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Old 08-12-2011, 10:08 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,360,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Thank you all for responding to that. In NJ, state aid is figured on a per pupil basis and is counted by total enrollment, not days attended. Even then the vast majority of our school funding comes from local property taxes. We are a VERY strong "home rule" state and I sometimes forget that many other places don't work that way and parents have much less leverage over what goes on.
I believe some federal money is based on attendance. That does not mean that children can't miss school. There are a certain number of unexcused absences allowed. Districts in our area have a way for vacations to be excused absences via applying for an "educational trip." Every vacation we took were approved, excused absences. Our children did their school work while away on vacation.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:08 AM
 
613 posts, read 800,964 times
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Thanks for all the replies! A couple of posters mentioned how the first few weeks of school are mostly review, which is true, so that eases my mind a bit. Also, my kids are good students and do easily get good grades, but are average bright so no advanced classes!

As for absences, the district (state?) considers unexcused absences to be illegal? Illegal is what makes me nervous...not sure in what sense it is illegal? However, possible disciplinary actions such as detention or suspension is for more than 9 unexcused absences and primarily for the high school level. My kids certainly won't have more than the 6 for this vacation and the policy at their level just says parents must provide a note for absences.

And no, I don't plan on lying to the school regarding my kid's absences because 1: I hate lying and 2: it wouldn't be just my lie; it would be like forcing my kids to lie. I would not put them in that position.

I am also of the opinion that missing one week of school for vacation once in their life is not going to have catastrophic consequences, so I don't feel guilty in that sense.

My two biggest concerns: typically a doctors note is required for 5 absences or more, so no sure how the school will handle that.

2nd concern: I feel badly putting extra work on teachers since they will be so busy with the start of the school year, and so may choose to not provide the work beforehand. I have even heard some teachers mention online that their districts do not require them to provide work for unexcused absences, and so they don't. Not sure of my district's policy on this.

And yes this an opportunity I can not pass up as we would not be able to afford a Disney vacation this year, next year, the following year, and so on and so on...
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,352 posts, read 3,894,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I personally would not take my kids out of school for six days to go to Disney. I might take them out for that long if we were doing something like traveling to a foreign country where they would learn something. To me, Disney is not educational and while it is fun they had all summer to have fun.
I take it you've learned nothing since you got out of school? You've learned nothing that wasn't labeled "educational"? Kids can't NOT learn. They learn from everything, every experience - and if they're having fun at the same time, that's a fantastic bonus!

Every July 24th, friends and I celebrate "Learn Nothing Day" - it's a joke; since we say our kids learn ALL the time, this was set up as "a day off" for them. It's a joke, because you can't learn nothing; if you're a fully functioning human, you really are learning all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt-7 View Post
I am going to have to go with this from a different view.
What are you really teaching your children?
It is ok to lie.
It is ok to toss your obligations because something more exciting has come up.
I'd say they were learning that family is more important than school. (which, sadly is not the case for many families) They were learning that family connection and time to relax and have fun together was valued more than needing to check off every attendance box in school. That the "obligation" to each other is more important than an obligation to a place that probably doesn't value them very much.

And, rather than having a rule than an obligation is more important than something exciting that might come up, we can look at each situation individually, and make a choice that works for us, looking at the pros and cons and repercussions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt-7 View Post
You may consider my opinion to be not going with the flow but my kids are all up and out of college with jobs.
And they never went to any Disney lands of any kind.
You're right. No child who has missed school or gone to Disneyland has graduated from college, or gotten jobs. Dang.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:13 AM
 
12,877 posts, read 19,618,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt-7 View Post
I am going to have to go with this from a different view.
What are you really teaching your children?
It is ok to lie.
It is ok to toss your obligations because something more exciting has come up.
Have you considered the teacher's view? Your teacher (s) will have to make sure your children are up to speed upon their return. If your children are elementary then much of that will be establishing routine in their day. Have you considered this yourself? A child ready for school begins to get that daily routine going weeks before the first day of school.

You may consider my opinion to be not going with the flow but my kids are all up and out of college with jobs.
And they never went to any Disney lands of any kind. Your decision is up to you, just know they are watching you and will base their life upon what you do.
I don't discount what you are saying, and it did give us a moment's pause when we pulled out kids out for vacations. But, sometimes the lesson should just be that family is important, and family time is precious.

BTW, the schools in FL are very quick to point out the educational opportunities at Disney. All my sons went on class trips to the parks under that premise.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:13 AM
 
14,776 posts, read 34,231,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
there are laws that kids have to be in school. I had to sign something this year stating that I'd comply, and make sure my kids were in school. Yes, it is a parenting decision, but it is the school's job to make sure the law is followed and the kids are there. Otherwise, you could just say that the parents who are too lazy or too hung over to get their kids to school are just parenting as they see fit. I do think in this one case, it would be ok to take the trip, but not on a regular basis any old time the parents feel like vacationing.
I totally agree and have said several times, that I would expect them to accomodate me, unless they had a good reason, which I stated earlier to be large numbers of absences or something similar. It is most certainly a legal requirement to attend school unless you choose to home school, but even then most policies are written with an immense of leeway as to the total number allowed. For instance, this is my schools attendance policy:

Escused absences are categorized as follows:
-Personal illness
-Death in family
-Medical appointment
-Religious holiday
-Other situations approved by administator; including unavoidable family vacations.

If an illness results in missing more than 3 consecutive days a doctors note is required for the absence to be excused. 3 days or less may be excused by the parent. They then go on to explain the process for "excessive" absenteeism:

5th absence = Letter home to parents.
10th absence = Letter home and call from principal.
15th absence = Certified letter home, meeting with prinicpal and possible creation of "attendance action plan".
20th absence = Meeting with superintendent, review of action plan, consideration of truancy charges.
25th absence = consdieration for retention, possible truancy charges.

Bascially, for me, short of my kids missing 20+ days of school without valid reason there is little consequence as far as the law is concerned.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:17 AM
 
Location: here
24,401 posts, read 28,493,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I totally agree and have said several times, that I would expect them to accomodate me, unless they had a good reason, which I stated earlier to be large numbers of absences or something similar. It is most certainly a legal requirement to attend school unless you choose to home school, but even then most policies are written with an immense of leeway as to the total number allowed. For instance, this is my schools attendance policy:

Escused absences are categorized as follows:
-Personal illness
-Death in family
-Medical appointment
-Religious holiday
-Other situations approved by administator; including unavoidable family vacations.
I wonder what an "unavoidable family vacation" is unless it is for a death or illness in the family, I would think all vacations are avoidable.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:17 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,360,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Bascially, for me, short of my kids missing 20+ days of school without valid reason there is little consequence as far as the law is concerned.
That's true. A child has to have many, many unexcused absences before it would become a problem worth worrying about.

In the OP's case, she says nothing happens until 10 unexcused absences.

Districts seem to create these rules to allow for vacations without actually condoning vacations.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,533,348 times
Reputation: 3421
I am usually not in the favored corner when it comes to children.. I am old fashioned and rather rigid, but it is the United States and everyone has a right to parent in the manner they see best for their children.
Sometimes I think we post for advice on CD to ease our guilt looking for someone to tell us it is ok.

I try to encourage other parents that they do not need to spend alot of money to raise good kids. I still vote no on taking them out of school.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: here
24,401 posts, read 28,493,672 times
Reputation: 30787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
That's true. A child has to have many, many unexcused absences before it would become a problem worth worrying about.
I'm sure that's true most places. But there are situations like my SIL's I posted a while ago. Her daughter and son missed, I believe, one week in June, and the week of Thanksgiving, which was probably only a 3-day week, and the school was ready to revoke their open enrollment. Seems a little harsh, but I guess letting them go to a school other than their home school was a "favor" that the district was not obligated to grant. In the end they were allowed to stay at the school, though.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
8,971 posts, read 15,940,666 times
Reputation: 9649
One of the school districts near here could not make up its mind for the 2011-12 schedule. It 'Approved' it in March, then in June, It changed it to start school 5 day earlier then the 1st 'approved' schedule. Alot of parents at that point had commited to vacations, summer camps, etc based on the 1st approved schedule. I think that would fall under un-avoidable vacations.
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