Pulling kids out of school for a WDW trip

sam_gordon

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Jun 26, 2010
One possible solution is to allow EVERY student a set amount of excused absence time outside of sick days. For example, if it's known that the school permits excused absences for clubs/extra curricular/sports teams to take a one-week/two-day/etc trip per school year, that same amount of time should be available for any student in that school even if they are not a member of the club. It could work similar to companies who provide vacation time to employees but also have periods of total-company shutdown. I specifically mention "outside of sick days" because it is assumed that the students who DO participate in those trips are also allowed the same number of excused absences as other students ON TOP of the sanctioned trip.
Well, of course parents now can say "Please excuse Johnny from class on Friday, because of family commitments." Don't go into detail about Disney, or "educational" trips, or Aunt Mary's funeral. But, under your policy, let's say the football team has a one day trip in August, the band three days in December, and the baseball team a week in February. Would that mean all students get 9 excused absences (1 + 3 + 5)? Should other students be required to put in the extra work (practices, meetings, whatever) that the teams/clubs put in? No, I'm not saying the practices/meetings are educational (like a school day), but you can't deny that these groups are generally putting in more than the 8a-3p school day "normal" students do.
 

Hikergirl

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Feb 28, 2016
One possible solution is to allow EVERY student a set amount of excused absence time outside of sick days. For example, if it's known that the school permits excused absences for clubs/extra curricular/sports teams to take a one-week/two-day/etc trip per school year, that same amount of time should be available for any student in that school even if they are not a member of the club. It could work similar to companies who provide vacation time to employees but also have periods of total-company shutdown. I specifically mention "outside of sick days" because it is assumed that the students who DO participate in those trips are also allowed the same number of excused absences as other students ON TOP of the sanctioned trip.
In our district there really aren't any issues with unexcused absences unless you have 10 or more in a year.
All homework is online and most kids are in constant communication with their peers so they can figure out what was missed.
School here is in session for 184 days a year, that leaves 181 days of "excused" absences.

I mentioned that our HS excuses school (specifically band) trips to Orlando. They excuse other trips as well, things like field days to the local water park, or sports club for an end of the year pool party. There has never been backlash from parents or a need to permit excused absences for everyone just because some students involved in school activities get to go on trips during the school year.

The only ones claiming that kind of stuff isn't fair are the students themselves and that is because they haven't matured enough to figure out that is how life works.
 

LSUmiss

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Sep 8, 2014
Yes, you often need some luck to succeed. However, hard work will help mitigate how much luck you need. I am interested in what @Princessclab (or yourself) would like to see happen to fix this "injustice". Should school groups not be allowed to miss school (for any reason? just not for "fun"?)? Should any student be automatically excused regardless of the reason?
I was speaking in general responding to the attitude of “life is unfair get over it”. But, just for discussion, it’s been argued that districts care about attendance b/c of $$. But, others claimed that’s not true but that it’s b/c they care about the success of the student. Well, if that’s the case, then students shouldn’t be missing for school-sanctioned events either. I’m all about calling it is what it is...missing for a wdw vacation is not a “educational” & districts mostly care about attendance b/c of $$.
 
  • siren0119

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    Sep 26, 2018
    Well, of course parents now can say "Please excuse Johnny from class on Friday, because of family commitments." Don't go into detail about Disney, or "educational" trips, or Aunt Mary's funeral. But, under your policy, let's say the football team has a one day trip in August, the band three days in December, and the baseball team a week in February. Would that mean all students get 9 excused absences (1 + 3 + 5)? Should other students be required to put in the extra work (practices, meetings, whatever) that the teams/clubs put in? No, I'm not saying the practices/meetings are educational (like a school day), but you can't deny that these groups are generally putting in more than the 8a-3p school day "normal" students do.
    And can you unequivocally state WHY those other kids who don't participate in sports/music/extras aren't doing so? Are they involved in similar extra curriculars OUTSIDE of the school and possibly putting in as much or more work than those within the school groups? Are they working jobs, caring for siblings, taking on responsibilities that those other students in clubs don't?

    The factors that you mention can't be taken into consideration because the circumstances around one students participation in a school-sanctioned group cannot be compared to other students who are not part of those groups. If the question is whether it is equitable for some school-sanctioned groups to get EXTRA excused absences above other students, no it is not.
     

    LSUmiss

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    Sep 8, 2014
    All the accident of your birth does is determined your starting point in life, it doesn't determine your end result.

    Would my path to success have been easier if I were born to a millionaire instead if an addict? Probably? But I got to determine whether or not I was going to succeed despite it or fail because of it. Everyone has that same decision to make for themselves.

    I figured out early on I would have to work harder than many others to succeed. I'd have to pay my way through college, find my own professional network, and so on. It was good to learn that early instead of been coddled until I'm an adult with nonsense of what I needed to do to overcome my unfortunate beginning position. I didn't complain, I put my head down and worked.

    As it pertains to this thread, someone with no support at home just as likely has less ability to miss instructional time so trying to find a way to make their absences excused because the band kids get a free few days sounds like a pretty bad idea.

    YMMV.
    It’s just not that simple. Sometimes there are just too many factors to overcome. I’ve worked with this population & work in the schools the pp mentioned. Not everyone can be successful no matter how much hard work they put into it. And, suggesting such just adds insult to injury to those ppl. My father was a single parent & I had many disadvantages compared to ppl I knew so, true, I had to work harder than them to be successful. However, I know that I was only capable of that success b/c of the many other resources & advantages I did have compared to some. Off topic here. I’m speaking on a larger scale.
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    It’s just not that simple. Sometimes there are just too many factors to overcome. I’ve worked with this population & work in the schools the pp mentioned. Not everyone can be successful no matter how much hard work they put into it. And, suggesting such just adds insult to injury to those ppl. My father was a single parent & I had many disadvantages compared to ppl I knew so, true, I had to work harder than them to be successful. However, I know that I was only capable of that success b/c of the many other resources & advantages I did have compared to some. Off topic here. I’m speaking on a larger scale.
    I wish there was a LOVE button for this post.
     

    Gumbo4x4

    Note to the ladies who forgot to
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    Jan 19, 2012
    Also in the “real world”, ppl are born with all kinds of disadvantages. Some can barely afford food & have inadequate parents, etc. Guess kids should just get used to that too. My point is that often it’s not just hard work & perseverance that make ppl successful but LUCK. There is an in-between “everyone is special” & “ too bad, you must not have worked hard enough”.

    I mean, honestly other than getting used to it, what IS the alternative?
     
  • wgeo

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    May 2, 2011
    For the record when we took our kids out of school in early elementary (back when we lived in WI) we simply told the school we were going to Disney, didn't say anything about it being educational or anything. Although I do think kids can learn a lot while away from their home environment.

    BUT - we actually did educational stuff at Disney. They used to offer Y.E.S. classes for small groups of kids and had them broken down into age groups and actually taught educational lessons. The classes were great, we all loved them and did as many as we could before they changed the program. Lots of different physics lessons, also some great animal lessons. Just saying there can be actual educational stuff, with lesson plans and everything at Disney lol.

    Still felt like an all out vacation to us, but we managed to learn a thing or two while we were at it.
     

    sam_gordon

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    Jun 26, 2010
    And can you unequivocally state WHY those other kids who don't participate in sports/music/extras aren't doing so? Are they involved in similar extra curriculars OUTSIDE of the school and possibly putting in as much or more work than those within the school groups? Are they working jobs, caring for siblings, taking on responsibilities that those other students in clubs don't?

    The factors that you mention can't be taken into consideration because the circumstances around one students participation in a school-sanctioned group cannot be compared to other students who are not part of those groups. If the question is whether it is equitable for some school-sanctioned groups to get EXTRA excused absences above other students, no it is not.
    I think you're back to the "life isn't fair" issue though. Let's take two employees, A & B. They're hired at the same time to do the same job at the same salary. OT is offered (not mandatory), and A has family commitments (pick whether it's young children or aging parents, or whatever) and turns down the OT. B gets every bit of OT he can. By working OT, he gets exposed to others in the company, and not only makes more money for himself, but helps the company out. After a year (pick the time), there's a trip. Of the two, B is more qualified for it (because of the extra work he put in) and gets to go. A doesn't. I guess A should get time off at some other point because B gets to go on the trip? Yes, at some point, "life isn't fair" does factor into things.
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    For the record when we took our kids out of school in early elementary (back when we lived in WI) we simply told the school we were going to Disney, didn't say anything about it being educational or anything. Although I do think kids can learn a lot while away from their home environment.

    BUT - we actually did educational stuff at Disney. They used to offer Y.E.S. classes for small groups of kids and had them broken down into age groups and actually taught educational lessons. The classes were great, we all loved them and did as many as we could before they changed the program. Lots of different physics lessons, also some great animal lessons. Just saying there can be actual educational stuff, with lesson plans and everything at Disney lol.

    Still felt like an all out vacation to us, but we managed to learn a thing or two while we were at it.
    Well any trip can be educational if you try hard enough. I think the point is parents take their kids out of school to WDW for a vacation. It's been built-in in certain schools to be able to rationalize that as educational in some form. It's just a rationalization; doesn't make it wrong or right just is what it is. For one reason or another a parent/guardian takes their kid out of school and on vacation; likely for $, likely for time off, likely for making usage of certain holidays or days off the student may have, etc.

    Spinning it as educational is more for optics than anything really. The ability to learn something new and valuable exists in pretty much any vacation setting out there. You could have spun the cruise I took in high school as educational. We did stop at different ports, you do learn about different countries and cultures, you do have the ability to try new things, etc. It does not mean it wasn't a vacation first and foremost. The school and the teachers alike all knew it was a vacation :)
     
  • siren0119

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    Sep 26, 2018
    I think you're back to the "life isn't fair" issue though. Let's take two employees, A & B. They're hired at the same time to do the same job at the same salary. OT is offered (not mandatory), and A has family commitments (pick whether it's young children or aging parents, or whatever) and turns down the OT. B gets every bit of OT he can. By working OT, he gets exposed to others in the company, and not only makes more money for himself, but helps the company out. After a year (pick the time), there's a trip. Of the two, B is more qualified for it (because of the extra work he put in) and gets to go. A doesn't. I guess A should get time off at some other point because B gets to go on the trip? Yes, at some point, "life isn't fair" does factor into things.
    That's all well and good, but I was specifically addressing your statement that kids who participate in school-sanctioned sports/groups somehow work harder than the kids who don't. That's just poor logic.
     

    sam_gordon

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    Jun 26, 2010
    That's all well and good, but I was specifically addressing your statement that kids who participate in school-sanctioned sports/groups somehow work harder than the kids who don't. That's just poor logic.
    Not really. They DO work harder/more FOR THE SCHOOL. Just like Employee B works harder/more for the employer.

    My point was the athletes/club members do put in more/hours work toward the school. You can't deny that. I'm not denying a "normal" student doesn't work hard on their own outside the school, but that extra work doesn't entitle them to the same perks athletes/club members get (whether that's a letter jacket or time away from school).
     

    siren0119

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    Sep 26, 2018
    Not really. They DO work harder/more FOR THE SCHOOL. Just like Employee B works harder/more for the employer.

    My point was the athletes/club members do put in more/hours work toward the school. You can't deny that. I'm not denying a "normal" student doesn't work hard on their own outside the school, but that extra work doesn't entitle them to the same perks athletes/club members get (whether that's a letter jacket or time away from school).

    I 100% disagree with that. The students are not in school for the benefit of the school the way employees are there for the benefit of the employer. Education should not be a capitalistic situation, nor should it be OK to view it/treat it that way. That argument can possibly be made for private schools/tuition based schools where student performance contributes to the attractiveness of the school for future tuition-payers. But thus far most of the conversation has revolved around PUBLIC schools - in which case no, playing a sport does NOT/should not entitle ANYONE to greater benefits than every other student being supported by taxpayer dollars.
     

    sam_gordon

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    Jun 26, 2010
    I 100% disagree with that. The students are not in school for the benefit of the school the way employees are there for the benefit of the employer. Education should not be a capitalistic situation, nor should it be OK to view it/treat it that way. That argument can possibly be made for private schools/tuition based schools where student performance contributes to the attractiveness of the school for future tuition-payers. But thus far most of the conversation has revolved around PUBLIC schools - in which case no, playing a sport does NOT/should not entitle ANYONE to greater benefits than every other student being supported by taxpayer dollars.
    If you don't think activities (because it's more than athletics) benefit the school, I don't know what to tell you.
     

    siren0119

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    Sep 26, 2018
    If you don't think activities (because it's more than athletics) benefit the school, I don't know what to tell you.
    If you believe the school's PURPOSE is to benefit from the students, and that what should be rewarded is what benefits the SCHOOL, we're in the same position.
     

    sam_gordon

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    Jun 26, 2010
    If you believe the school's PURPOSE is to benefit from the students, and that what should be rewarded is what benefits the SCHOOL, we're in the same position.
    I never said that (or believe that). Please don't put words in my mouth.
     

    DopeyDame

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    Jul 8, 2010
    I think you're back to the "life isn't fair" issue though. Let's take two employees, A & B. They're hired at the same time to do the same job at the same salary. OT is offered (not mandatory), and A has family commitments (pick whether it's young children or aging parents, or whatever) and turns down the OT. B gets every bit of OT he can. By working OT, he gets exposed to others in the company, and not only makes more money for himself, but helps the company out. After a year (pick the time), there's a trip. Of the two, B is more qualified for it (because of the extra work he put in) and gets to go. A doesn't. I guess A should get time off at some other point because B gets to go on the trip? Yes, at some point, "life isn't fair" does factor into things.
    Maybe I'm confused about what people are saying, but I don't think the issue with band/sports vs family vacations is the "fairness" of it all, but rather the inconsistency of it.
    If, on one hand, it is oh-so-important for every kid to be in every class every single day because they're missing oh-so-much material and making life oh-so-hard for teachers, then that should be true across the board. The school should be setting the example that the *only* thing that matters to your education is being physically in your seat in your classroom.

    But if they let clubs/teams miss classroom time, then clearly they are already acknowledging that being in your seat in class is not the be-all and end-all of education, and the protestations of some posters that missing school is some horrible transgression is a little over the top.
     

    siren0119

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    Sep 26, 2018
    I never said that (or believe that). Please don't put words in my mouth.
    Please correct me where I am wrong.

    Should other students be required to put in the extra work (practices, meetings, whatever) that the teams/clubs put in? No, I'm not saying the practices/meetings are educational (like a school day), but you can't deny that these groups are generally putting in more than the 8a-3p school day "normal" students do.
    I think you're back to the "life isn't fair" issue though. Let's take two employees, A & B. They're hired at the same time to do the same job at the same salary. OT is offered (not mandatory), and A has family commitments (pick whether it's young children or aging parents, or whatever) and turns down the OT. B gets every bit of OT he can. By working OT, he gets exposed to others in the company, and not only makes more money for himself, but helps the company out. After a year (pick the time), there's a trip. Of the two, B is more qualified for it (because of the extra work he put in) and gets to go. A doesn't. I guess A should get time off at some other point because B gets to go on the trip? Yes, at some point, "life isn't fair" does factor into things.
    Not really. They DO work harder/more FOR THE SCHOOL. Just like Employee B works harder/more for the employer.

    My point was the athletes/club members do put in more/hours work toward the school. You can't deny that. I'm not denying a "normal" student doesn't work hard on their own outside the school, but that extra work doesn't entitle them to the same perks athletes/club members get (whether that's a letter jacket or time away from school).
    If you don't think activities (because it's more than athletics) benefit the school, I don't know what to tell you.
    You made the employer comparison - you also clearly stated that you believe student athletes/club participants work harder for the school and should get more perks because of that. You specifically pointed out that the school benefits from activities, just after saying that those activities SHOULD entitle students to more perks than non-participating students.

    I stated that students do not exist for the purpose of benefiting the schools, which generated your last response. I never said schools didn't benefit from students participating in activities - but if I wasn't clear in my statement, schools do NOT exist for the purpose of benefiting from what students do for them. Nor should students be rewarded simply for participating/performing on behalf of the school. Public school exists for the benefit of the students who attend. Benefits to the students should be accessible to ALL to avoid the auspices of targeting behavior with rewards that drive what the SCHOOL gets out of the students.
     

    Hikergirl

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    Feb 28, 2016
    Not really. They DO work harder/more FOR THE SCHOOL. Just like Employee B works harder/more for the employer.

    My point was the athletes/club members do put in more/hours work toward the school. You can't deny that. I'm not denying a "normal" student doesn't work hard on their own outside the school, but that extra work doesn't entitle them to the same perks athletes/club members get (whether that's a letter jacket or time away from school).
    They also do not get the breaks off that all the other students do.
    Our sports teams have practice and games during school breaks. They also start practice weeks before the school year starts so their summers are cut short.
    Our drama club does not take vacations, there are 2 shows every year, they begin prep in August for the first, and they begin prep for the second during winter break. They even have to spend some 8 hour weekend days at school.
    So these trips they take should be excused, since technically they are "in school" more than the other students are.
     



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