Taking children out of school: do you send a note?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by MSWint, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. MSWint

    MSWint DIS Veteran

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    For those of you that take your children out of school for a Cruise (or any vacation for that matter), do you normally send a note (or email) to your childs teachers? If so, what do you normally say in said note?

    We will be taking DD11 out of school for 2 1/2 days (picking up from school at around noon on a Wednesday) for our upcoming 2 Days in Disney and then DCL (she has the following week off from school, Fall Break). We don't normally take her out of school for that long, usually just for a half day on a Friday, but this time she will be out for 2 and a half days. We want to be sure that her teachers know why ... what should we tell them?
     
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  3. wifeofgrumpy

    wifeofgrumpy Mouseketeer

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    We are getting ready to take our daughter out for a week cruise, she is in 6th grade and I think this will be the last year we can do that w/o her getting behind. I have done this twice before for week cruises. Normally I go to the school and actually talk to the principal and her teacher, I've already talked to her teacher for our October cruise, but am dragging my feet w/ the principal talk. Schools normally do not approve, but my daughter is a straight A student and I figure she's seeing alot of things that children in our small school don't get the chance to see. We normally get her work for the week and do it while we're away.
     
  4. patsal

    patsal <font color=FF3399>I've discovered I don't need to

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    Some schools have policies for requesting vacation while others won't really mind for such a short amount of time. Let you school or teacher(s) know as soon as possible so that they can give the work ahead of time and your child will be up to speed with the other children and know if there are going to be any tests given while away that your child will have to make up ASAP in order to be prepared. Occasionallly if the child is going to be out and they know ahead of time the test can be given before they leave. Remember all vacation time absances are considered illegal absances so be prepared for that to show on the report card/transcript.
     
  5. Perrier

    Perrier Mouseketeer

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    ( Hey wifeofgrumpy, we're neighbors! I'm in southwest MO! :wave2: )

    I took my twins out last year for a week at WDW, & we're doing it again this year for the cruise. I'm always nervous about what the teachers will say, or if they'll make an issue out of it. But so far, I've just advised the teachers in person (& then reminded them w/a note) & no problems. The teachers sent work home w/us b/f we left & more after we got home. In fact, my son's teacher thought it was fantastic they he was getting to go on a trip, & both my kids wrote in their journals & then had a chance to share stories w/the class when they returned.

    I still waffle on whether I should take them out of school, but will probably continue to do so in elementary.

    Now a friend of mine, on the other hand, who's twins go to a different school, had to write a formal letter to the Principal & litterly plead her cause to get her kids' absence excused for a vacation.

    Somewhere on one of the parks boards is a letter that someone wrote to the school & shared w/everyone; I think it's a sticky.
     
  6. iloveokw

    iloveokw DIS Veteran

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    Our school district has an official form you have to fill out and turn in at least 2 weeks ahead of time. Then I would also write a personal note to each teacher asking for assignments and have my daughter take it to school a week ahead of time. I never had any problems, but some schools really frown on absences. :thumbsup2
     
  7. StinkerbellsMom

    StinkerbellsMom DIS Student & Worshiper

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    We were just having this discussion today. Actually, for a few days now ... we are scheduled to leave on the Nov 25th cruise for 4 nights. A trip that is truly a dream come true! We have been aching to do DCL for ages but they were always so expensive. This year, I was beyond thrilled to find a Verandah Cat 4 room for the 5 of us for just over $3K and jumped on it! I seriously thought it was the week of Thanksgiving and figured the girls would only miss 2 days of school since they are off Wed., Thurs., Fri. for Thanksgiving. WELL, Thanksgiving is NOT the week we are going -- DUH on me -- we will be leaving the week AFTER Thanksgiving. So, in order to cruise, we'd have to take them out of school for a whole week. In the past, we have taken them out and it was really no big deal since the 3 of them are A Students and have a great work ethic and finish assignments easily and quickly. But this year I am afraid to take them out because the older two are now in 7th and 10th grade -- Algebra and Geometry - not easy subjects to get caught up with if you miss a week, kwim. Then of course there is American History and French. It just won't be the same if they miss an actual week of instruction!

    I am beyond devastated that we will likely have to cancel this trip!! I am just so afraid to take them out of school for a week at this age. My 3rd grader will be fine, she's got the readin', writin', rithmetic type of learning LOL I am so sad. We are at the 80 day mark and I must make a decision NOW or risk losing my money! Not to mention the fact that I have sat on this so long that I haven't even gotten my passport yet! I think I was secretly sabotaging myself by NOT obtaining passports sooner. Oh yeah, and my oldest is also gearing up for the NYS Regents! So she really has to kind of be around I guess.

    My kids are going to be crushed. *I am crushed. Would you cancel? Should I just take the chance and go anyway? I am making myself crazy over this. Anyone ever pull them out with a similar situation? I am not sure how the HS teachers would react or the Middle School Teachers either. I know our elementary school teachers would be fine with it and give me work to take with us if need be. But the older girls may actually fall behind (especially in Math because one really should be present for new concepts, lessons, etc - not the same when you read it from a book, kwim). I wish I could decide what to do already - I'm stumped! Any pearls of wisdom out there?
     
  8. love2travel

    love2travel DIS Veteran

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    I just write a letter to the school and the teacher stating that my DD will be absent due to a family vacation. Nothing else.
     
  9. Perrier

    Perrier Mouseketeer

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    Stinkerbellsmom, my kids are still in elementary, so I don't have first hand experience, but I wouldn't take them out. You already said your daughters would likely fall behind. I would cancel now, get your $ back, & search for a different time to rebook. What about Spring Break, Easter Break? Any time in their calendar where they'd only miss 1-2 days?

    Also, have you discussed it w/them? How do they feel about having to make up all that work? Algebra, French, etc. is NOT elementary work.

    I know some will disagree w/me. But it sounds like from your post that you know you probably shouldn't go, you're just wanting someone else to tell you so. JMO. :goodvibes I imagine what a difficult decision it must be!

    I have taken mine out, but that will stop once they're out of lower elementary.
     
  10. graysm

    graysm Mouseketeer

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    The teachers used to give the kids homework to do while we were on vacation, but due to recent changes in the school's policy, they have to make up all their work when we get back from vacation.

    I send a note to the school about a week or week and a half before our vacation. The teachers already know before they get the note because the kids are usually so excited about it they're talking up a storm. I generally send a note to each homeroom teach and the principal.
     
  11. Mom24Princesses

    Mom24Princesses DIS Veteran

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    Every system has a different policy. You may be able to check on-line. I teach in one and DDs attend another. AT MINE, it is no problem. Write a letter to the principal at least 2 weeks in advance and to the teacher. If I were the teacher, with enough notice, I could get most work ahead of time.

    DDs system is a little stricter, ESP High School!!! My oldest DD would NEVER let us. She can exempt 2 exams with less than 3 days out and a 94 in the class.
     
  12. StinkerbellsMom

    StinkerbellsMom DIS Student & Worshiper

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    You're right - I am kind of looking for someone to 'justify it' for me! ;) LOL I have asked them about falling behind and one feels she will do just fine (the 7th grader), but my HS girl is a little apprehensive. School work generally comes naturally to them, but she is a bit weary about the upcoming Regents she will have to take. They are rarely absent and so I am not too concerned about that aspect of it (a certain amount of absences can mean automatic fail), but like I said, the instructional time is what makes me worry. It was so much easier when they were younger!!! They are going to be so bummed out! I have looked into other times of the year, but they are more "Peak" times and are double what we paid. So sad, so sad ... I probably will end up cancelling after all ::sigh:: :confused3
     
  13. fldisneymommyto2

    fldisneymommyto2 Mouseketeer

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    My DD is only in 1st grade, but I addressed it as an "educational experience"... I mean she is leaving the country... isn't that an experience in itself!! But she is an awesome student and way above grade level, so I am not worried. I am also a teacher, even though I am not working anymore, I know that she will be just fine. Our schools policy is that if she is given any work that she is going to miss, she must turn it in the first day back. If she was in high school and it would affect her more, I would reconsider.
     
  14. Selket

    Selket <font color=blue>Yes I AM being whiney about not g

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    My kids aren't out of elementary school yet but I think you should just take the bull by the horns at this point. Talk to the teachers/school or whomever you need to talk to and see what the deal is. I wouldn't give up on the trip without investigating all your options....especially if your kids are excited about it. It might make them do worse to miss a highly anticipated trip than to take it.

    I wonder if getting a tutor to help them make up the missed work in some subjects (like math) would help. Could one of those "learning center" type places fill the gap? Of course that would cost more money but it might be worth looking into. The worst that can happen is that you reschedule!:goodvibes
     
  15. crissichef

    crissichef DIS Veteran

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    I think every school district is different. Ours in PA allows you to take your children out for 5 days per school year (all at once) for an "Educational Trip." You have to fill out a form 5 days in advance. Basically it is just a technicality and they will approve anything as long as it is only 5 days or less.

    We are taking our DD9 who will be 10 out of 5th grade next year.........probably the last time we will be able to get away with it!

    Good luck !
     
  16. atinkerbellmom

    atinkerbellmom DIS Veteran

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    FLDISNEYMOMMYto2 & STinkerbellsMom- Tell the teachers you are going on a trip, it is out of the country and ask what you need to do to make sure it is not a truancy issue. JUST DO IT. You do not need to go into details. We just announced to my kids teachers today. Grant it, I used the "wee booked the trip last year based on last years Spring Break, it is not my fault you guys swithced the date." I have to explain to you, I fire under all of my friends whom take kids out for vacation and saw that this trip, I save 3 thousand $$ if I go the week we are going and have decided to invest that into college funds:lmao: . My principal said, if it is out of the country, I say it is fine because they gain so much more than they ever can in a classroom. She then went on to say, how many adults do not even understand the passport thing or customs? You are making rounded adults she says. Even the dining exsperience is different and full of knowledge. She went on to say, it is good you can afford to buy culture. I then added, plus I'm teaching my DD how to deal with her allergies on another country's ground. Different goverments. So, just speak to the teacher and see what needs to be done. Leave out the "Disney" part and let that slip out when they return. Plus you have to use those pillowcases:banana: .
     
  17. jsfein

    jsfein Mouseketeer

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  18. fldisneymommyto2

    fldisneymommyto2 Mouseketeer

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    Oh I have already had Karley's absences approved!! I told them we were going on a cruise... with another family in the same school!! No Problem!! I totally agree with the principal... so many people never experience leaving the country. This will be Karley's 3rd time.
    We are taking her out for 2 days. We originally were going to leave her in on Thursday till 12 so that it would count as a full day, but then decided to pull her out for the whole day and get to the port as early as possible!! I want to enjoy the ship as long as we can...LOL
    And we can't wait to get the pillowcases done!!! But I have got to learn how to use photobucket so I can upload pics to the DIS!
     
  19. MississippiMom

    MississippiMom Mouseketeer

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    Our girls attend private school, and this is the first year that the handbook contains a section about travel during school time. We happened to have traveled twice last school year - one WDW trip and one NCL cruise - and the girls missed four days of school for each trip. They had a lot of classmates that traveled also. I suspect that the administration (and/or the teachers) had a bit much of the travel related absences and decided to address it this year.

    We have a September 2008 cruise booked during a week that the students have historically only had three days of school, but I have no way of knowing if that will be the case next school year. This year our Christmas break starts later and runs longer than in the past, and Spring Break is all weird, and the year before, we were short-changed during Christmas break, but had a ton of three day weekends, all over the calendar. The inconsistencies from year to year make it incredibly difficult to plan any travel in advance. IMHO, if you already have a cruise booked during the school year, just take it. It isn't like most of us have the next couple of years or more of school calendars in front of us, even though, for many cruise lines, we can plan a trip out to 2009.
     
  20. Hobbitmomma

    Hobbitmomma Frodo Lives

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    I think you should postpone your trip until the girls have a break from school. It's particularly important for your high schooler. They will of course be disappointed, but your oldest sounds like she is worried about missing school anyway. Try to reschedule for winter or spring break.
     
  21. professorandmom

    professorandmom <font color=green>I was on the beach without going

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    Every school is very very different. My children attended a private school several years ago. One of the moms got breast cancer. Everyone rallied around her. School had special prayer vigils etc. Very emotional.

    6 mo later the chemo was done and her family decided to take a two week family vacation - one week was spring break and one additional week. The school went ballistic - told her if she took out her kids (5th grade and lower) they would be assigned zeros on every assignment missed

    huh? How about some common sense?

    Barb
     

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