I went to DD8's curriculum meeting at school last night, and the principal broke the bad news. The school social worker will be notified if any child misses two days of school unexcused. After four days of unexcused absences, parents will be notified of the violation of the General Compulsory School Attendance Law (or something like that). After five unexcused days, Juvenile Court will be notified! Family trips are unexcused, and there is no provision for "excused for educational purposes". Well, I had to fess up to the principal that DD is going to miss two days for our Wonder Cruise in October, but it is paid in full and was booked before the change. She understood and probably won't send me to jail! I learned that DD's school, which is an Honor School of Excellence with High Growth (highest category in NC public schools) almost missed its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goal for attendance, even though 95% of the students showed proficiency at grade level. They made the attendance standard by 0.1% and would have been considered a "failing school" if they had missed AYP. It was a big wake-up call to the administration, and they are cracking down on all the trips to Disney World! Our principal did say that one fifth grader had 26 unexcused absences last year - that is a lot! I had read posts from teachers about the difficulty of meeting some of the No Child Left Behind standards, and now I understand. It makes me feel guilty that we have contributed to the problem since we love our school and are very proud of its rating. Good thing we are going to WDW for spring break, but I think we are done pulling our kids out of school. I had never given it much thought since DD's teachers always supported her trips and she always kept up with her work. I didn't post to start a debate about the merits of family trips - it was just an eye-opening experience for me last night and I didn't understand the separate emphasis on attendance if the kids were performing. Now I know, and I thought it was all very interesting!