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Old 08-13-2011, 04:03 PM
 
Location: FL
1,933 posts, read 5,649,000 times
Reputation: 2093

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Here's another issue I have. My grandfather passed away 2 years ago. He's my kids' great-grandfather, but we are really close with my grandparents. Me and my oldest child used to live with them. Heck, I had him walk me half-way down the wedding aisle and hand me off to my father. So his death hit my children hard.
They live in PA, and we live in FL. Have been here since 2004. Haven't been back up to PA with the exception of a 3 day trip 2 years ago for my grandfather's funeral.

My grandmother- his wife, is 78 years old. Alzheimer's runs in her family, and my parents let me know that this year has been going down hill for her. She's already been on a pacemaker for about 12 years, and needed another one this past year. So before this past school year was out- about April- my parents paid for 4 plane tickets for my family to travel up to PA this coming Christmas to visit her. They feel it will probably be her last Christmas with most of her memory intact,and my kids haven't been up since 2004 (NOT counting the funeral).

BUT, they bought the plane tickets for us before this coming year's school schedule was available. Now that we have the calendar, when we are flying up, they will be missing one full day, and 3 half days. My oldest son seems to think the three half days are for end of semester tests.

I don't know what to do. I feel that if I email the teachers and ask for them to take the tests earlier (if they're available), they are going to think my story is a crock of crap and I'm just taking them on a winter vacation- which I am, but there's meaning behind it.

The tickets are already paid for, so if I keep my kids here for the testing and change their tickets- if changes are available, it's going to be about $400-$500, which is money that I do not have at all.

Do I have any options?
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:54 PM
 
Location: here
17,005 posts, read 14,347,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Bewitched View Post
Here's another issue I have. My grandfather passed away 2 years ago. He's my kids' great-grandfather, but we are really close with my grandparents. Me and my oldest child used to live with them. Heck, I had him walk me half-way down the wedding aisle and hand me off to my father. So his death hit my children hard.
They live in PA, and we live in FL. Have been here since 2004. Haven't been back up to PA with the exception of a 3 day trip 2 years ago for my grandfather's funeral.

My grandmother- his wife, is 78 years old. Alzheimer's runs in her family, and my parents let me know that this year has been going down hill for her. She's already been on a pacemaker for about 12 years, and needed another one this past year. So before this past school year was out- about April- my parents paid for 4 plane tickets for my family to travel up to PA this coming Christmas to visit her. They feel it will probably be her last Christmas with most of her memory intact,and my kids haven't been up since 2004 (NOT counting the funeral).

BUT, they bought the plane tickets for us before this coming year's school schedule was available. Now that we have the calendar, when we are flying up, they will be missing one full day, and 3 half days. My oldest son seems to think the three half days are for end of semester tests.

I don't know what to do. I feel that if I email the teachers and ask for them to take the tests earlier (if they're available), they are going to think my story is a crock of crap and I'm just taking them on a winter vacation- which I am, but there's meaning behind it.

The tickets are already paid for, so if I keep my kids here for the testing and change their tickets- if changes are available, it's going to be about $400-$500, which is money that I do not have at all.

Do I have any options?
this is where I'd be thankful for the tickets but peeved that they didn't wait to find out the school schedule. The tickets didn't need to be purchased in April. Maybe your parents should pay for the change. Or, if there are 2 adults traveling, maybe only 2 tickets could be changed instead of all of them. Or, maybe this is an "unavoidable vacation" even though, to me, it is avoidable if people planned better. Sorry, I have my own issues with certain family members not planning things very fell, so I'm sensitive. I'm sorry about your grandmother. Mine also has Alzheimer's, and it is not easy to deal with.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:02 PM
 
Location: FL
1,933 posts, read 5,649,000 times
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Thank you for your opinions. I think that my parents thought that the earlier you buy the tickets, especially around the holiday time, the cheaper they'd be.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:07 PM
 
4,476 posts, read 6,031,416 times
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What would it cost to change the tickets?

End of semester we have the same type of schedule as well - and here those half days are for semester finals....
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:27 PM
 
2,596 posts, read 2,706,267 times
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Even more than any issues with the school for unexcused absences (that varies by state--you'll have to check with your district for their policy), I would question whether your son would be too happy about having the testing schedule messed up. Either he'll have to take the tests early or weeks late. When he took them early would be entirely at the teacher's discretion since they'll have to give up time to administer them. He may find it stressful if he has to take exams in every subject (not sure how old he is, but that's common in high school), especially if he will also miss all the review sessions in the final days of class before the exams. If he takes them after the holidays, he may have issues with retention and/or spend the holidays feeling stressed over it. Sure, some schools always have exams after the break and it works, but some students are better able to relax knowing they can put that semester behind them and really have a holiday and a break.

So, I would check in with your son to see how he feels, then talk to your parents. If they can afford the tickets, maybe they could afford to pay the fee to change them.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:53 PM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,418,206 times
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I would think that if you FIRST contacted the teachers in September or so (parent/teacher conferences or something like that) and then again around Thanksgiving that you shouldn't have any issues at all with them knowing it is not just some "winter break" trip. The earlier contact could be to gather information about how those days work and what your son would need to do to take his tests earlier. Your son could then, around Thanksgiving break, talk to the teachers individually to schedule whatever needs to be done.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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As long as they're not state-mandated tests, and the only day they're allowed to take them, or "attendance days" like Colorado has, they'll just be counted as "unexcused absences" - two and a half days worth. It's unlikely the tests will be given early - and it'll suck for your kids to take them AFTER a holiday break - when the stuff isn't fresh in their minds. It may affect their grades or placement, depending on what the tests are for.

Giving the teachers notice is nice. But you've got to do what's best for your family. If your kids are elementary age, then their grades won't affect them long term, so it's a non-issue. If they're in jr high or high school, it could affect their high school placement or college acceptance. You'll have to weigh it all against the costs.

But they cannot 'forbid' you from going, if that's your concern.

Last spring, my stepmom passed, right before the state mandated tests. My kids had been sick (tough winter) and so were at about 4 unexcused absences apiece already (if it hadn't been for some 'lucky' no-school ice days, that would've been 7-9 apiece!). We had to go to the memorial service - she was their "Grammy", and the favorite at that! I called the teachers, who directed me to the principals - who both expressed their sympathy and said that although we'd surpass the amount before truancy reporting, told us to go - 9 more missed school days each.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:25 PM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,418,206 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
As long as they're not state-mandated tests, and the only day they're allowed to take them, or "attendance days" like Colorado has, they'll just be counted as "unexcused absences" - two and a half days worth. It's unlikely the tests will be given early - and it'll suck for your kids to take them AFTER a holiday break - when the stuff isn't fresh in their minds. It may affect their grades or placement, depending on what the tests are for.

Giving the teachers notice is nice. But you've got to do what's best for your family. If your kids are elementary age, then their grades won't affect them long term, so it's a non-issue. If they're in jr high or high school, it could affect their high school placement or college acceptance. You'll have to weigh it all against the costs.

But they cannot 'forbid' you from going, if that's your concern.

Last spring, my stepmom passed, right before the state mandated tests. My kids had been sick (tough winter) and so were at about 4 unexcused absences apiece already (if it hadn't been for some 'lucky' no-school ice days, that would've been 7-9 apiece!). We had to go to the memorial service - she was their "Grammy", and the favorite at that! I called the teachers, who directed me to the principals - who both expressed their sympathy and said that although we'd surpass the amount before truancy reporting, told us to go - 9 more missed school days each.
In our school they would be excused absences, but even excused absences have a limit in our school but this wouldn't be an issue here.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: here
17,005 posts, read 14,347,066 times
Reputation: 13905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Bewitched View Post
Thank you for your opinions. I think that my parents thought that the earlier you buy the tickets, especially around the holiday time, the cheaper they'd be.
FWIW something similar happened to us once. My parents were using their airline miles to get tickets for us to come home for a family wedding. My flake of a cousin ended up changing the date (had announced the date of the wedding, but hadn't put down the deposit). 3 of us kept our tickets, but there was a fee to cancel DH's and get their miles back. My parents paid for the change because they are the ones who insisted on getting the tickets that early.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:27 PM
 
Location: here
17,005 posts, read 14,347,066 times
Reputation: 13905
Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
As long as they're not state-mandated tests, and the only day they're allowed to take them, or "attendance days" like Colorado has, they'll just be counted as "unexcused absences" - two and a half days worth. It's unlikely the tests will be given early - and it'll suck for your kids to take them AFTER a holiday break - when the stuff isn't fresh in their minds. It may affect their grades or placement, depending on what the tests are for.

Giving the teachers notice is nice. But you've got to do what's best for your family. If your kids are elementary age, then their grades won't affect them long term, so it's a non-issue. If they're in jr high or high school, it could affect their high school placement or college acceptance. You'll have to weigh it all against the costs.

But they cannot 'forbid' you from going, if that's your concern.

Last spring, my stepmom passed, right before the state mandated tests. My kids had been sick (tough winter) and so were at about 4 unexcused absences apiece already (if it hadn't been for some 'lucky' no-school ice days, that would've been 7-9 apiece!). We had to go to the memorial service - she was their "Grammy", and the favorite at that! I called the teachers, who directed me to the principals - who both expressed their sympathy and said that although we'd surpass the amount before truancy reporting, told us to go - 9 more missed school days each.
illness was unexcused??
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