Taking kids out of school to go to Disney. Horribly irresponsible or acceptable in some situations?

LSUmiss

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Sep 8, 2014
Are you in Baton Rouge? My husband grew up in that area and went to private school around the same time. We find that my DD's public school IB curriculum is much more demanding than anything either of us saw in the top college prep programs at the time either there or where I grew up. Were you really doing things like AP Physics, AP world history, Algebra 2/ trig ect as a freshman? Because that is what is expected in academically competitive programs.

DD's IB curriculum is comparable to what is being offered at places like U High and the more selective private schools currently.Today's kids are starting high school in AP courses for college credit. I took one AP course as a Sophomore and one as a junior. Many my senior year. DD, as a sophomore, has already had AP World, AP US, and AP Physics. She will start college level computer science second semester, and college level math in the fall. He last 2 years will be spent on college level material in all disciplines and a major research project that must produce results that would be suitable for publication. She will have had statistics, fluid dynamics, and organic chemistry by the time she leaves high school. Those courses didn't exist as AP in the 90's.

She will have had to take a comprehensive written and oral exam, read classic literature and written papers in a foreign language. Students are required to study an art form of their choice, (theater, music, visual arts, or dance). They study history, theory, composition ect, and generate a final project or presentation. DD's choice is dance and she will have to prepare and present a senior choreography project. None of this was even an option when we were in school in the 90's, but is now pretty much standard for these programs.

I do agree that it depends on the kids, but I definitely think the material these kids are being asked to digest has stepped up significantly.
 
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LSUmiss

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Are you in Baton Rouge? My husband grew up in that area and went to private school around the same time. We find that my DD's public school IB curriculum is much more demanding than anything either of us saw in the top college prep programs at the time either there or where I grew up. Were you really doing things like AP Physics, AP world history, Algebra 2/ trig ect as a freshman? Because that is what is expected in academically competitive programs.

DD's IB curriculum is comparable to what is being offered at places like U High and the more selective private schools currently.Today's kids are starting high school in AP courses for college credit. I took one AP course as a Sophomore and one as a junior. Many my senior year. DD, as a sophomore, has already had AP World, AP US, and AP Physics. She will start college level computer science second semester, and college level math in the fall. He last 2 years will be spent on college level material in all disciplines and a major research project that must produce results that would be suitable for publication. She will have had statistics, fluid dynamics, and organic chemistry by the time she leaves high school. Those courses didn't exist as AP in the 90's.

She will have had to take a comprehensive written and oral exam, read classic literature and written papers in a foreign language. Students are required to study an art form of their choice, (theater, music, visual arts, or dance). They study history, theory, composition ect, and generate a final project or presentation. DD's choice is dance and she will have to prepare and present a senior choreography project. None of this was even an option when we were in school in the 90's, but is now pretty much standard for these programs.

I do agree that it depends on the kids, but I definitely think the material these kids are being asked to digest has stepped up significantly.
I grew up in NOLA. But, imo, some of what you listed is just ridiculously over-the-top anyway for HS students.
ETA: I guess I should have said that I had similar academic demands as the kids do today HERE. I don’t know what goes on other places.
 

eeyoreandtink

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Mar 24, 2014
I grew up in NOLA. But, imo, some of what you listed is just ridiculously over-the-top anyway for HS students.
You would think that, but most of it is required for an IB diploma, and its what is being asked in academically competitive high schools. I work in this field, so I see what is going on. Its what the top colleges expect to see kids doing. If you want to get into an ivy, or get scholarship money at a tier 2 school, this is what is expected.
 
  • eeyoreandtink

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    Mar 24, 2014
    I grew up in NOLA. But, imo, some of what you listed is just ridiculously over-the-top anyway for HS students.
    ETA: I guess I should have said that I had similar academic demands as the kids do today HERE. I don’t know what goes on other places.
    Maybe for an average student, but academically advanced high schools in New Orleans are offering IB diplomas, and all of these courses.
     

    LSUmiss

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    Sep 8, 2014
    You would think that, but most of it is required for an IB diploma, and its what is being asked in academically competitive high schools. I work in this field, so I see what is going on. Its what the top colleges expect to see kids doing. If you want to get into an ivy, or get scholarship money at a tier 2 school, this is what is expected.
    Gotcha. Ivy not important to us. As discussed in previous threads, I think a lot of the college entry process has become absurd. DH & I both went to public universities & make a very good living. All of our friends who are mostly engineers & drs also went to the same university & do very well (if not better) for themselves. I’m sure it depends on your field of interest, but mostly I don’t see the point.
     

    LSUmiss

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    Maybe for an average student, but academically advanced high schools in New Orleans are offering IB diplomas, and all of these courses.
    Curious? Which schools? The ones I know here that offer it are a joke. I work in one of those districts. They’re mostly at “C” or “D” level public schools.
     

    eeyoreandtink

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    Mar 24, 2014
    Gotcha. Ivy not important to us. As discussed in previous threads, I think a lot of the college entry process has become absurd. DH & I both went to public universities & make a very good living. All of our friends who are mostly engineers & drs also went to the same university & do very well (if not better) for themselves. I’m sure it depends on your field of interest, but mostly I don’t see the point.
    Or, for a family that cannot afford college or doesn't want to place that burden on family finances, scholarship money becomes VERY important, and this is what it takes to get that full ride, even at some public universities. FWIW, I went to a public university on a full ride. That was the only way I was going. Getting that full ride meant having the resume and test scores to get there. I am teaching now but started my career as a research scientist.
     
  • LSUmiss

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    Or, for a family that cannot afford college or doesn't want to place that burden on family finances, scholarship money becomes VERY important, and this is what it takes to get that full ride, even at some public universities. FWIW, I went to a public university on a full ride. That was the only way I was going. Getting that full ride meant having the resume and test scores to get there. I am teaching now but started my career as a research scientist.
    I get it. I’m just saying neither of those things are important to us for DS. So it kinda goes back to the it depends on the kid & the family.
     

    eeyoreandtink

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    Mar 24, 2014
    Curious? Which schools? The ones I know here that offer it are a joke. I work in one of those districts. They’re mostly at “C” or “D” level public schools.
    I will need to look at my lists, but the program HAS to meet IB standards to continue, and those standards are VERY rigorous. Schools are evaluated regularly. If there student's work doesn't meet IB standards they cannot continue to offer the program. Students must take written exams, oral exams, submit research, and write extended academic papers to be submitted to IB for grading. Teachers are evaluated as well.

    Also, remember that the "grade" for a school is largely based on arbitrary factors they cannot control. Many public schools that are allowed to offer IB can only do so as part of magnet program, meaning they are in low income, inner city areas. The IB students they draw are a small part of the school as a whole, and we both know what New Orleans public schools are about.
     

    sponica

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    Oct 16, 2017
    OP:

    20ish years or so ago, people never took their kids out of school for vacations (at least not around here) now it's more common place....but probably still on the rarer side, and it's more like a day or two added to a long weekend than a full blown week out of school.

    Kindergarten is where you go to "learn" how school works, along with some basic educational constructs and socialization. I would say if your kid did not do any preschool/prekindergarten pulling a 5 year old out of kindergarten for a week would be disastrous.
     

    eeyoreandtink

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    Mar 24, 2014
    I get it. I’m just saying neither of those things are important to us for DS. So it kinda goes back to the it depends on the kid & the family.
    Yes, but what I see you saying is requirements are the same as they were in the 90's. For an child choosing and advanced academic program that just isn't the case.

    My point was that when deciding what to do, the fact that those demands have stepped up for a lot of kids should be a consideration. I was in the most advanced program available and had no problem missing a week. Not the case for those same kids now.
     
  • LSUmiss

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    Sep 8, 2014
    I will need to look at my lists, but the program HAS to meet IB standards to continue, and those standards are VERY rigorous. Schools are evaluated regularly. If there student's work doesn't meet IB standards they cannot continue to offer the program. Students must take written exams, oral exams, submit research, and write extended academic papers to be submitted to IB for grading. Teachers are evaluated as well.

    Also, remember that the "grade" for a school is largely based on arbitrary factors they cannot control. Many public schools that are allowed to offer IB can only do so as part of magnet program, meaning they are in low income, inner city areas. The IB students they draw are a small part of the school as a whole, and we both know what New Orleans public schools are about.
    I would be curious to see the schools b/c there have also been allegations of grade fixing & other things in some of these public schools. I work in one of the NOLA area districts. The ones I know “earn” that letter grade from what I can see. Imo, it’s rigorous “on paper“ for most of these schools. I’m sure it’s different in other areas. But, the system here is awful. As far as I know, none of the top private schools here offer that & imo their academics are far superior to any of the public schools in this area.
     

    shmom

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    Oct 11, 2013
    My son attends an IB school and I have no idea what he does (he is in 8th grade). I know that the all girls IB affiliated HS certainly has the IB status but it by no means requires all that rigor. My friends say even the highest level classes aren't super hard. I see tons of girls getting in good schools - lots for sports though - but most seem to be concentrating on boys and social media. My son attends an all boys HS which is very difficult, but the only AP class you could take as a freshman is AP Human Geo and as a soph AP World History and for a few AP Calc. Our two super duper expensive private schools in town offer no AP courses for freshman - they say nope not doing it. And plenty of these kids are going to fabulous colleges - Ivy's and the next tiers. So I refuse to buy in to the must take 3 AP classes as a freshman.
     

    eeyoreandtink

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    Mar 24, 2014
    My son attends an IB school and I have no idea what he does (he is in 8th grade). I know that the all girls IB affiliated HS certainly has the IB status but it by no means requires all that rigor. My friends say even the highest level classes aren't super hard. I see tons of girls getting in good schools - lots for sports though - but most seem to be concentrating on boys and social media. My son attends an all boys HS which is very difficult, but the only AP class you could take as a freshman is AP Human Geo and as a soph AP World History and for a few AP Calc. Our two super duper expensive private schools in town offer no AP courses for freshman - they say nope not doing it. And plenty of these kids are going to fabulous colleges - Ivy's and the next tiers. So I refuse to buy in to the must take 3 AP classes as a freshman.
    If he is 8th grade, he has the option to be in a pre- IB program. Does th entier school HAVE to particpate in IB? That happens but it is on the rare side. You cannot officially declare for IB until the end of 10th grade year. Technically DD is still pre-IB. Her diploma coursework starts next year.

    If the girls school is and IB school they have to have this kind of rigor, but not every student has to be in the IB program. Typically only the top 10-25% of the school participates.

    I am not saying you must do anything. What those schools are offering in house is likely AP equivalent. Many very competitive private high schools don't offer AP at all. They feel the curriculum is too restrictive and they can do better on their own. Many of them do. They are offering the same or a higher level of rigor.

    I think what you are missing here is that just because this kind of rigor is OFFERED at a school, that doesn't mean everyone partakes. Particularly in public schools, there will be kids at all levels in the same building.
     

    LSUmiss

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    Sep 8, 2014
    My son attends an IB school and I have no idea what he does (he is in 8th grade). I know that the all girls IB affiliated HS certainly has the IB status but it by no means requires all that rigor. My friends say even the highest level classes aren't super hard. I see tons of girls getting in good schools - lots for sports though - but most seem to be concentrating on boys and social media. My son attends an all boys HS which is very difficult, but the only AP class you could take as a freshman is AP Human Geo and as a soph AP World History and for a few AP Calc. Our two super duper expensive private schools in town offer no AP courses for freshman - they say nope not doing it. And plenty of these kids are going to fabulous colleges - Ivy's and the next tiers. So I refuse to buy in to the must take 3 AP classes as a freshman.
    I guess that was my point. A quick google search of who has IB diplomas in this area & I can assure you they’re not great schools no matter what the requirements are supposed to be. I’m sure it varies in different areas.
    So there are all boys & all girls public schools in your area?
     
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    mjkacmom

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    Feb 20, 2006
    I see a lot of people referencing what was done when they were children, ect. When I was in school, we took a week off without a problem almost every year, but times have changed. The material kids are seeing now is vastly different than what we were asked to do.

    We didn't learn long division until 5th grade, but DD was doing it at the end of 2nd. We didn't write 5 paragraph persuasive essays with evidence in elementary school ,but she had to starting in 3rd grade, timed, as part of state assessments.

    When I was in high school, you could graduate without ever taking algebra, now every student is enrolled in algebra as a freshman. The demands placed on me as an AP student in the 90's are vastly different that those placed on my DD who is an IB diploma student now. She is taking courses as a Sophomore that weren't even offered at the high school level when I was in school. She has already taken and passed AP exams that didn't exist when I was in school. I was in the top of the line, most demanding program available at the time, but what is she is being asked to do is worlds ahead of what i saw in high school. Her nightly work load is many times what mine was.

    The demands placed on kids have stepped up. I am not saying don't take your kids out, just that its important to be mindful of what it is going to mean work wise for them. Particularly for students in advanced academic programs post elementary school.
    I graduated HS 30+ years ago with the minimum in math, algebra 2 (I was an English major, so bad at math). My kids took algebra in 7th grade (had to test in), so they are taking AP AB calculus as juniors. Freshman year seems late for algebra 1.
     

    LSUmiss

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    Sep 8, 2014
    If he is 8th grade, he has the option to be in a pre- IB program. Does th entier school HAVE to particpate in IB? That happens but it is on the rare side. You cannot officially declare for IB until the end of 10th grade year. Technically DD is still pre-IB. Her diploma coursework starts next year.

    If the girls school is and IB school they have to have this kind of rigor, but not every student has to be in the IB program. Typically only the top 10-25% of the school participates.

    I am not saying you must do anything. What those schools are offering in house is likely AP equivalent. Many very competitive private high schools don't offer AP at all. They feel the curriculum is too restrictive and they can do better on their own. Many of them do. They are offering the same or a higher level of rigor.

    I think what you are missing here is that just because this kind of rigor is OFFERED at a school, that doesn't mean everyone partakes. Particularly in public schools, there will be kids at all levels in the same building.
    Ok so I think you’re saying some private schools in your area don’t officially offer AP b/c they feel their academics are better or more rigorous on their own? So if that’s the case, that’s my point. My academics in high school even in the late 90s were very rigorous. While AP wasn’t officially offered, I (and many of my peers) tested out of many freshman level courses before we started college during spring testing. On average, we had high ACT scores & a few girls who got the highest score possible (36 at the time-not sure if it changed). Perhaps, some schools are even more rigorous now, but it still largely depends on the kid. I was number 3 in my class in HS & was very comfortable missing school. I even missed a week of grad school in college for my wedding & homeymoon (to wdw of course!). So, it definitely still depends on the kid & school program.
     

    Kestryl

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    Mar 29, 2019
    I graduated HS 30+ years ago with the minimum in math, algebra 2 (I was an English major, so bad at math). My kids took algebra in 7th grade (had to test in), so they are taking AP AB calculus as juniors. Freshman year seems late for algebra 1.
    My husband is a teacher and has taught in public schools in three states. In two of those states, he taught (or teaches) Algebra I as a freshman class (in a standard sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calc). In one case, he taught it as a sophomore class (in a standard sequence of Geometry, Algebra I, Algebra II, Pre-Calc). Honors track kids in all three states would take Algebra I in 8th grade, but that was a small subset of the school population (like one out of 10 classes).

    I’m not saying all places are the same, but I imagine it’s a minority for kids to take Algebra I before high school, and an even smaller minority to take Algebra I in 7th grade.
     

    mjkacmom

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    Feb 20, 2006
    My husband is a teacher and has taught in public schools in three states. In two of those states, he taught (or teaches) Algebra I as a freshman class (in a standard sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calc). In one case, he taught it as a sophomore class (in a standard sequence of Geometry, Algebra I, Algebra II, Pre-Calc). Honors track kids in all three states would take Algebra I in 8th grade, but that was a small subset of the school population (like one out of 10 classes).

    I’m not saying all places are the same, but I imagine it’s a minority for kids to take Algebra I before high school, and an even smaller minority to take Algebra I in 7th grade.
    But then who takes AP AB calculus and AP BC calculus? They are high school courses.
     

    sponica

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    Oct 16, 2017
    But then who takes AP AB calculus and AP BC calculus? They are high school courses.
    We didn't have BC (I don't think). I don't remember which one I took. I did Algebra II in 9th grade, Geo in 10th (our district was weird), Trig/Analytic Geometry in 11th (this was supposed to be Pre-Calc but I dropped out because the teacher was awful) and AP Calc in 12th.

    But if you didn't start algebra in the middle school, you were leveled in the other track Algebra 1, Geo, Algebra II. I can't remember how many years of math were required though. I know a lot of people took Statistics senior year instead of calculus...
     

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