Middle school vacation

My oldest is starting middle school next year and we have always gone on vacation to disney either in the fall late fall, or spring. Well fall started to be out bc of football season, so now we are down to going early Dec or early/late spring (not going during spring break). For parents with older kids how do schedule your vacations now? We can’t really do summer bc of my husband’s work schedule.
This year we are going in 18 days, and the school has no problems with it. My son has excellent grades and they are MAP testing a couple days we are gone but said he can go and do his with another class either b4 or after we get back. Just really curious if middle school will be a whole new opposite world for us? And will taking him out for a few days be that detrimental?

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Our district is super strict as early as 3rd grade. For unexcused absences, all make up work is automatically docked 10 points so the highest a kid can get is a 90% for every single assignment on every single day they miss (not just homework). Starting in junior high, not only do they lose their exemptions from semester exams but all work is automatically docked 30 points. Since 69 is considered a fail grade, there is no option! There is absolutely no way for us to do it. I would guess you’d have to just call your school district and see what the rules are.

it’s a tough call. We initially were going to take our DS out for this past December, but realized it was his first year in 6th/Middle School. So we went in 2013 instead while he was still in elementary school.

I’m kinda glad we didn’t take him out. It’s been a huge adjustment to the workload, the classes, having different teachers, switching classrooms. Not to mention all the tween things that happen (emotional swings, puberty, peer pressure…).

Our district is pretty strict with the number of absences too.

I’m taking my DS this October, but it’s over a holiday weekend and he’ll only be out for 3 days overall.

It’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but I hope it helps.

Wow that is strict, ours is no way that strict (as far as elementary school goes) ours just requires that the student be in class 90% of the time before they start sending letters home. And only sends those home if they are unverified absences.

Middle school might and will likely be different. I do suggest you check before you make any final plans.

We used to attach our vacation to Columbus weekend but now with football season for the last couple years we can’t even think about that! I think his coach would flip a lid! Loved going then and doing MNSSHP

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It’ll be DS’s first time in October and for MNSSHP. I went for the first time last year and knew I had to get him there sooner than later. TOO MUCH FUN!!!

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Been there, seen that, bought the T-shirt. DD had a total meltdown when she found out that one of her friends made a move on her boyfriend. While we were riding TSMM. Teen-aged girls :-@


I am taking my 7th grader for the first time next month. I checked the standardized testing schedules before booking our trip. She also had the extra incentive to not miss school because she knew the trip would be at the end of the school year.

Texas has pretty strict laws about attendance also, but it’s at the principal’s discretion if the absences will be excused (my daughter’s are approved).

It’s my opinion that after the standardized testing in April, it’s primarily review for the end of the semester exams. I don’t think my daughter will be missing ‘new’ lessons.

For the crowds, weather, and affordability, it just made sense for us.


@ktmadras It really depends on your DS and the district. As a former middle school, now high school teacher who is also the father of a middle schooler, I have no problem taking my excellent student out of school for a few days to go to our happy place. We always have gone during fall break OR the first week of December. December is a touch more difficult now because of semester tests.

Take this upcoming trip, for example. In most of Oklahoma, fall break typically takes place during the second week of October. So this year my son will miss school on Friday the 9th, Monday 12th and Tuesday the 13th. The rest of the 9 day trip is weekend or break. We ALWAYS let the teachers know at the beginning of the school year and make it clear that we make parts of the trip a learning experience. Luckily, DS loves EPCOT and is a geography nut so we always learn something in World Showcase.

Our district allows 10 days of “unexcused absences” per semester. So far they have been very flexible but I know that will change as he moves to high school.

Middle school is different but, in reality, If your son is a good student it shouldn’t be a problem. If there is a subject that is more difficult, say…math (I’m a social studies guy, so math is ALWAYS the more difficult subject!), you could as for some suggestions for math practice websites, do a little practice a couple of nights or break times, just to keep the mind in a math mindset.

And mh002001 is pretty much spot on. We are starting our End Of Instruction testing next week. After that it will be mostly review for the finals.

@NeedaTurkeyLeg, thanks for your input. I know we have a meet the teachers coming up some time in early summer. So perhaps I can get their take it on it then and sort of “feel them out”. Even now, I make sure to have all the work beforehand and we work to complete it on our trip (I can also say I am a little guilty with having one extra day when we get back for them to make sure everything is completed). For us vacations are so important, because my husband travels A LOT during the year and during his slower non travel weeks
he still is in the office quite a bit. In reality, our vacations are the only time we are all together. And I seriously mean that! So I hope they will understand, and if not, maybe we will try to figure something else out =).

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I understand completely. I was in the Air Force for 26 years so family time is VERY important!

I think bringing it up at the meet the teachers thingy is a great idea. Kind of give them a heads up and get their take. One year my son had a Disney enthusiast and an “absolutely not” teacher in two different subjects. The Disney teacher said sure, go, have fun and then went and talked to the “no” teacher.

We went!

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We took 6th and 8th grade middle schoolers over Labor Day week to DL. 6th grade boy had all work turned in before we left. 8th grade girl was in constant contact with her teachers via the school issued iPad. She was able to work a little each evening and have all but a math test completed before we returned. It was the 3rd grader who was piled high with homework!!! All 4 are in private school so we are lucky to be able to work it out with the teachers. Next year with high school I am not sure we will find the same kind of time. Good luck and enjoy. (PS- my husband lived in another state for over two years so we were the same about our vacations! )

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Thanks @kiki73!

@ktmadras did you decide what to do? I am in the exact same boat right now - we have a trip booked for September which would have our kids missing 4 days of school. DS10 is just starting middle school. I am endlessly debating what to do, but I need to make a decision in the next 10 days.

Anyone else want to weigh in?