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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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Default Taking kids out of school

I am interested in taking a cruise during 2005, maybe in October.( cheaper crusies). Problem is that our school system has just started a new "block" system where the school year is divided into two semesters. If you miss 5 days or more during a semester you fail for that semester.(This really sucks) My questions is have any of you encountered this problem? My kids make good grades and would have no problem making up thier work in advance or after we get home. Have any of you gotten the school or school board to excuse the kids absence. After all they are traveling to another country. That is a experience that they can't get in the classroom. I'd love suggestions from others about this.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I know this issue has come up before with differing opinions. When my kids were younger (elementary school) I did take them out for vacations. They made up the work and did a project about our trip. As the kids get older it is harder for them to make up the work. My daughter missed 5 days of school right before Christmas due to illness, which is counted as an excused absence, and she's still trying to get caught up and she's an honor roll student. With the amount of work she has on a regular basis its very hard for them to catch up. The other issue is, at least here, if the absence is unexcused the teachers don't have to give any work in advance or after, so if the teacher won't give them the work they get a zero. This is completely up to the teacher. I would definitely check into it ahead of time. Is there any way you can schedule something over a vacation week? or over a long weekend so they don't miss 5 days? I know its more expensive, but if you book early you can get a deal. I booked for April school vacation week 2005 in June 2004 and got a great deal. We decided that it was just too hard on them to take them out of school now that they are older and just miss too much.

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Old January 26th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

There's a heated debate on this board.........look through that thread for more opinions. Anyway, I'm with Darcy.........it gets harder the older they get. I took my kids out when they were in elementary and middle school (several times, not every year, of course). But high school.......not an option.
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Old January 29th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

It's really more about the policy of your school than the reality of whether or not your child is actually learning something in that week that can't be learned as "make up" work at another time.

I am a homeschool Mom and teacher and can assure you that learning doesn't only take place during regular school hours. Your child, more than likely, is perfectly capable of learning whatever it is that he/she would have learned that week in school AND making up the work/tests.

Whether or not your school will allow that to happen (and it sounds as though they won't), is another story.

Good luck.

dorothy

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Old February 1st, 2005, 12:57 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Hello,
My girls are 10 & 12 and last year we went on two cruises in Feb. One feb1 and then Feb. 21. ( long story) Well we knew about it before even started and so the teachers all knew about it way ahead of time. I think we got lucky because all both the girls had to do was write a jounal about their trips. Plus they were getting good grade too. We always go durihng school times, have not had any problems yet...... I just give lots of notice to the school. We are cruising Jan.29th 2006 So we'll see how it goes then.

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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

It depends on your school.

In our state, funding is given based on attendance, when a child is absent, they don't get funded for that child for that day. So, they put out strict warnings and practically beg you to have your child attend, even a partial day, so they can maintain their funding. Of course, when your child is sick, they don't want them there.

My son is only in first grade, but I find the standards very tough, and he has about an hour of homework each night. So I booked a spring break cruise this year even though it was more expensive. Not saying I wouldn't pull him out for vacation, I just try to avoid it if I can.

I agree that if you can book when your child already has 1-2 days off for holiday or teacher conferenece or whatever, that would help avoid the 5-day absence thing. Also, talk to the teachers and see how receptive they are to makeup work.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Dorothy:

I agree with you that learning doesn't only take place during school hours. We look on our travel with the kids as a learning experience and make it one, even though we can no longer travel during school times. When we're planning a trip we have the kids research where they want to go, the cost, why we should all go there, the activities, etc. and each child makes a presentation. It's a great way to get the kids invovled and have them learn something while they're having fun doing it. It's amazing how creative they can get, especially now in the computer age when so much information is available to them on-line.

Darcy

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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Darcy and Dorothy........I agree with you too about learning outside of school, and the presentation your kids do is great. But, if the school doesn't allow it and it's going to mess up their grades, especially in high school, you've got to follow the school rules. (from a Mom who did take her kids out of school a couple of times in elementary and middle school, when it was allowed)
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Agreed cali-croozer - if the school won't allow it there's not a whole lot you can do.

LIke Darcy, we always make ANY vacation into a learning experience. My son was bummed that he had done sooooo much research about Belize politics, history, environment, marine life, you name it and then our itinerary was changed because of the darn hurricanes! Oh well....we are going in September.

Darcy, I am SO jealous - you are leaving on the Miracle in a mere 81 days - I have 221until we sail! Are you doing Eastern or Western?

dorothy

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Old February 2nd, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Dorothy: We're doing the western. We did this same itinerary last year on the Inspiration and had a great time, although this year we're leaving the kids at home, and they are not happy about it! We decided it was time for a Mom and Dad alone vacation.

cali-croozer: I know what you mean. I can't take the kids out any more either. Its just too hard on them.

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Old February 3rd, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Hello!
We are taking our kids for there first cruise, we are going three weeks
to florida, one cruise week.

In sweden you can be free from school 10 days/ year (dipends a litle from school)
one week we have ester holiday
Our kids needs to take books with them, how much dipends on the teacher
My oldest is 14 in mars, one is 11 and one 9 years old.

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Old February 4th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I agree that as the kids get into High School esp. Gr.10,11,12 it would be fairly difficult then. We do not have that law in Canada luckily, that if you miss X days,you 'fail'.
As for elementary age(&older!) kids-the ability to learn ALL sorts of new stuff on a cruise is endless: from proper table manners used, to learning about poorer countries,meeting new people,etc.etc. They are only little once and they will have years to make up that 'important' stuff they missed! lol I feel sorry for some kids these days-they are pressured at such an early age!!
I found out that my 13 yr.old's next year's teacher(High School French Immersion) is actually very encouraging for kids to miss school to do educational things like ex:being in Ballet performances(she will miss 1 or 2 days next year due to the Nutcracker she will probably be in again). I guess academics aren't the only thing kids will be judged on!!
Hope everyone enjoys their cruise whenever it is. I certainly will not prefer going on a cruise during the busy Spring Break!!-but we might have to in the future!!

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Old February 5th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

While we can offer opinions, I think ultimately, you will have to clear it with the school. I'd suggest talking to your principal about the policy. We have a blanket policy in our school district but as I was told by our administration and teachers, "we deal with it on a case by case basis." If a child is struggling, excessively absent or a disruption, there is cause for concern and a week's vacation is frowned upon. I actually work for our school dept as a tutor and got conflicting opinions even from professionals. Some say GO while they're young and don't worry about it and others say it sends a message that education isn't important at a young age. Personally, I think what these kids are exposed to and the time that they spend with their family and seeing the importance of making time for family is priceless and well worth a week away from a desk.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Re: Taking kids out of school

I am taking my daughter out of school in Sept for 5 days and it is her Senior year. The only reason I am doing this is because she only needs one more credit to graduate and her classes next year are( aerobics,chorus, art and horticulture)the first semester. On block system is it really hard to make up work because each day it considered 2 days of class time instruction. My daughter transferred from one school that was not block to the block system 12 days into the semester one year and they considered that missing 24 days of class instruction some classes easier to make up than others.

Our school system you can go in front of a tribunal and ask that the absences be excused if you have a good enough reason. One girl was given approval because she had bad cramps every month. It just depends on your school system and who is giving the approval. Some people are more hard nosed than others.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

If you give your children the message at a young age that it is okay to skip school to go on vacation; you could be setting a precedent for the rest of their lives. Yes, you can learn a lot by going on a cruise, but you will NOT learn what is being taught in class - and that can be the basis for what is taught in the future. Miss it and you might be sunk. I'm speaking from experience from missing school for two weeks when I was ill and in the hospital - had a VERY hard time making it up, even though it was an excused absence.

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Old February 7th, 2005, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I don't think its a big deal in grades 9 or 10...If your child's smart and capable, take them out, if they are a slower learner, or not as smart, don't take them out
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Old February 7th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Colleges look at the GPA for grades 10 and 11, so those grades are important, especially for an outstanding student. The amount of information that is introduced in a week, in some of the advanced classes (lab sciences, math classes, foreign language), would be very hard to make up. It's not as easy as going through the parts of the texcbook you missed. You cannot expect a teacher to spend hours after school reintroducing something to someone who has missed several lessons, whether the absence is excused or not. Again, everyone's situation is different and every school policy is different.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

My daughter in 10th grade, is on a block system, she has certain classes mon/wed/fri, and others tues/thurs...so she would at most be missing three class periods, the teachers will be notified in advance, and the extra work will be turned in before we leave.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Cynda H..........is this your plan or the teacher's plan? Not telling you what to do, but in our school district it wouldn't be allowed. The teachers wouldn't allow any of the work to be turned in. It would all be counted as "zero", plus all the absences would be unexcused.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

By all means, take your babies out of school. Ask the school to give them the missed assignments before hand, have the kids do it before they go, or they can do it during the trip. Have your kids write an essay about the different islands that they visited, with a discussion on culture and cultural differences. Take pictures and have them do a presentation on what they learned. The teacher should be impressed. Take your babies with you, and have fun!!
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Old March 1st, 2005, 08:37 PM
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Travelpro.......that sounds great and the kids will learn, but, my point is, if this is not the teacher's plan, the kids will learn, but they will get no credit. My opinion is based on experiences with older kids (high school especially). Getting no credit in elementary school is not going to mess them up, but it would in high school.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I know that in Burbank Ca. that middle school and high school the child would miss so much that they could not possibly make it up ...and that teachers are not resposible for giving them the work..in advance or afterwords to make up....a cruise is not an excused absense..and the school does not get paid for the child missing all those days...so not a good idea....Laurie
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I think most of us agree that the age ( grade) of your children is the most important factor , are we talking about a 8 yr old or a 17 yr old ? There is a huge difference in missing school in high school as opposed to grade school.

Also I would not take a struggling student out of school for one day.

I do think a younger child ( grade school, possibly middle school) ,is fine though. We had done so and it was fine, but then, as a Canadian our teachers are generally very helpful and not bound by the " failing" laws that some of your states seem to have. They will give home work and the children do not automatically fail for missing more then 5 days, that seems unfair, it the kids pass the tests and do the work why would you fail them , very odd.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

A child, no matter what the age or grade, would learn so much on the cruise, if they are in the learning mode. A cruise is supposed to be fun, but it can be an extremely valuabel learning tool. If your child is learning about the Great Mayan Templs in Mexico, then a cruise stop with a tour of the Temple is better than any book that the teacher can read from. If your child is taking a foriegn language, such as spanish, a visit to Puerto Rico has to be better tan sitting in a classroom. Your student can actually test what he has learned with people whose language is primarily spanish. On RCCL, there is the opportunity for your teenager to learn about the ocean, and its affect on weather and how the tests done tell a myriad of studies. These are real grown up experiences that can never be duplicated in a book. Ask your child's teacher if these types of experiences can be incorporated in your child's learning, and if it is not possible to take your child out of school for a cruise, you can always use the sick excuse!
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Old March 5th, 2005, 09:13 PM
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Hi..I'm new here & we're planning our 1st cruise with our girls (8 & 6) sometime early next year. I don't mean to sound naive, uninformed or dumb or anything, but what business is it of the schools when & where we take our kids or when they're absent? We're planning on taking our girls out sometime in Jan or Feb next year & was planning on telling the teachers "we have a family trip & the girls will be out "x" amount of days. Please give me their work & I will have them turn it in when they get back."

We had a family wedding in Miami last year & I just told the teacher we had a family trip & they'd be out 2 days. No one gave me any trouble.

Honestly, I could care less what the school system thinks. My kids are rarely if ever absent/tardy, & I don't see the need to go into detail with them where we're going or when we're leaving, etc, & if I want to plan a trip with them on "x" date, we're their parents & the school system has no say so in what I do with my kids & when, and if they question me, I will be very clear with them.

Now on the flip side, our girls are still young. They'll be in 3rd & 1st grade when we take the cruise so I feel a little more comfortable doing this, but I don't know if I would do the same thing if they were in middle school & up.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

Maritza:

The issue, I believe, is the school system's policy regarding unexcused absences. If you live somewhere that allows you to do it, great. I did the same when my kids were younger. Our school now, however, has an entirely different policy than they had then. Now, it's up to the teacher if they want to give the work out ahead of time and accept it. If the teacher doesn't want to, the children get zeros for all work missed. The problem in my area is also compounded for the older kids by block scheduling (middle school and high school). While as you say "the school system has no say so in what I do with my kids" that's true. Depending on their policy however, they don't have to allow your kids to make up the work and they could get zeros on everything they miss while their gone. I would definitely check it out ahead of time.

Darcy

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Old March 10th, 2005, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

We are from Ont. Canada. Choose to travel before our March Break because of the lower priced cruise, a big price difference. I contacted each teacher month before and told them I would prefer no homework on our cruise (reading allowed)but extra homework to be sent home anytime pre-cruise.
This worked perfectly- teachers were happy, lots of notice, children are grade 5,7and 8. and exceptionally bright. We returned home to report cards and no homework to catch up on.
We asked No Homework on vacation because three years previous My Son was so loaded down with homework-My husband said NEVER AGAIN !! he was tired of helping our son, do homework on Vacation. Plus trying to get it all done coming home in the air
ports.
This was our last chance to take a cruise before my son went to High School, we are so glad that we did this.
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Old March 11th, 2005, 08:08 AM
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I am a high school social studies teacher and our district has a ten absence policy. I must tell you that the policy really works and our test scores and student work has greatly improved as a result. I will tell you that our district will not waiver or make exceptions for a vacation. Only medical emergency, death in the family, or legal reasons are excused days off. I realize that this policy is intended to make the students who normally have poor attendence come to school, but the rules still apply to all. I believe that going to the school board to ask for time off is somewhat bold and perhaps wrong. Just my opinion, but I am a teacher and I believe that allowing a student to take off time for a vacation in the middle of the school year is just as bad as a teacher doing the like!
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Old March 28th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I don't know how it is in the US. but I am a Canadian gr 11 student, who has been taken out of school many times, with no problem at all. Although it depends on the school, I don't think that there will be a problem.
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Old March 28th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Taking kids out of school

I took my kids (high school) on a THanksgiving cruise -- and probably wish I had never done it -- while they only missed 2 /12 days of school, -- our school has an attendance policy also -- and missing school for any reason, even illness counts against them -- in deciding if they need to take finals or not. Kids getting a's are exam exempt in some classes with less than 2 days missed of school. Stupid policy, but thats what it is here.

I think you were asking to justify taking a cheaper cruise -- and trying to find good reasons to do it --

No one here can advise you on what the cost for your kids would be -- its up to you and your school district.
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