Is this normal for public school districts (r/t missing school for vacation)
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Is this normal for public school districts (r/t missing school for vacation)
We were supposed to go to Disney in May, but Aidan just missed 2 days of school because of an asthma attack Sunday night. So, JOe and I thought since he's missed two days--- we may have to wait until Summer to go to disney now. We probably will wait until June. But, I was just looking at my school district website, and for grades K-12, it lists all of the "excused" absences, and travel is one of them. They call it "educational travel" but I'm pretty sure WDW would qualify as educational. They just said the dates need to be submitted ahead of time. I was really surprised? Is that normal for most school districts, or are we just lucky? I know Aidan missed 7 school days last year for Disney, and they didn't care at all, but I figured it was because it was kindergarten Now I wonder if we should change the dates back, Aidan has a hard time there in the heat because of his asthma--- not that May is THAT much better. We tried to get dates in january, but DVC had nothing available when we were ready to book (the only week we could do was marathon week). Hmmm. Anyway, I was just surprised, and wondered if that's normal for most school districts. All the fretting I've done about travelling during the school year, and then it's excused. Kinda cool, I thought.
Our school handbook specifically lists "family vacations" as an excused absence. They say that they would like people to travel during non-school time, but that they realize it's not always possible.
DD is in an elementary school, so the policy might be different for middle and high school. But I think it's great.
I always send a letter to the schools way ahead of time. As long as you give notice there's really nothing the school can do. This quickly becomes a heated debate for both sides (regarding kids missing school) but ultimately you have to do what is best for your family.
For my family, we travel in the winter. I can't afford to go during the summer and frankly wouldn't want to die of heat stroke. I assist them in getting the makeup work done.
DD is in advanced classes (some places call them college prep) doing good, and DS is a straight A-B student, so I like to think I'm doing something right somewhere.
Our school district excuses travel as long as it is known ahead of time and I always have my DDs work done prior to leaving so they are not behind when we return. The teachers are very accomodating in our schools. Last year my DD was given the assignment of creating a journal while at WDW to turn in as a writing assignment. She had a ball with it.
Thanks! I was just really surprised to see it in writing on the website, andjust thought that was pretty cool, and was wondering if that was normal for travel to be listed as an excused absence--- so maybe we don't need to go in the summer anymore?? Oh well--- something to think about.
DJ's school encourages educational travel and considers any family vacation educational because most home facilitators are one of the child's parents. 'Course, we don't have to worry so much about excused absences because DJ can log on from the laptop anywhere for attendance.
I know the local school district does not excuse any absences for vacation time unless it's for the death of a close family member or the illness of an immediate family member that requires traveling out-of-state.
Our school would classify it as an unexcused absence. You can have 10 unexcused absences a year, 5 per term. And they won't give out homework in advance for trips like that
That hasn't stopped us though. We took DD out for a week in Kindergarten to go to Disney (her teacher said family time was very important), for a week in 1st grade (her teacher was less accomodating on this one) and a week in 2nd grade to go to San Francisco (her teacher was great and said she'd get more out of the trip than sitting in class)!
When DD was in elementary school, it was never a problem. However once she was in junior high and high school, vacation absences were a bigger deal. At that level, teachers are less inclined to give homework out ahead of time or give quizzes/tests when the child comes back. Plus at that level, the kids are missing a lot of in classroom instruction which is hard to make up.
I would definitely take advantage of taking WDW vacations during the school year while your kids are still young. I think at the elementary level, any vacation is seen as an experience which can enhance what your child is learning. Have fun!
I agree with the above. Now, while your kids are young, is the time to take advantage of the better weather and less crowds stays at WDW. Once you hit middle school...forget it. Too hard to take more than a day off at a time.
Our first two family trips were in Oct 1999 and then Sept 2000. All other trips, except for long weekends, have been during school breaks. I miss those uncrowded trips.
DD's school didn't complain when I took her out for a few days in Feb. and March to go to Disneyland . . . her Kindergarten teacher actually encouraged it and sent along some homework to do (saying "If you get it done, great. If not, no big deal. Just go have fun!") We did get a letter sent home a few weeks later saying that she had "seven unexcused absences" and that the office needed to be notified of ANY absences. I had to call the office and set them straight (they didn't look in her file and see the letter I sent to the office AND the teacher ) They were still unexcused though.
Our school district's handbook says: "Sickness, severe illness or death in the family, exposure to a contagious disease, religious holidays or extremely inclement weather are considered legitimate excuses for absences or tardiness. When possible, try to schedule appointments so they do not conflict with school hours. Parents should plan vacations and trips which do not conflict with the school's instructional calendar."
Our district allows a total of 24 absences for the year. If they go over the 24 (or, for some kids who are way behind, if they come CLOSE to it) the district may not let them advance to the next grade. Whether or not homework is given out for trips is at the discretion of each teacher.
My thought on it, though, is as long as your child is doing well enough, isn't close to the limit for total absences, is caught up in everything and won't have a problem catching up should they fall behind again while traveling . . . there should be no problem taking them out. Just get the dates in well ahead of time and remind them a couple of times before you leave, and you should be fine!
I would take full advantage of that policy! We've only taken out Mary Devall for a day here and there (and it's always Disney related ), but there's never been a problem. You can bet that I'm going to take a look at the policy!
Our school district allows 20 excused absences per yer. As long as they are excused by the parent (either over the phone or in writing) the reason doesn't even have to be stated. You can also have excused absences with a dr. note, and those don't count towards the 20.
Take advantage of it while they're young! My teenager got her braces off today and was none too happy about missing one class and part of two others. It's just too hard to make up. Wait til I tell her she's missing the day before spring break to go on our Disney Cruise.