Need to write letter explaining educational value of WDW to take kids out of school

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Disneydreamer5, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Disneydreamer5

    Disneydreamer5 DIS Veteran

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    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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  3. nycegrrl

    nycegrrl "Who you callin a Disney nut? Oh. Well..yeah, duh.

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    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!
     
  4. Metsfan520

    Metsfan520 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  5. Mouse House Mama

    Mouse House Mama <font color=red>Luckiest Mommy in the World!!!<br>

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    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.
     
  6. dogodisney

    dogodisney DIS Veteran

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    I agree with the others. PLEASE don't write a letter claiming Disney is educational for your HS son.
     
  7. finallygoingtoWDW

    finallygoingtoWDW Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  8. FayeW

    FayeW DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  9. allison443

    allison443 DIS Veteran

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    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? :confused3 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?
     
  10. Hannathy

    Hannathy <font color=darkorchid>When I stop laughing I will

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    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?
     
  11. princessmom29

    princessmom29 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  12. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    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)
     
  13. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

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    A letter like that is totally inappropriate past grade school.
     
  14. eeyoremum

    eeyoremum DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  15. aestapa

    aestapa Mouseketeer

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    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!! ;)
     
  16. bjgrazi

    bjgrazi <font color=darkblue>I remember those days fondly<

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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.
     
  17. Disneydreamer5

    Disneydreamer5 DIS Veteran

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    Well first let me just say that I never thought so many people would think a letter would be a bad idea. I had seen many people posting about the education value of going to WDW so I was just thinking that would be the best way to approach the subject of being away from school for a full week.
    Secondly my son is a junior not a senior. I talked to his head coach well in advance and the week that we are going away, he will play Friday night we leave that Sunday and then they have a by week and his next game will not be until the following Saturday. While he will miss a week of practice he will not miss the week leading up to the next game. He is a staright A+ student, very well liked and respected both by his peers, his teachers and coaches. So missing a few days will not hurt him as that will possiably be the only 5 days he misses all year as this kid hardly ever stays home from school.
    As for my other children, all of their coaches for soccer and field hockey also have no issue with them missing some time for vacation (& they too get good grades.) They were made aware of us going away from day 1 of try outs so no issue there.
    As for why I am going away at this time, this is because of many factors.
    My DH can only take vacation from Sept until March. Seems easy enough but not as easy as it sounds I assure you.
    He has to get approval from his job for whatever week he picks as it goes by seniority and if there are already 4 guys that have that week he can't have it. So we played around with dates, talked to coaches, basketball coach as well and he said there was no way my son could miss anytime at all, and price and seaonal rates were also a factor as March forward is more expensive time to travel as you all probably already know.
    The point to my post was merely to see how I should best handle how to imform the school of our plans as best as we could.
    I wasn't asking for insults or remarks about my son, his position on a team or weather or not he would be able to do this or that where everyone else is from. Although it does my me a bit more grateful that I don't have to worry about his position here, if I did we wouldn't be going away.
    Thank you to everyone who simply answered my questions without the other commentary.
    I guess I will just call the school and tell them we are going to be away that week and see what they say.
     
  18. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

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    Many of us think that the "educational letter" is a little over the top even for elementary school students. But at least there they can do some basic math making change, keep a journal of their trip, identify 'countries' in Epcot they visited on a map, divide out animals in AK into herbavore, carnivore, omnivore......(I don't think most parents go this far, we've done things "like" this - we always make our kids keep a journal for instance.) High schoolers its a lot harder to get the depth of a high school classroom out of what is at Epcot - at least, not without a lot of supplimental materials. And high school ciriculums are usually more focused - i.e. they have to get basic Economic theory down - difficult to pick that up at Disney.
     
  19. amykathleen2005

    amykathleen2005 Wishing....

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    Although I don't know how educational a trip to Disney World might be, it can be a jumping off point. For Social Studies he could do an essay on the meeting of different cultures and the kinds of experiences this causes. It is kind of like a microcosm of the whole world at times, so that might be an interesting study on the clash of cultures. For Math he could do anything from as simple as plan budgets, and as advanced as figuring out the derivative of a curve one of the rides will take. For English there are many opportunities for Disney inspired writings, short stories, poems etc. Science might be hard, but if you include Physics in there he would have lots of opportunities to determine speed, velocity and the effect of gravity for many of the rides at Disney.

    All in all, if you really would like to make this an educational experience there are infinite possibilities. All of these projects could be assembled into a portfolio for credit or a supplement. He could even do it for Senior Project which many schools do.
     
  20. princessmom29

    princessmom29 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry we offended you, but if you didn't want info about football, then why include the fact that he was starting QB in the post?? It seemed that you were looking for input about missing football as well as school, and the best way to approach that.
     
  21. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

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    I agree that you shouldn't write the letter, but not b/c I don't think Disney is educational but b/c of the response you got here (the general consensus) AND the fact that it's your child and your vacation, you can go if you want! :laughing:

    I homeschool my children and we see EVERYTHING as educational. LIFE is educational, we, as human beings, are learning constantly. It's just my opinion, and I understand that many people think that only book smarts or accepted subjects are "educational" but when you homeschool you see the world with a different perspective, I guess.

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL vacation and you & your family enjoy it to the fullest...and don't worry, you'll learn stuff, all of you, even if you don't try. ;)
     

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