me if you want, but here is what your teacher will not tell you, unless you get a glass of wine in him/her

The students who are polite, respectful, follow directions, generally turn into assignments, ask questions and get help when needed, and have parents that treat me like a partner in their kids education: I am glad they are going on vacation, have a great time. It has nothing to do with academic aptitude, I am talking about all the other qualities. For those students, I will gladly spend 30 minutes out of my Sunday to put together a packet for you. Do it, but have a great trip!

The students who are terrible in class, disrupt the learning of other students, have a terrible attitude, have parents that never respond to my phone calls and/or say "My little Johnny would never throw a chair at you or call another student (insert curse word / ethnic slur / sexual orientation slur), you must be a bad teacher or it is your fault somehow. Those are the students that seem to get most of the vacations, and NEVER, I mean NEVER turn in the packets I make them. Those are the students your teachers and office staff resent, and when you have little Sally the terror on vacation, we are just glad they are gone so everyone else can learn. I had a student a Disneyland last week who makes it is daily mission to bring other students off task.

Be nice to your teacher, make them a partner in your kids education, and have a great trip. I have kids too, I know how much pricier things are at school breaks.

I dont know the point of this post, other than to give you some insight into the mind of a teacher about vacations.
Excellent post. We have taken children and now grandchildren out of school for a week every year for various vacations. It is always coordinated with teachers and between us and the teachers have come up with creative ideas to incorporate learning into the trips. I'm very thankful that we've had such amazing teachers to help us with this.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:13 PM   #66
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You and your wife then are very fortunate to have never worked for a company that had enough people pick vacation ahead of you that getting a week during traditional school breaks was difficult at best and most times impossible..
Well, we did when we started out and we survived. However, our industry has change a lot. Cut backs and high turnover are the norm. I am the only one who has been there more than a year, and has more than 2 weeks vacation. And we are down to just 6 of us in my department, so a total of 13 weeks of vacation among us, even with no vacations in July, we have plenty of prime weeks to go around, sadly.

My wife uses her seniority to take Christmas off, only holiday she takes off. And she ends up having to cover by working a 6th day to cover everyone's vacation.......she worked literally twice the overtime as anyone in her department, and I think her boss calculated 90% of it was covering others time off. Doesn't sit well with accounting since her seniority makes her the highest paid person, and normally all the overtime goes to the new guy. (and I do mean guy, since she is the only woman in a department of 30)
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:54 PM   #67
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I think its a cheap call to compare our family time and vacations to watching tv. I know the point you are trying to make, and its still lousy. Not all TV is educational, some is (and they actually sometimes WATCH TV in school too) but the idea of comparing dad taking us diving when we were almost 12 in the virgin islands to watching tv is just a bit ridiculous.

What it comes down to is that its the PARENT'S RIGHT TO DECIDE. No one elses. Not even the teachers'. And frankly its no one's business, either.

Harumph.
I was saying that you could make anything educational if you wanted to - vacation to Europe, deer hunting, watching TV. I don't think the schools should get into a position of deciding if Bobby can miss school for a trip to WDW that is 'education' while Susie can't just go to the beach with her family or even just stay home for family time.

I disagree that it is always the parents' right to decide. You can decide to put your kids in the public school, or a charter school, or a private school, or home school, but once you decide which school, you need to follow those rules. Many states such as Texas and California and Florida, have strict rules about missing school and what counts as an excused absence, even with parents' permission. In Florida, once my kids miss 10 days of school for any reason, excused or unexcused, every absence requires a doctor's note. After 15 absences, you can't get credit for that course. Even if you were sick, even if all absences were legit. You can dis-enroll from the school and then re-enroll, but if you do that you may not be allowed back into the same school, the same courses, the same programs (gift, school of the arts, honors courses, etc.). If you don't properly register for home schooling, you aren't in a school. They work with people who need special accommodations like home tutoring for being sick, but you have to go into that program. You think 'oh, 15 days, we'd never be gone 15 days!' but if someone is gone for a week (5-6), then gets sick and misses 4 days, and there was that long weekend at the beginning of the year - suddenly you are at 10 and having to verify every missed hour. You get to 10 awfully fast, and then 15 is right around the corner.

I think having 3rd graders hold hands to show how big a whale is is a very cleaver teaching tool. If a 3rd grader sees a whale, he can say "it was very big" but those who held hands can say "it's as big as 15 kids holding hands".

I'm still mad that tomorrow is a school day and my kids are telling me that so many kids are missing the teachers aren't going to teach anything, hinting that they'd like to stay home too. Nope, it's a school day and they have to go.

Nancy
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:58 PM   #68
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Why doesn’t main stream schools see the value in travel? Much of the financial issues with travel is wrapped around the need for us to be a Slave to the school calendar. I think every child should be allowed and encouraged to travel in some educational way 1-2 weeks, during a time period of the family's choice. There is so much to be learned outside of the classroom and I think it is so unfortunate that so many can only travel during school breaks because of this attitude of the school systems. This has caused a supply and demand issue that makes travel out of reach during those time periods. Many of the recent discussions on these boards come down to this issue. Who do you email on this one?
I agree, and although we are strongly warned by our child's principle, I say the hell with you and we take them out to go on vacations.

I'M PAYING YOU TO EDUCATE MY CHILD, AND WITH THAT I WILL DECIDE HOW MY CHILD IS EDUCATED. Spending time as a family and the places and experiences are every bit as much valuable to a child's education and maturity as sitting in a 20 X 30 room for 6 1/2 hours a day. They take whatever work they can with them, and they make up whatever they can't take when they get back. It's one week, they're not in med school learning how to do open heart surgery. It's nothing they can't catch up with when they get back. If my kids can't catch up due to missing one week of school, I think I have larger educational issues to deal with.

Last edited by Postal68; 11-25-2013 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #69
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No disrespect, but I have never understood why it is necessary to take kids out of school for a vacation. The public schools here are out 14 full weeks, surely there is one week you can find in those 14 that will work. If it is worth it to their education, it is worth the effort to save the money for the extra cost by not going during a non-peak week.
As a former teacher, I couldn't agree wiyh you more. Who is going to present the educational concepts missed because of family vacations? Will the parents teach long division, chemical concepts, or the critical thinking, reading, and written expression in one of Shakespeare's plays? I sincerely doubt it.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:01 PM   #70
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I homeschool for many reasons. One of them is to avoid the non-learning aspects of brick&mortar school. Like the schedule stuff. I've experienced amazing things with DS...like when we've been sick for two weeks and one of us can't learn then the other can't teach (or vice versa)...he often has a HUGE leap in understanding without doing any sort of learning. He'll be struggling with something...math, reading, whatever, and suddenly he just GETS it, without any purposeful teaching or learning. Amazing. So I personally believe that a week off can be amazing. We are using our upcoming cruise AS a big part of DS's education right now. Researching San Juan and St Maarten's history. Researching Florida history. (we're going to focus on the shared history of San Juan and Florida...namely, Ponce de Leon, just as a place to "start") Looking at population, language, how people live, government (the French/Dutch aspect of St M is so cool!) etc. Gracious, it's amazing the educational things you realize you're experiencing when even just planning a vacation! And then getting to BE there? Why do you think it's so traditional of schools to have 8th graders go to DC for a week? Because BEING THERE is so good for learning. Hands on museums and places like Williamsburg can bring home the book-learning like nothing else. If travel is valued when it's a school field trip, it's silly to think it's not of value just because a parent does it. Thinking that sitting in a room for 6+ hours a day with an educator is the same thing as actively learning for 6+ hours is delusional as well. I think that most of us here went to school, and when we're honest with ourselves we can take the number of hours of actual LEARNING way down from that. If we truly learned during that whole time, homework wouldn't be necessary at all. Why not? Plenty of teachers offer them, I've learned from thousands of threads on this site. And shouldn't they be made up already? Or do teachers make up their next day's stuff the night before, even if they have taught the same grades/subjects for years? That seems more complicated than having them worked out beforehand. I think maybe you guys are taking "will s/he miss anything important" a bit too seriously. They want to know what is being covered; that's how they are asking. If that's the week long division will be discussed, that's a big one. In my own experience it was worlds harder than even the most complicated multiplication. If that's what is being discussed, I know I would want to know. I know that here at home some days/weeks we're discussing really hard subjects, and other days it's all pretty easy. Not everything is hard. And we sure had enough "let's just watch a movie" days in school for me to know that there ARE some days where nothing at all academic is learned in school....
I love your response. Professional educators more than anyone else should know the amount of wasted time in every school day. We also home school for a variety of reasons and one of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can take vacations whenever you like.
One other point. I hear some posters saying you should just save "a little" longer so that you can go during peek season. Well, as someone who only goes every three years and still barely can afford to go off season. That isn't always an option. We would have to go once every six years to make that happen. So my kids would get to go on vacation twice between birth and eighteen?
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:47 AM   #71
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No disrespect, but I have never understood why it is necessary to take kids out of school for a vacation. The public schools here are out 14 full weeks, surely there is one week you can find in those 14 that will work. If it is worth it to their education, it is worth the effort to save the money for the extra cost by not going during a non-peak week.
I don't think that missing one week is an educational sacrifice.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:49 AM   #72
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Yep. It's so easy for those with a regular 9-5 office job to forget that many professions require off peak travel (Most notably, those who make your peak season travel possible)!
Word.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:11 AM   #73
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I am probably going to get flamed for this but here it goes. I am not sure where we draw the line on these types of conversations. I have seen numerous conversations about "how dare people (XXX) because it is against the rules". This can be applied to, but is not limited to, the following...

1. Shorts in the dining rooms
2. Seat saving at the shows
3. Deck chair saving
4. Etc.

I have read people complaining about how dare "this person" do "that" because it is against the rules. Now here we are talking about taking children out of the education system to take an "educational" vacation. In many locations, missing school for an unexcused absence is called Truancy and is a crime in many areas. Last time I checked a vacation is not an excused absence. It is just against the rules/ laws. Saying the rules do not apply to you so that you can take a cheaper "educational" vacation is really a stretch. Is the value of the vacation to your child's education any greater during the school year than it would be during the more expensive vacation season? Honestly, I would love to hear what is so educational about taking a vacation cruise and visiting tourist areas. Really, please enlighten me.

Now that said, I am are that there is no one on this particular thread would ever have complained about anything that I mentioned above because we can see past these minor "restrictions" that we call rules and do not see the need to worry with them. I am sure that none of us will ever complain either when we book a veranda and a smoker lights up next to us. After all, they are choosing to "flex" the rules because they are inconvenient to them, so it is all good there also.

Sure my wife is going to boot me for posting this, but I just needed to say it.
I am fairly certain that an excused absence is one for which the school is given prior notice, or for which contact has been made by a parent or guardian (calling in sick).
As long as your child is not falling behind, these are not an issue.

Unexcused absences are cases in which a student does not show up, with no reason or parental contact. These are an issue, counted per year.

Truancy is an instance where a child is found skipping school, generally by a Truancy Officer.

Taking your child on vacation is not a crime. It is ridiculous to suggest as much.

But most importantly, the school does not supercede the parent. Parents make personally decisions for their families - decisions that MAY be explained to the school as a courtesy.
YOU are in charge of how you raise your child, not your local school.

It's no wonder that homeschooling is on such an upswing, with the way schools behave as if they know what is better for your child than you do.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:26 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by neg58

I was saying that you could make anything educational if you wanted to - vacation to Europe, deer hunting, watching TV. I don't think the schools should get into a position of deciding if Bobby can miss school for a trip to WDW that is 'education' while Susie can't just go to the beach with her family or even just stay home for family time.

I disagree that it is always the parents' right to decide. You can decide to put your kids in the public school, or a charter school, or a private school, or home school, but once you decide which school, you need to follow those rules. Many states such as Texas and California and Florida, have strict rules about missing school and what counts as an excused absence, even with parents' permission. In Florida, once my kids miss 10 days of school for any reason, excused or unexcused, every absence requires a doctor's note. After 15 absences, you can't get credit for that course. Even if you were sick, even if all absences were legit. You can dis-enroll from the school and then re-enroll, but if you do that you may not be allowed back into the same school, the same courses, the same programs (gift, school of the arts, honors courses, etc.). If you don't properly register for home schooling, you aren't in a school. They work with people who need special accommodations like home tutoring for being sick, but you have to go into that program. You think 'oh, 15 days, we'd never be gone 15 days!' but if someone is gone for a week (5-6), then gets sick and misses 4 days, and there was that long weekend at the beginning of the year - suddenly you are at 10 and having to verify every missed hour. You get to 10 awfully fast, and then 15 is right around the corner.

I think having 3rd graders hold hands to show how big a whale is is a very cleaver teaching tool. If a 3rd grader sees a whale, he can say "it was very big" but those who held hands can say "it's as big as 15 kids holding hands".

I'm still mad that tomorrow is a school day and my kids are telling me that so many kids are missing the teachers aren't going to teach anything, hinting that they'd like to stay home too. Nope, it's a school day and they have to go.

Nancy
This is not a statewide policy. I too lice in FL and am parent to a HS Sr. In 12 years of both public and charter schooling, this has never been the case.
My DS and BIL havs taught in FL for over a decade and can concur.

Im sorry that you have been misinformed by your school or your district.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:33 AM   #75
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As a former teacher, I couldn't agree wiyh you more. Who is going to present the educational concepts missed because of family vacations? Will the parents teach long division, chemical concepts, or the critical thinking, reading, and written expression in one of Shakespeare's plays? I sincerely doubt it.
Id be very concerned if only one week is given to these conceps, and missing that week means that concept is never offered again.
There are multiple avenues by which to learn said concepts during, before, or after an absence.
To suggest otherwise is a little excessive IMO.

Who will present them?
The textbook, the internet, online curriculum, prepared work from the teacher, or the parent.
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