Taking kids of out school in Texas to cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by catislander, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. catislander

    catislander Mouseketeer

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    I'm hoping cruisers with school-age kids in Texas can help me. We currently live in Southern California. Eight months ago, after talking with my daughter's current teacher (who she would most likely have for the next year as well) we booked the two-week Hawaiian cruise for October. Our plans were to do what's called a "contract" where the student does assigned work during the missed time. That way the school gets the money for the student and the student doesn't get too far behind. Our daugther's teacher was excited for us.
    Now, due to some changes in life, we're talking about moving to Texas. This was a planned move, it's just happening sooner than planned.
    I wanted to know from anyone with experience taking their kids out of school in Texas if the situation will be any different. Do Texas schools offer contracts? Do teachers frown on family vacations during the school year? Should I just home school my daughter for the next school year (sarcasm, I think)?
    For what it's worth, my daughter will be in second grade and is an excellent student who works well independently.
     
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  3. tiggergirlsmom

    tiggergirlsmom Earning My Ears

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    This is from our school's website. "The Texas Education Section Code §25.092 requires that a student is to be in attendance at least 90% of the days that a class is offered in order to receive credit for the class. Nine absences or more per semester exceeds the 90% attendance requirement." I have never heard of schools in Texas allowing students to do a contract in order to go on a family trip, but your best bet if to contact the school that she would be attending directly and see what they say.
     
  4. crbruce_us

    crbruce_us AKV and BLT are our vacation homes!

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    Where in Texas? It really depends on the school and school district. I 've never heard of a contract. I can't take my high schooler out because it's an unexcussed absence. Also, she can skip finals if she doesn't miss more than 3 days for the semester.

    In elementary school in the same school disrtict she could skip a day or two for vacation without getting in trouble, but no more. Two weeks is a very, very long time. She would miss a lot.
     
  5. Sarasein

    Sarasein Mouseketeer

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    I don't think you can miss that much. I am pulling my girls out for 5 days. It will be unexcused. My friend told me they will call the house each night they miss, but not to worry about it. We are going on a 8 night cruise. It is over the MLK holiday, so they won't miss as much school.

    My girls are also excellent students (2nd & 4th). I am planning to get their work and let them do it on the drive down. I also am planning to have journals for them to write in while we are gone.
     
  6. crbruce_us

    crbruce_us AKV and BLT are our vacation homes!

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    You are correct. Taking her out for 10 days for a vacation wouldn't leave any sick days for her. I remember my DD was sick a lot in first grade and missed a lot of school. We got a letter stating she may fail if she missed more. Fortunately she stayed well enough to complete the year without a problem.
     
  7. texas68

    texas68 Earning My Ears

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    I think it will depend somewhat on which school district you will be in. We live in Houston -- a few years ago we took my daughter out for a week in 2nd grade to go to WDW; she took work with her and it worked out fine. But we are now in a different district, and it would be harder to miss a week. I think missing 2 weeks would be out of the question in any district. As far as I know, there is no equivalent to the contract you had in California.
    Hope it works out and you have a great trip!
     
  8. Sarasein

    Sarasein Mouseketeer

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    oops, posted 2 times
     
  9. TexasGirl

    TexasGirl DIS Veteran

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    We live in Tecas a have been in your shoes. I have a possible solution.

    What our elementary school recommended and what we successfully did was unenroll her from school, and upon our return, re-enroll her.... And home school her during the trip.

    This would never have crossed our mind but the school office recommended it.

    You would of course need to talk to your specific school. This way there were zero unexcussed absences. They held her file and re enrolled her the mOrnIng we returned. Quick and easy.


    Good luck!
     
  10. catislander

    catislander Mouseketeer

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    TexasGirl that sounds like a great option. We really don't want to have to give up this trip and we do A LOT to supplement her education already. The community where we live now is tourist driven and summer is the high season so the school is used to parents who need to find other ways to vacation. We're just trying to weigh all the options at this point.
    I know I'll need to call the school district and talk with them about it. It's Wimberley ISD.
     
  11. kmcford

    kmcford Mouseketeer

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    I'm not in Texas but as a teacher I say family time trumps school on special occasions. As long as the school won't fail her I say don't worry. Yes, the school will frown but we have kids who go to China, India, Guatemala for extended periods all the time. We do withdraw them so that it does not hurt the schools attendance rates. just explain the trip was planned long before you guys transferred there.
     
  12. Pwac

    Pwac Mouseketeer

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    I live in Texas but my children aren't in public school so I don't have direct experience. However, my SIL wanted to travel with her son to Greece and her public school here told her the same as the PP--unenroll for the trip and then re-enroll when you get back. It sounds like a great trip and I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.
     
  13. TXDCLfan

    TXDCLfan Other cruise lines did it first, Disney did it rig

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    Our daughter has always gone to private school and have always been able to take her out and as long as she completes the work they do not count it against her attendance:thumbsup2
     
  14. ilovetexas

    ilovetexas DIS Veteran

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    You might have been being sarcastic, but that is exactly what I would do, if I could. Texas laws are pretty strict when it comes to attendance. I'm sure they can be enforced or not, depending on the administrator and the student. I'm not sure I would leave that to chance. If, after explaining the situation to the school principal, you can't get IN WRITING, that it's okay to have your daughter out of school for two weeks; homeschool her for the first half of the year.

    You could be proactive and have a "plan" for her learning while on the cruise. Manners and etiquette while dining in a restaurant, exchange of money for purchases, history and culture of Hawaii, physical education daily (swimming, and whatever else the kids that age do on ships), art classes, time management (gotta make it to all those activities and movies!), experience with regional cuisine (eat some poi, YUCK!), visiting world famous sites (Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Punchbowl, etc.), seeing an active volcano. There are too many to list and perhaps the school administrator would find it easily justifiable to let her go.

    The idea that a 2nd grader would actually learn more in public school than she could on a two week vacation is nonsense. I'm still mad that my husband won't allow me to homeschool our kids. I wish you luck!
     
  15. KBT35

    KBT35 Mouseketeer

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    Our trip isn't nearly as long as yours but I did check with his principal and teacher at the beginning of the school year to get approval. His school is EXTREMELY pro family and encourages vacations. I did plan for our trip to be towards the end of the year and AFTER standardized testing. May for us is a "throw away" month per the principal as its the last month of our school year. The principal & teacher agreed that so long as he journals his experience and shares it with the class it would be deemed an excused absence! :cool1: He LOVES to write about our trips so this will be easy for him! His teacher also offered extra credit if he took pictures of different angles for math!! He's a straight A student so he doesn't need the extra credit but I think it will be a cool activity for him!
    All that said our trip is a total surprise for him & his teacher is in on it!! ;)

    Also as for OP saying contract it sounds like she may be in a private school situation...so definitely check with your school for specific guidance.
     
  16. Mickeyhugger

    Mickeyhugger DIS Veteran

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    Where do I sign my daughter for these classes?:thumbsup2 Manners and etiquette? Do some people even know what those ARE anymore?:sad2:
     
  17. LoriABil

    LoriABil DIS Veteran

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    Off Topic Rant: This is so frustrating to me! Kids can't get out of school for family time, even though the experiences the child would gain might be far more educational than doing worksheets while staring at the same 4 walls. Some school districts (speaking for TX here) only care about money. If the student isn't in class, the school doesn't get state funding.

    Meanwhile, the kid in the next row can sleep through class, not turn in homework, and fail tests, yet the teachers have to find a way to pass them (per administrators). It is a messed up system. And it's almost every school district in the state.

    Sorry, bad day. Student cheated on test, but I can't fail her. OP, TX does not do contracts that I've heard of, but I live the idea and think that if your teacher/admin gives you a hard time, you should counter with that idea.
     
  18. Golden Rose

    Golden Rose Princess by Choice

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    Let me second that some Texas schools are super strict. I think there must be something that decreases their funding if kids miss school. I have a friend who was told that if her kids missed any more school, the school would call CPS on them. This was after she took her kids out for a single week to go to WDW. The kids in question were 4 and 6! I have another friend whose daughter was trapped overseas by the volcanic ash filling the air limiting flights back to the US, and the straight A student was almost flunked from her middle school class, and was not permitted to make up the work she missed, which seriously harmed her grades. (Two different Tx school districts, both completely unsympathetic to family vacations.)

    We do a lot of vacations, usually a mix of during the summer and during the school year. Our son is at a private school that has been tremendously supportive of families who chose to take family vacations during the school year. We're lucky; a lot of private schools are equally unsympathetic.

    Good luck with your chosen school, and don't be afraid to find creative solutions (like temporarily unenrolling) to allow your child to explore the world with you.
     
  19. hood98

    hood98 Earning My Ears

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    We are also booked on this cruise in October. We are not in Texas, but our state (NV) has the same rule about only allowing 10 days of unexcused absences (no limit on excused absences). I am a bit stressed about my kids missing school (7th & 4th grade next year) but my husband is less so.
    I do agree that family time is very important and once my oldest is in high school and then college, missing school will not be an option. This experience will be always remembered and we can work to make it educational by journaling and learning about the islands we visit... something that cannot be replicated in the classroom.
     
  20. Jaxs27

    Jaxs27 Mouseketeer

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    We live in Texas and we took our kids out last year for 5 days and we are also taking them out this year, in May for 5 days. Luckily my kids have only missed 1 unexcused absence this year. I will write a letter to the school and then tell their teachers. Last year their teachers were totally nice about it and didn't want them to do work while on the trip. Hopefully the teachers will be as nice this year. I figure we can only do this while they are in elementary school, but after that probably not.
     
  21. wdw_monster

    wdw_monster Mouseketeer

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    i'm down here in san antonio and u can only miss 9 unexused days before they send u to court. i've had to go plenty times when i was in school lol i even got court ordered to go to ged classes. i have custody of my younger bro and when he was 7 i had to pay a fine cuz he missed 10 days. so be careful. with that said i only take him out of school no more then 5 days a year
     

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