My daughter will start kindergarden in the fall. MY husband and I were discussing vacations once we have a school age child. I think it is OK to take the child out of school for a family vacation. I think that the absense might even be excused by the school. I know that I have to talk to my school to find out what the policy is ..but I was wondering what other schools policy is..
Personally, I don't believe in taking children out of school for vacations unless it's only one or two days before a school vacation week. They miss too much - even in elementary school (except right before a school vacation).
As for absences - with a doctor's note, you are excused -- but you still have to make up the work. If it is for a school function - you are excused, but you have to make up the work missed. If you are out for a vacation, you need to speak with each teacher, but you will not be excused.
At an elementary school level taking a child out of school for a family vacation is allowed, but frowned upon. Personally, I did it every year from K - 5.
High school is a whole another world. Other than a school related activity, death in the family or medical excuse signed by a doctor are the only forms of an excused absense. You miss 6 days in a semester (1/2 year) you will not receive credit for that class.
I take my kindergartener out whenever i want (not very often). He was out for a week when my father died, and out for a few other things. Lots of kids at his school are taken out for international travel. It seems to be fine with the school, and my son is doing well academically. I would not hesitate to take him out for a special family vacation, but i do speak to his teachers to get his readers and worksheets.
Please ITS kindergarten. You think she'll miss a couple pop quizzes and a calculus exam?? Dont push the teacher to send home work, but find out are they working on counting by fives or money or ? Spend ten minutes a day working on reading and math. Check with your school over how many absenses are allowed per year, check with other parents to see if the school really is strict with their policy. IT will get harder to pull them the older they get so enjoy the younger years, after K look at your individual child, are they struggling to keep up in any subjects? (S., K teacher)
I don't believe in taking children out of school for vacation they get enough time off with holidays and vacation.
Our school only excuses absences that have doctors notes and you are only allowed 5 unexcused before your child is written up get 10 and they don't have to pass you. The kids have a lot more work to do than we had growing up. If she misses a week of school she will miss a lot and fall behind.
Missing school for a day, no big deal. Missing for a week is a mistake. Each week builds on the previous in every grade. Kinder isn't just playtime like it was when I was a kid. I don't know about other states, but they learn A LOT in kindergarten where we live!!
Your district probably has their policy regarding absences online.
This is a hot button topic. I think most schools now are very against children being excused for vacations, and there have even been reports of families running into trouble for things like scheduled surgery and medical care.
Your best bet is to go to your district's website and see specifically what their policies are. No need to have truancy problems right out of the starting gate!
To see blogs of parents sharing their personal experiences, or to read news stories about districts that have accused parents of truancy or even fined them for pulling their kids out for vacation see:
It's kindergarten. At DS's kindergarten (it's a Montessori) travelling is looked at as an opportunity for the kids and not at all discouraged. They work at their own pace so they can't actually fall behind anyway. Um, how far behind can you fall in regular kindergarten anyway - take your trips. At the public school he will attend for first grade - 'pre approved educational travel' is an 'allowed' excuse. We will be pulling him out of school for travel in the future - my parents did the same when we were kids.
most of them have a zero tolerance policy. personally i think it's ridiculous. our children are OURS, not the schools', and for them it's a financial more than an educational issue. obviously if your kids are in public school, it's beneficial for them to be there, but parents are the final word and if something that benefits the family outweighs a few days of school, it should be the parents' decision.
but refusing to assign sovereign rights over my kids was one of the reasons i decided to homeschool.
In the state of Texas students/families will be turned into the truancy officer at 11 unexcused absences. Many times the family will be turned in before but 11 is the official number and usually earns you a home visit by the district truancy officer. A doctors apt with a note is excused while vacation is unexcused. When a student reaches 18 total absences (both excused and unexcused) the school can retain a student in the current grade. If 18 absences was due to extended illness the family can do some simple paperwork to wave the retention. Also the 18 doesn't mean that the kid will automatically be retained even if it's all for vacation. Just gives the district something to stand on. As a teacher we almost never retain for the 18 unless the kid was very low to begin with. Also, I do not have a problem with families taking kids out of school to go on vacation. Vacations in October will cost a family half of what it costs to travel on July. I understand this. Keeping up with work and reading on vacation is part of the agreement but family time and travel are all important parts of a child's life and education.
It's your daughter, your choice. Kindergarten is not a big deal and to all the people who say it sets a bad example...Blah! There is so much more to life, learning, education & raising kids well then whether or not they are at thier desks filling in little bubbles every single day from K-12. We don't miss excessive amounts but if we need to miss a few days for a vaction or even the occasional "mental health" day then that's our choice, not the governments! I will say as they get older the trade off is more catch up work and taking out a midle schooler as opposed to a first grader is a much bigger decision. Both my girls are super responsible honor's students so I don't think missing a few days of school per year has hurt them one bit. Have fun on vacation!
well, ask anonymously. I took my son out of school (with permission from his actual school) but he was also being bussed to a tech program. My other son was coming back to the United States in the military and we HAD NOT SEEN HIM IN A YEAR. The other people in this school (I wish I could say who they were outloud I am still angry) gave me a hard time, penalized my son for being absent and the head of the program claims he was in the military before so he 'really understands' but still penalized him. And the woman in charge was nasty as could be. I would suggest you tread carefully on this one and do not let them know who you are if they have rules about it. I agree with you. YOu should take a vacation whenever you want. And the vacation itself does not affect children's schooling it is the attitudes of people who create problems. Anyone who has ever taken their children out of school that I know of makes sure they complete their schoolwork. Good luck and Bonvoyage!!
Vacation is not an 'excused absense' at our school but is not penalized at all. I always take my kids out in the winter for vacation and do not feel one single bit bad about it. I will continue to do this until they graduate from high school and will lie about it if need be (saying it was a medical emergency or something). To me the experiences that we have on a winter family vacation are as beneficial and important as school is. And I will never go during the big winter holidays when places are packed with people-for me that is not even worth it.
At the end of the day though there is nothing my school district would do about it. They officially have to have this policy but do not penalize people at all for it.
I am interested in this as well...my oldest will be starting school too. Offhand, I would definitely say that we would NOT be pulling him out for vacation. I feel that we have to stress the importance of school early and the fact that school is going to be his "job". Obviously, I would keep home for illness, but that doesn't mean that I would drag a sick kid to the doctor every time just to get a sick note. Sometimes they just need some tylenol with some R&R. I do plan to pull him out next spring for my company's "Bring your Child to Work Day". I am actually the one that organizes this event and we have stuff for the kids to do all day long. We are an engineering/manufacturing company so there are science experiments, hands-on demonstrations etc... I will explain this to his teacher in advance, provide the Program for the day, and pull him out.
Also, you have to take out for doctor well check-ups...You cannot exactly go on Saturdays for most offices. Obviously, I will try to schedule these things during school breaks, but I am limited by my insurance as to when I can schedule these...
It really depends on the school district . . . I live right on the border of two counties (and two Catholic dioceses) and it varies even between those two.
It's my understanding that schools have gotten much tougher on the issue now that federal funding relies, in part, on average daily attendance.
Personally I think parents should have much more control over their children's lives & education rather than some arbitrary body sitting many miles away - now that we homeschool we do, so it's a moot point for us (though I still take attendance LOL).
Good luck - perhaps check your district's web site to see if there are any policies there.
I think it is absolutely ridiculous that we even have to tell the school why a kid is out. It is none of their business! My son was in public for the first 4 years of grade school and then we moved him to a private christian school. I do not believe I have ever given a reason why my child has missed school. They have a call-in line, I tell them he will not be in and when I expect him to return. I do get homework if he is going to be gone longer than a day but that is it.
I understand that each state has its own rules about absenteeism. You might want to find out the true legalities in your state just to be sure. I still would choose what you believe is right for your family regardless.
As a last thought, I do not believe we have ever taken our kids out for vacations. There just seems to be so much time off during the year that we always took trips during the off times. I am not totally sure I would choose to plan a trip during school unless by some chance there was a trip we couldn't do any other time.
In short, it is kindergarten and I am sure missing a few days will not break your child's learning career or the school. = )
In our school district you can take an educational vacation. You must fill out paperwork stating where you are going and how the trip will be educational. Once it is signed off on it is listed on the child's attendance record as an educational vacation. All missed work must be completed.
When we lived in Missouri for college and our home is Arizona, we had 6 weeks off at Christmas for our school. Our kids Kindergarten and 2nd grade only had 2 weeks off. We went home to AZ for the full 6 week break and didn't think twice about it. We talked with both of their teachers and got their work and did everything they were suppose to do. I don't remember even wondering if it would be okay..LOL My 2nd grader was caught up for the rest of the year on homework because she gave us more than they did at school and we did it all. My kindergartener pretty much just had play time at school so she didn't miss much. They're in 11 and 12 grades now so this was some time ago. I hope that helps. Good luck to you!!!
We had three codes for absences. Zero was fully excused and meant you had a doctor's note that you were there. Code one was excused, but if you had more than three you had to make up the time. These included sick with a parent note, travel. The third was code two and unexcused, which usually meant no note and you were not able to make up work.
I'm sure it can vary and elementary schools may be a little easier going. This was our middle and high schools policy.
L., my understanding is that Kindergarten is not actually mandatory in MI (or several other states for that matter) therefore, taking your child out of K for any reason is your choice. Once she is in grade school it is another matter, one that I will be dealing with in 2012. My daughter will be starting 2nd grade then and we are planning to take her out for almost 2 weeks to go to <gasp> Disney World! As we will have family coming in from England and will be celebrating several milestone birthdays it is just not possible to schedule during Summer (in FL uggh) especially with the cost of flights from the UK. We will be asking for homework and will also ensure we make good use of the many educational opportunities offered at DW (Hall of Presidents, Epcot etc).
Go, have fun, make sure you have lots of good family bonding time.
We don't have to have an excuse...I don't think! I take my kids out when I take my kids out. They are MINE. I have only done it a handful of times, but it's my prerogative. Take your kid out for a family vacation. It's only kindergarten! However, I feel like once they are a bit older it may be a bit harder. Two weeks of missing school could really miss some valuable lesson plans.
In my children's school district, a phone call by the parent stating the child is sick is acceptable. I think an absence because of a vacation is an acceptable excuse but I am not sure since I haven't called the school for this reason. (Between summer, spring and winter vacations, and other holidays, there are plenty of other days to take a child on a vacation. Just my opinion.) (I've been on both sides of the fence with this issue since I was a 2nd grade teacher prior to having my kids.) My sil and friend in different districts near me are not allowed to take vacation days during school time. So... I guess it depends on the district your child will be going.
My kids are 15, 11 and 8 and have NEVER missed a day of school for anything other than being VERY sick. I even schedule doc and dentist appointments after school. I don't think it shows a very good example to the kids by taking off school for something "fun". All of our vacations are in the summer or during spring, winter and fall break. Good luck.
My daughter goes to a charter school, and at her school you're either absent or you're not, there is no "excused" absence. If you are not at school, you still have to do the homework or you get a big fat zero for the day... and at a school where the grading period is only 6 weeks long (so there are 6 grading periods instead of the traditional 4)... even 1-2 zeros can have a huge impact on the grade. Plus, there is no going back to help the child catch up unless you bring your child in early for tutoring.
I personally don't think it's appropriate to take my child from school to go on vacation... my husband thinks it's ok to take out Friday before... we've compromised where we'll take her (soon to be 2 of our 3 children in school- but Kindergarten is half day anyway) out an hour early. At an hour early my child has been at school most of the day so she isn't absent, and because it's Friday, there's usually no homework.
As a teacher, I'm disappointed at many who have such a cavalier attitude about their child's school attendance. However, I'm not surprised.
While I don't have issue with an occasional family vacation provided the child is doing the assignments requested from their teachers (including specials, where children frequently fall behind in projects), frequent absences are very detrimental to the child.
The students I teach that miss a lot of school are confused and have holes in their learning that affects whether or not they will ever be successful as an adult.
for my daughters school, unless they are sick or have a dr. appointment it is NOT excused. We tried to take my daughter out of school just for 1 day because my husband had just gotten home from police acadamy and we haven't seen him for 3 months. The school said you can keep her home, but it won't be excused
I lived overseas when my kids were really little (pre-school, K, 1st grade) and I always took them out for extended periods of time. At that age, I really don't think it hurts them to miss a bunch of days. That said, I guess you should check with your school and see what the township/state law says so your child does not have a problem with getting left back if she misses too many days. I know for high school at least there is a "minimum" of days that can be missed (other than for illness, pre-excused absence etc., but not holidays) before there is a danger of repeating. But other than complying with the local law or rule, I really don't think it hurts at any age to take a child out for extended periods, especially in the grade school years (as long as you make up the work with them.) And, I always give my kiddos lots of mental health days (for the ones who want them).
I just had a conversation with our principal about this. She wasn't thrilled but was understanding. We will be out a week in October. My daughter missed 7 days last year (various issues including the death of her grandfather) and still maintained straight A's. I'm not too worried about her missing 4 days. She will catch up. There were a lot of factors that made us decide to do our vacation in October rather than the summer, it's not always cut and dried. But with my 2nd starting school in another year, this will probably be the last time we do it this way. . . . (and it's also the first). Good luck!
3 of my kids went to catholic school. we took vacations during the school year and they were excused as long as they did some sort of report on where and what we were doing. and they did all the homework. (catholic school doesn't get the funding from the state) our youngest has been in public school his whole life. public school it is unexcused absence for anything except sick / doctors appts. (they do get funding from the state and if your kids is not there they don't get the money for the day) at kindergarten I don't know that its a big deal but later on when basic education things are being taught you can really mess up a kids learning abilities. When I was in 5th grade my mom had to be in the hospital for almost a month. I was shipped to an aunts house in another city to stay for that month. So off I went. the school I was in had not started fractions yet. the school I was sent to had already done them. when I got back to my real school they had finished fractions. To this day almost 40 years later I have trouble with fractions and math in general. Unless the only time you can take a vacation is during the school year I would not take them out.
You will need to check with the school district policy on attendance. Although it is convenient for the parents to take a child out of class for a vacation, it is not an excused absence for the student in our public school district. There funding is based on the number of students in class each day. Although missing kindergarten might not put your child behind, they are subject to the same rules as high school students who are dinged for unexcused absences by getting zeros for the work they missed, getting in-school suspension and being banned or benched from extracurricular activities. There are some private schools that have more leeway on missing class because you are paying tuition. You can probably look on the school district website and see their attendance policies.
In California, schools excuse absenses for certain things such as illness, medical appointments, a death in the family, etc.
Vacations are not excused.
You have to remember that the schools receive money based on attendance. So, playing hookey isn't really helping the schools who are so low on funding as it is.
If you want to take your child out for vacation, speak to the teacher ahead of time. We did this with my daughter one year after the family needed a break from a death and other family complications. The time away wasn't excused, but the teacher sent work to do while we were gone so she wouldn't fall behind. We also stopped along the way and visited the California Missions. We took video tape and picked up brochures and brought back things to share. The teacher was impressed that we took the initiative to also make our trip educational. My daughter had excellent attendance so it wasn't negligent for her to miss school the same as for some kids who were rarely at school and received truancy letters.
Schools here have a full week for President's week, a full week for spring break, full summer breaks and numerous 3 or 4 day weekends for federal holidays and in-service days for teachers who work but the school is closed.
I took my son out of school when his older sister was in labor so we could be at the hospital when the baby was born. The school was fine with it, but the absences weren't excused. He had to make up all the work he missed.
Check with your school. They will give you a student handbook that explains all these things once she begins kindergarten.
Illness, death of a family member, funerals, and doctor appointments are the only excused absences here. The state of North Carolina can take the kid away if they have too many unexcused absences. I did once miss a day in 8th grade because my glasses broke and I can't read, write, or use the computer without them.
When my 7 yr old DS was in Kindergarden, my husband wanted to take him to Germany, his Uncle was dying and our son had never met him. I explained it to the Principle and he asked how long, when I told him 2 weeks, I didn't think he would ok it but to my surprise he did.
Some vacations can be excused...in advance and especially if you can point out the learning experience it will bring. However, most schools have most of June, all of July, and most, if not all, of August off. If you can't plan a vacation around that (since you know what those dates are well in advance) then you should try to plan it around their other breaks (long weekends, winter and spring breaks). If you must, maybe take them out a day early.
I know you asked what our schools allow and since my son has already graduated and my daughter hasn't started yet, I can't say for sure what they WILL excuse...never had my son miss unless he was sick or there was a funeral for an immediate family member. We wanted to point out and show by example that education is important and was a priority.
For those that say "it's just kindergarten"...it is "just kindergarten" which is JUST the beginning of their educational career and JUST sets the stage for your family's attitude towards school and education. Kindergarten is not what it was 20-30 years ago (it's not mostly play time) it includes some playtime because young children learn best that way but it also is a lot tougher and the kids really learn a lot (even during playtime). Each day/week builds on the previous and missing a week or more at once can really cause them to miss chunks of learning. You may not realize it right away because most kids a bright enough to do ok anyway but as they advance those "chunks" may make future work harder.
Additionally, if you have them miss time because you/they want to, what happens when a true emergency comes up and they HAVE to miss time and they possibly miss too much time and may be held back? You may regret the optional missed time then.
In our school only absences with doctor notes, or death in family, are excused. After 6 absences per semester you will get a letter stating that any further absences require an excuse. We now gets notes from the doctor that I called about a cold even if we do not go to see them - what mom goes to the doctor when you know rest and fluids is best? However, I have heard of folks taking kids to Disney world, etc, and they tell the teachers in advance. The kids have to keep up with the classwork as homework and any tests missed must be made up the day they return. There is probably a truancy state law you can look up.
We are actually having a family vacation for one week during the second week of school (circumstances make it impossible to do it during summer time). It is not excused, but we are still doing it. We NEED IT, and my kids (who excel in school) will bring the missed work with them while we are on vacation. I've already talked to the school about this. They don't really look down on it, but it is still unexcused.
Just sick days (does not need Dr's note- they trust us), doctor's appointments, family emergencies, deaths, etc.
When I was growing up my parents took us out of school often for family vacations. They would always get the assignments for the time we would be gone and we would work on them and turn them in when we returned. It was common for them to take us out 2 weeks before Winter break to make it a total of 4 weeks off to fly out of state to visit grandparents. We would add extra driving sightseeing time to trips made for weddings or such. My education never suffered, I was always in the gifted/advanced classes and got good grades.
I do not know specific policies so I can't help you with that unfortunately. I do know that a lot of schools are "cracking down" because absences of any kind, excused or not, means lost money for them so they don't want to allow anything that means there isn't a body warming a seat.
If we weren't home schoolers I would take them out regardless of the school policy but I'm a rebel LOL