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Old 07-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #16
Toadlover
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I'm thinking that we should see how they're doing at the time and pull the reservations if they're not doing well in school or if they've squandered their absence quota. If they're told to be on their best behavior for a Disney trip, they may just do that. My daughter got a leave of absence this past June for a church trip, but it was the end of the year, so a bit different. That's a lot of time to get through without missing school- August through February! When my daughter had to go to each teacher and ask for the time off for June, she was given good results from teachers, so that gives me some hope at least.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:27 PM   #17
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Speak to your children!

Missing a week in my high school class means making up a LOT of work. Some kids who are out for extended periods have real difficulty recovering academically.

Your kids may not be thrilled with the idea of having all that work to make up.

Also, while I personally don't, lots of teachers assign projects over breaks. You may find that your kids end up swamped if they're planning to do those projects along with the work from a missed week of classes.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:27 PM   #18
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There are way to many variables (kids, teachers, age, workload, standardized testing days, etc.) Personally, I have made a point to work WDW around DD's and my own school schedule and don't think I could pull her (or cancel my own classes) BUT my FIL is singing at the Vatican in October and we are going to Rome if I have to swim there. MIL was really nervous about pulling DD from school, but I didn't even blink. Each parent has to make the call for what is best for their own family and how to rank competing priorities.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:27 PM   #19
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Yes, definitely check with their schools. In California public schools kids are considered truant if they miss more than three days in an academic year and parents cannot excuse their children for vacations.
I think its more than that here. You have to ask for the time off and if its approved its approved. You still have to make up the work, however.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:28 PM   #20
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I know that this is mostly a question for their schools, but we are now thinking of going to WDW in February. Lighter crowds and less money. But it would mean taking the kids out of school on an extended absence. It would also mean they'd need to (probably) bring homework. (I went when I was in 9th grade [and my sister in 7th] and I had a week's worth of math to do before we went which I did in a day.)

Who else has taken their kids out of school? By the way, I should mention that my kids will be in grades 8, 10 and 12.
I did when my oldest DD was in 3rd. The school district worked with us, but my understanding is its very district specific. No problems.

Im taking her out this year too - but not for WDW for Honduras in August. Shes in 8th grade this year and its in the first month. It was supposed to be a summer trip but after we signed up and paid for the plane tickets the school district changed the start date because of a brand new state law. SO....she's going to miss a week. The school district is working with us on that too.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #21
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We may have to have homework time sometime during the day.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #22
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There's always the option of doing homework at the parks at your hotel room. Having a nap time for the grandparents be homework time for the grand kids. I just don't think that's ideal.
AP classes are a whole different ballgame. I took all AP classes in high school, and they are very difficult. Sometimes they introduce new material everyday, and it moves at an incredibly fast pace. So the student would be effectively having to self teach very difficult material at WDW.

I personally think taking elementary and even middle school kids out is no big deal. But high school may be a whole different ball game. I also would not want to do homework at WDW. I think it would take away from the magic. But that's just me.

I think the idea of going before an official school break is a great idea- that way they don't have to do HW at WDW!

I also think private schools may be more willing to work with you than public schools. As a former teacher in Texas, public schools can be a pain when it comes to this kind of stuff.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:31 PM   #23
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After missing a week of 8th grade to go to WDW, my DD put her foot down and said never again; she'd skip going to WDW before she'd miss another full week, or more, of school. She pointed out that it's NO fun to have to do a pile of challenging homework and in-class assignments while on vacation; while everyone else is relaxing at the pool or catching a nap or early bedtime, she was either doing homework or feeling guilty for NOT doing homework. She also said that although she would have the work in advance and get it done, it's not the same as being in class for the instruction- and it's no fun at all to come back to school and try to learn the material in class when you missed the prior week's work and that's what this week's builds upon.

My DD was always at the top of her class and her good grades were important to her, but she worked for them; nothing came easily. We started going to Disney in the summer (August… ugh…) because that's when she was willing to go. SHe made her decision in 8th grade, based on the work involved for her high school level classes in algebra, biology, and french; I cannot imagine how much work and stress it would have been for her to make up/keep up with her high school classes, especially with taking mostly AP and honors classes.

I am proud of her for her responsibility towards her education, and had no problem respecting her requests about not missing school. However, what really got to me was thinking about how much fun it must NOT have been, having to do homework every day while the rest of us were on vacation, resting up for the evening's activities, playing at the pool, etc. THAT as much as her dedication to her education is what made me agree to going to Disney during the heat and crowds of summer. Now that she's in college, there's a bit more flexibility with her vacation time- spring break in early March, fall break in mid-October. It's much easier to deal with the crowds now, when it's not 100+ degrees and 95% humidity like it was during all those August vacations, but I don't regret listening to DD and letting her decide to put her education first.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:35 PM   #24
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A couple of concerns I have are:

1. Even if they can make up their homework, they still miss in class instruction for those days.

2. You just never know if you will need to pull them out due to sickness. A bout with strep or the flu could have them out for days as well.

Those are my concerns, anyway. I pull mine out but only for a few days. Definitely no more than three. I'd ask people you know in the district if they have pulled out and if they the school is okay with it.

The general consensus where I live is people do pull out during elementary school, much less in middle school and almost never in high school.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:41 PM   #25
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Growing up, I never missed a day of school. Literally. I received the perfect attendance award for not missing a day from Kindergarten through senior year. It wasn't that I went to school sick. I just never got sick. Except during Thanksgiving break, anyway. It seems I always seemed to get something that week. But I digress. So I never missed school. My parents never took me out for vacations. I figured I would raise my daughter the same way. Now I'm really changing my mind. Teaching for a while helped me with that. Personally, as long as your students are strong enough academically that a week without formal instruction won't hurt them, and they are responsible enough to make up the work, I see no harm in taking them out of school for a fun family vacation. My advice is to have them do the makeup work prior to ever going on the trip, though. Have your student notify the teachers that he/she will be taking a week at Walt Disney World and the dates and have him/her ask for the assignments (I'd probably follow up as a parent, as well). The teachers should have this available or be able to get it within a day or two. Then, your child can work on it throughout the week leading up to the vacation and then just enjoy Disney without the added stress of working when he gets back to the hotel or knowing he has a mountain of makeup work waiting for him. Then again, if your child has an awesome teacher like some of my former colleagues, he or she might just get to do a short write-up on how he or she used math, English, Science, etc. on the trip, or something relating to a specific subject that your child learned. The kids seemed to enjoy those assignments the most because they got to come back to school and talk Disney.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:47 PM   #26
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Growing up, I never missed a day of school. Literally. I received the perfect attendance award for not missing a day from Kindergarten through senior year. It wasn't that I went to school sick. I just never got sick. Except during Thanksgiving break, anyway. It seems I always seemed to get something that week. But I digress. So I never missed school. My parents never took me out for vacations. I figured I would raise my daughter the same way. Now I'm really changing my mind. Teaching for a while helped me with that. Personally, as long as your students are strong enough academically that a week without formal instruction won't hurt them, and they are responsible enough to make up the work, I see no harm in taking them out of school for a fun family vacation. My advice is to have them do the makeup work prior to ever going on the trip, though. Have your student notify the teachers that he/she will be taking a week at Walt Disney World and the dates and have him/her ask for the assignments (I'd probably follow up as a parent, as well). The teachers should have this available or be able to get it within a day or two. Then, your child can work on it throughout the week leading up to the vacation and then just enjoy Disney without the added stress of working when he gets back to the hotel or knowing he has a mountain of makeup work waiting for him. Then again, if your child has an awesome teacher like some of my former colleagues, he or she might just get to do a short write-up on how he or she used math, English, Science, etc. on the trip, or something relating to a specific subject that your child learned. The kids seemed to enjoy those assignments the most because they got to come back to school and talk Disney.
Thanks!

I will have to talk with the family more about the idea of going in February. Its appealing because for one its the dead of Winter here in Michigan. Flying out to Florida is so wonderful after weeks and weeks of cold and snow. As I said before, the crowds are lighter, and the prices are cheaper as its off-season.

Thanks everyone for your responses. I will take each into consideration and share them with my other family members who are going with me.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:53 PM   #27
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I think it depends on the kid and the caseload they are carrying. My DD will be a senior this year and in AP classes. There is no way she would miss a week of school. It would be too hard to catch back up. I think I would ask each kid in private for their opinion.
I'm in the same boat. We took her out in 4th grade. Now, with multiple AP classes, there is no way we could do it and she wouldn't want the stress of having to catch up. So it really is a personal issue.

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Originally Posted by Toadlover View Post
There's always the option of doing homework at the parks at your hotel room. Having a nap time for the grandparents be homework time for the grand kids. I just don't think that's ideal.
Again, purely from our own personal experience, there is no way that she could do homework for three different AP classes while taking breaks from a Disney vacation. It would defeat the purpose of the vacation. I don't pretend that everyone would or should come out on the same side of this debate.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:01 PM   #28
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We took out our kids almost every year through DD being in 8th grade. One tip (or "never again" for us) is to NOT go right before the end of the quarter. It was very difficult for the kids to make up their homework in time to get everything graded for quarterly grades. Even though we notified teachers ahead of time, not all of them gave us the extra work ahead of time so some of it had to be done after the trip. Many late nights and tears shed as we were trying to catch them up afterwards.

I swore I'd never go in the summer but alas, we are heading out in 2 weeks because DD is starting high school, honors and AP classes, and the school swim team. There is just no way that she can miss right now, especially when she's just starting and doesn't know yet what to expect.

I also agree with PP that private schools may be more willing to work on this than public schools, but obviously every school and every state has different requirements, every kid takes different classes, and every kid is different. So I think you need to make a situational decision after talking with your kids...

Crossing my fingers that we don't melt down there!
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:05 PM   #29
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I have taken my daughter out of school for a week long Disney vacation almost every year since she was 6. I will be taking her out of school again this Fall for a Disney Cruise/ Disney World vacation. She'll be in the 8th grade this year. Family time is extremely important to me. She has always been able to make up the missed work. It would be impossible for me to get time off from work during Christmas or Easter vacation because I don't have enough seniority, and I am not willing to go during the hot summer. The times when she would be off of school would also be PACKED at Disney, so sometimes you have to pull your kids out of school. They're your children, so nobody should be able to tell you what you can or can't do as far as pulling them out of school.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:07 PM   #30
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I have taken my daughter out of school for a week long Disney vacation almost every year since she was 6. I will be taking her out of school again this Fall for a Disney Cruise/ Disney World vacation. She'll be in the 8th grade this year. Family time is extremely important to me. She has always been able to make up the missed work. It would be impossible for me to get time off from work during Christmas or Easter vacation because I don't have enough seniority, and I am not willing to go during the hot summer. The times when she would be off of school would also be PACKED at Disney, so sometimes you have to pull your kids out of school. They're your children, so nobody should be able to tell you what you can or can't do as far as pulling them out of school.
I couldn't agree more!
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