School days!

DD7 will be in 2nd grade next year and hubs and I are discussing a late january trip. We would have to take her out of school, but i’m thinking we plan it so its a friday-tuesday so she only misses 3 days.
I guess my question is, those who take their kids out of school for trips, what do you consider an ‘acceptable’ amount to miss. Teachers feel free to chime in too…

This year, she will be missing 3 total days (no sick days, missed two “in school” days when we went in january, and will miss 2.5 actual school days at the end of this month for a trip as well)


This may be an unpopular opinion, but I have no problem taking my kids out of school for up to a week, although I try to overlap with days the school has off anyway. Family vacations are important, and not everything is feasible or practical during the big school breaks. If the kid is struggling in school then my answer would change, but otherwise, carpe diem. She’ll remember this a lot longer than whatever she’ll miss in those 3 days.


In my district we have a professional development gay on the Tuesday after MLK Day. I always told parents to take that week (only three school days)


I had no qualms pulling my kids when they wer in elementary or middle school. It got a bit more difficult in high school when we had to juggle sports, activities, AP classes, and other events.

For second grade I would definitely do it. Probably not more than 5 school. days.


I’m with @jcgoblue especially in elementary school. Missing days in HS is a different story b/c it becomes harder to make up work for grades. But I think family time is important and I’d rather go on vacation when it’s cheaper (gas/airfares) and cooler (temp). When I still had kids in school I resented having the district calendar dictate when we could travel so at one point I said screw it and we did our own thing. Also one district altered their calendar b/c of all the AD-MIL taking the whole thanksgiving week to travel to see family. That district started blocking out that whole week since so many kids (Air Force brats) were gone anyway


yes, I think 5 days is reasonable. Now I just have to figure out if I want to do 5 consecutive days or split it into two trips :rofl:

I’ll have to look at that. There’s lots to juggle depending on my weekend schedule for work, and of course, flight costs around holiday weekends are a bit more.

And… I’m not trying to bag on schools! We just had limited funds and the best travel deals fell in the middle of the school sessions.

right I hear that.
The best thing would be for us to travel friday-tues/wed or sunday-friday due to hubby’s 24 hr shifts. and i’m all about minimizing airfare for sure!!

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I have no issues taking my kids out of school for 5 or 6 days for a vaca. Now that my oldest is in middle school it is a little more complicated and she is more concerned about missing days. We will try and respect her wishes because I think it is responsible of her. When they are young the work is easy to make up and teachers have always been supportive.


We take our kids out for a whole week during lower crowd times, just like you are. Now, we do not do it every year, but have twice already. And even at older ages than your DD. The kids teachers are used to families traveling and always send some school work assignments with to do during the trip.

The great part about taking a whole week is being able to visit the parks on Tues/Wed/Thurs which are the lowest crowd days.

My DW is a special education teacher and she is even OK with missing a whole week. Her co-workers actually encourage it. She takes her job very seriously. It makes for a lot of extra work for herself just to be able to be off for a whole week, but it’s worth it.

You’d be crazy not to do a whole week! :grinning:


This, exactly same as @Minnie27mouse. In second grade they can easily make up a week of work. 7/8th grade gets tougher. Do it while you still can!

I’d highly recommend talking to some other parents about how your school is likely to respond. I would imagine at 2nd grade it wouldn’t be a big deal, but you’ll get an idea of how much support/pushback you’ll encounter.

Our school district is NOT supportive so we know the absences will be unexcused (we won’t lie to get them excused), but we still do it on occasion. (We took our kids out last January for 2 days for our Disney trip.) Our teachers have all been understanding and cooperative about the makeup work, though. But we do get a “nastygram” from the district at a certain number of unexcused absences (5?) threatening to take us to court on truancy charges. I haven’t talked to anyone that’s actually had that happen though.

There was this extreme example posted here previously, but with an older student:

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it, just best to have an idea what the response will be.


We have done 5 days with no issue. We have a rescheduled trip in November (the week after Thanksgiving) this year and my kids are missing 3 days. They have off Monday and Tuesday that week as part of their Thanksgiving break. We did this on purpose since my oldest 2 are now in middle school. I don’t really take into consideration sick days. Our school district allows up to 5 educational trip days a school year.

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No issues here. My kids are young and strong students. I would be less inclined to take them out for an extended trip if they were older or struggling. I also speak with their teachers well in advance so they know about it and we plan around it.

The way I look at it is that adults get vacation, so why shouldn’t kids? I know they have the summer and a few holidays throughout the year, but it isn’t the same. They need a break too.

I also wonder with all of the changes in the last year if virtual school for vacations might be a thing in the future.


Agree with a full week being acceptable. We’ve done it a couple times and made sure we had a good rapport with the teachers about it. We really lucked out this year to avoid the issue and to go to WDW on their Spring Break with great weather and much lower than typical Spring Break crowds.


I don’t think this is an agree / disagree situation because I think you have to take a lot of factors into account, including what grades, how your kids do in school, meeting your kids’ teachers beforehand and getting a sense for how they would be impacted, etc. I personally try to avoid taking my kids out of school more than a day or two, but I wouldn’t hesitate to do up to a week if circumstances required / allowed.

Thankfully we are usually able to do our vacations when schools are on break because they have occasional breaks at non-peak times that line up with my work schedule.


I am very fortunate to live in a district that has very flexible policies on this. If a student is going to miss a week or more of school, we are allowed to place them on temporary independent studies. We just have to give three weeks notice (unless it is an illness). We have a large population of of police and fire personnel in our district and I think they recognize that many of them (especially the firefighters) cannot take their vacations in the summer. The teachers (at least most of them) are very supportive. I had one teacher make all the home study assignments about our trip, i.e., write about your parts of the vacation or calculating the tip from your meal or keep a record of how much you spent on you gift card (she knew I gave both my boys $50 GC for souvenirs) or walk 5k steps (which we blew out of the water), and research why your stomach feels funny on the roller coasters.


I do want to mention @jsanta as your daughter gets older, please check the MCAS dates (I can tell you the window) from grades 3-8 (generally April and May).

Also, be aware, by law, MA schools are required to hold formal meetings with families If there are 8 (or is it 9) or more absences in the year. There is attendance language embedded in the school discipline laws.

If you are interested if you want to PM me I am sure I can find a link. It was really weird the way they did it and might be interpreted by school district’s legal council that schools should be very tough on attendance……because that is much more important than the arts or a well-rounded education….(sorry-I can’t stop myself).

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We have taken DS out of school since kindergarten and all of his teachers have supported it. In K-3, it was usually a week. Once he hit 4th grade, it was 3 days max. His middle school principal and I have discussed it and he said that for a student who does well in school, he has no issue with kids taking off for 3 days for vacation. I usually try to do what @PrincipalTinker says and built it around half days or professional development days to make the most of it.

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