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Old 07-16-2014, 03:10 PM   #31
Toadlover
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Who has gone during Spring break? This is our other option, and then tacking on 3 or so days. That way they wouldn't miss that much, be more likely to get the time approved and not get that behind. Three days is much more manageable than 10. It would be more crowded than in February, though.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:18 PM   #32
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Who has gone during Spring break? This is our other option, and then tacking on 3 or so days. That way they wouldn't miss that much, be more likely to get the time approved and not get that behind. Three days is much more manageable than 10. It would be more crowded than in February, though.
Depends on what you mean by "spring break." This term seems to refer to about a 6 week period from the beginning of March until the middle of April. We have been during the beginning of March (started on Mar 5) and it wasn't bad; it was actually better than the year we went in February, during Feb. school vacation (usually the 3rd week of Feb. here in the Northeast).
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:26 PM   #33
Kristine316
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I took my teenage sons out of school back in 2011 for about a week to go to WDW.

They went to a private school and I volunteered at the school and had the school's approval on it. Since I volunteered at the school I was able to make arrangements with all of their teachers to have the homework done before we even left. The school was very supportive and it was common to have students miss school for various reasons through out the year.

So.. far be it for me to judge anyone for taking their kids out of school for vacation.

However... My cousin is a middle school teacher and has made me rethink this issue. She was just aghast when I took my sons out of school to go to WDW.
She says that even the smartest kids in her class struggle at least a little to make up work they miss when they are absent. She also says every parent thinks their kid is a great student and it won't hurt them at all but, in reality missing an extended amount of school does hurt in one way or the other.
She told me that I was selfish for going during the school year because I wanted to avoid the summer crowds or holiday crowds. I am not judging anyone here but, simply admitting that she was right about me.. I was looking for low crowd times of the year at WDW and that meant going during the school year. I still think though that I made a good decision for the most part. We had an amazing trip and the crowds were minimal. Those are memories I wouldn't trade for anything. Both my sons said they loved the trip but, did admit later that it wasn't that easy doing all the extra homework before we left. They would have been happy going in the summer or Christmas they admitted to me later... but, they have never been to WDW during high crowd times, I wonder if they would truly feel that way if they experienced it?

Clearly, my cousin has a very strong opinion about this issue and since she deals with it frequently and sees first hand the consequences, I respect her opinion.

I have read on this forum though other teachers who do not have an issue with it. So.. I think it all just boils down to personal choice for your family and of course what your local school district thinks about it, because ultimately they will have the last word on it.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:27 PM   #34
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I'm a teacher too and this is the part where I am supposed to tell you that their education is being interrupted and blah blah blah...TAKE THEM! You never get this time back and I promise you the memories you make on your vacation will outlast ANY being made in a math or history class!
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:28 PM   #35
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For us this time we are missing the last four days before Christmas break, and so doubt even in 8th grade DD is going to miss much...for the last couple of years that week has been little more than trying to keep them in their seats before the holiday. Think the teachers were trying to wrap up all grades before the break so there were no assignments at all, no home work, no tests...they showed movies in most classes, with stretching the credibility of them being on subject.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:35 PM   #36
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If your school system will work with you and your kids can handle the make-up work, then go have fun. I do think the suggestion of scheduling before a break is a good idea. As a former teacher, I know very little is happening a few days before a break because kids start missing for vacations, etc.

My DH is very much against kids missing school, but I don't feel the same. However, we don't need to remove our kids because we get a fall break in October that works for us.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:46 PM   #37
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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 have two daughters - one is going into 2nd grade, and one is going into 5th grade. We have pulled them both for a week for Disney every since my the year my oldest started kindergarten. We keep saying it's the last year we're going to do it, but I'm starting to think we might be able to pull it off through middle school. We'll see how this year goes.

What we do is pull them for that last week before winter break (so this year we'll be at WDW 12/13-12/20). It's our FAVORITE time to visit WDW. Also, there are so many holiday parties, field trips, and fluff activities that last week, that I have found my girls really don't miss THAT much work. I make sure both of them have their reading goals met in advance. I do ask to have any tests taken in advance -because a previous poster is right about the end of the quarter. Grades need to be turned in, so you can't really make up that work when you return. So far it hasn't been a problem. Last year my daughter just skipped PE for a few days before we left and took her tests during that time.

Our district only allows 10 absences - regardless of whether they are excused or unexcused - before you are considered truant. I'm lucky in that both of my daughters' principals have excused the vacations every year, but they do still count towards the 10. We do it anyway and just try very hard not to take very many other days off.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:52 PM   #38
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Take 'em out! If they're in elementary school they'll be fine. A week in Disney World will do more good than another week in school. They'll make up the work in no time!

I got taken out twice when I was a kid. They were the two best weeks of my life. And I only got held back once!
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:52 PM   #39
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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 totally agree. I used to pull my kids every year for 5-8 school days every year without question.

Now that DS is in high school there is no way I could do that. His classes move way too fast and it would take him forever if ever to catch up.
His GPA is way more important now than vacations.

Our vacation is now the week before school starts
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:58 PM   #40
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IMO life is too short and we are so busy in our every day lives that taking time to enjoy it with family and friends shouldn't be an issue.

Having said that, I think you should be responsible about it. We are taking our kids out for 7 school days in September and notified the principal and their upcoming teachers back in May and reminded them again this week.

We also told our kids to be prepared for the avalanche of homework (as the price for the trip).

No one from the school has raised an issue about it and for that we are glad.

Good luck to all those who do this.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:22 PM   #41
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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.
This is very true. You can also catch something in WDW (especially during flu season) and then if you pulled them out to go on the trip, you're looking at even more consecutive days missed when you come home and then have to recover. I know this because it happened to us...twice. Not fun!
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:25 PM   #42
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I am also a teacher. I have students every year that take vacations during the school year. Some of them are just fine and some well, not so much. I think it would depend on what kind of student you have. I can take one of my kids out no problem, but one of my other children couldn't handle all the makeup work.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:28 PM   #43
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Make sure you check with your school district to find out if: 1) vacations count as unexcused absences or 2) there is a maximum on the number of absences a child can accumulate before penalties are applied. Especially if you are considering an extended absence of longer than a week for a vacation.

You have 2 kids in high school. Be sure they can miss that much work.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:34 PM   #44
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How does your 12th grader feel about this? Are they in AP classes? How will it affect their graduation?

A lot of parents here seem to feel that, once they get out of elementary school, it's really tough to pull them out of school. Also, what sort of extra curriculars are you children involved in? When is state testing?
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:41 PM   #45
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As a teacher and mother of two- I say take them out and have a fantastic time as a family.
I would in a heartbeat.
I can't leave my job during the school year- and they need to learn why- but they have time to learn about that.
When the are young- seize the opportunity - there is so much to learn at wdw from social skills, geography, history, math- and it's fun.
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