School days!

And yes, we built around the MCAS days! We got the dreaded letter telling us we were on the verge of too many absences in 3rd grade. He had pneumonia that year and missed a week because of that. But I talked to his elementary principal and she told me that was a formality and they need to send it but she wasn’t concerned.

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This. I think for some kids, missing 4-5 days of school is no problem. Other kids could really be impacted by the missed days.
I know my school is not supportive of missing days for vacation - they are unexcused absences and the work cannot be made up. This was fine for me to take my advanced kindergartener out for 2 days, but I don’t know how much we’ll be able to do it in the future.

You know your kid. You know your school system and their appetite for these types of absences.

I would probably say go for it, but I think you have a better understanding of all the factors.


We haven’t had to do it yet as my daughter is just in Kindergarten this year and with Covid we haven’t been doing any trips. Our cancelled trip from last year was a longer one (10 days) and I didn’t want to shorten it in order to reschedule, so we are waiting until school is out. But I would not hesitate to take her out of Elementary school for 5 or 6 days in order to go during a better time crowds- and weather-wise. Here in our district they are unexcused absences. I think after 5 unexcused you get a snarky letter in the mail and after 10 you have to go to a meeting or something. I know that they can’t/don’t really “do” anything unless or until it’s really egregious.

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I’m a h.s. teacher. My advice is not to lie about the absence because little ones will talk. I don’t blame them. I would be excited as well and would want to talk about my trip to Disney. Once a student reaches the grade levels that require state testing, take into consideration that the immediate days and weeks leading to the tests are focused on review and preparation. Therefore, missing right before the tests may not be good.

HS parents/about to be HS parents-

I’m an AP teacher and I teach my final unit two weeks before the test and we review the week before. If your child is in AP classes, wait until the 3rd week of May once the AP exams are over. This is also taking into consideration that your child’s school is giving the paper exams, not the digital exams. If that’s the case, you’ll need to wait longer.

Also, attendance at the high school level is different in some states. For example, Texas requires the student to be present in class at least 90% of the time the class meets to receive credit regardless of the student’s average. This is on a semester by semester basis. Therefore, if a student misses 10 days in a semester, regardless of the reason, they have to make up time they missed to meet the 90% requirement. Students are required to attend Saturday school and/or after school detention to make up the time. In other words, missing high school is complicated. Make sure you know your school’s policy before you go.


I always took my kid during the school year. I made sure her assignments were up to date & she was an almost straight A student w/ no issues. This made me feel OK taking her out for an entire week. We would often leave on a Thurs night / Fri morning and she wouldn’t get back to school until the Monday after next.

I did stop telling her teachers I was taking her out for vacation after one teacher & principal threatened to call the cops if I did it again. So, I just started saying she was “sick” for a whole week.

In high school she was once required to bring a doctor’s note upon her return. We went to the walk-in clinic at the grocery store. I paid the $20 co-pay, explained it to the doctor and left with an “ok to return” note within 20 minutes. The doctor didn’t care or even blink. He gets paid for the “exam” and I get an excuse note. Much easier than dealing w/ the school!! :sunglasses:


Our district allows 5 consecutive days for family vacations (once per school year). We did it when kids were elementary, but stopped once oldest reached middle school.

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There was a similar topic a couple years back, and it was about high school, but here is an edited version of what I said then:

I’m a high school science teacher. The reason I normally have an issue with this type of thing is I have had multiple instances in the past of students being out the entire week before or after a week long break. The problem from the teacher’s end is that this usually result in the extra work of catching the student back up falls on me. I am sympathetic to the situation of cost of travel, but it does set a perception that school is not important and others will make it work for you in the end.

Having said that, I would hope the homework and speed at which the content is dispersed at 2nd grade isn’t quite the same as a high school student is expected. If you were to let the teacher know and let your child understand they are responsible for what they miss, I personally don’t see an issue. The fact that you are trying to minimize the time off already sends the message that school is important.


I’m 43 and lost my third and final parent (not to Covid or the brain tumor he had, but to being hit by a snow plow while crossing the street of all things) last year.

There isn’t a single moment where I go “Man, I wish I had more time at school studying for those tests”.

I wish for more time with my parents. Away from work. Away from stress. Out camping where they were the happiest.

You do what’s best for you.


:broken_heart: so sorry for your loss. I have no other words here. hugs.


So sorry for your loss. I appreciate your reminder that life is short and that relationships and time spent together are most important.


It is interesting to read all the different perspectives on this one. Some of your schools seem really strict about absences. When I was in HS no one really cared how many days you missed if you learned the material, got the work done, did your tests/exams etc. I used to show up for tests and skip most of the other classes. My husband just made deals with his teachers to replace assignments with a 100% final exam and skipped most of the year. I took mostly advanced courses but I believe it was the same for all courses.

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So far we took her out of school this year for 3 days. I’m taking another 2 in a few weeks. She hasn’t had any sick days and I haven’t had any issues so far.
She’s a pretty great student and considering the year these kids had, she deserves some fun.


I’m sorry . That’s terrible

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I didn’t mean to turn the topic. I truly was just expressing how I wish my parents made more time for vacations back then and how suddenly things can change.


Yeah honestly, I feel like if the school did decide to make and issue, my argument would go directly to how it was ok for them to cut 10 days off this year and have one day a week of barely learning “asynchronous” work (which in my opinion, was a joke) all year, so it shouldn’t be too hard for my kid to miss a few days of school given the realization of how much learning vs busywork happens in our school.

This is not to discount my wonderful teachers in my district. They did great, and my comment was meant to be a little snarky with a bit of truth to it :rofl:

But going on what principal tinker said, she has one more year till I need to worry about state’s testing,
So I’ll probably plan no more than 5 days off (probably2/3 in January and another 2/3 in May) fo family time. We get so little of it as it is with our opposite schedules.
I enjoy hearing everyone’s opinions/experiences !


Sorry for your loss @Bubblez. I wholeheartedly agree with you about more time with parents/family. I was just talking to my mom the other day about how much I enjoyed her taking me out of school half a day every year for the annual Derby Festival parade. I have such fond memories of that time together with her. Granted that was only a half day, but family time is very important.

I say go for the vacation. If you are the type of person worrying if you should take your child out then you are the type that will make sure your child is where they need to be. I think taking a week off would be more than fine. Just prepare for not being supported as each district differs in how they view things.


We get those nastygrams everytime we pull our kids out of school for vaca. Thier ansenses are considered unexcused
And they are by law required to send a message home after a certain number of absenses accumulate. Warning me of the importance of being in school and the concequences if they go over 12 days. They are just following the rules. I ignore the letters :woman_shrugging:


DS20 ran into this hard her junior(?) year of high school when the person in charge of attendance that year put their own spin on the interpretation. (I think the thinking was a misinterpretation that got corrected before the next year.)

She was on the school district robotics team that travelled to several competitions, but also was one of those kids that teachers would invite to all sorts of special field trips, workplace visits, etc. They were all marked as “excised-board approved activity”, but since they were over 10%, this attendance person insisted the time still had to be “made up.”

Basically, she needed to spend extra hours at school that May doing busy work to correct for having done school-related activities AND having already made up all the work she missed. It was really triple dipping! One of the busy work options was to write an essay on the importance of school attendance. She instead spun it to how much the extra activities enhanced what she was learning in the classroom and how much more value those experiences had than having a top performing student doing busywork. :joy:

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Ha! I had something similar happen my senior year. I was in drama, choir, quiz bowl, and History Bee which all required travel and time out of school. The school grumbled but 1) I was a Senior, and 2) it was all for school-sanctioned activities.

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I’m gonna’ say something risky:
If a student can pass the test (prove they know the content) then attendance shouldn’t count toward earning a diploma.

I asked a teacher once to show me where attendance was written in the state standards. I was taking issue w/ my DS’s grade being determined by his attendance and not his knowledge.

Now, if your kids are going to be missing a lot a lot of days then maybe you should home school and create your own calendar :wink: That’s what we ended up doing. At the time I didn’t know my son was cutting classes :upside_down_face: I fixed that for him :wink: His response to his first graded paper from me was priceless “I didn’t know this was real!?!” bwahahahaha. Man geometry was rough that year!