I know this has been discussed before, but I need to hear from liners who have taken their kids out of school and how it effected them. DD6, first grade, 12/12 - 12/19 trip. The week before school is out for Christmas break. She is enrolled in a Christian school if that make a difference. Thanks ahead of time for advice.
I’d say talk to her teacher, but wait until the craziness at the start of the year is over. 1st grade shouldn’t be a problem, and the week before break is usually filled with parties at that age.
We took our 1st grader and 4th grader out for a week in February last year. Our 4th grader worked really hard to do all the makeup work, and he didn’t fall behind. The 1st grader had very little make up work. Both teachers were very supportive and had the boys write trip journals instead of their regular classroom writing for the week.
Our district’s attendance policies are really strict, so jumping through those hoops were a nightmare. They ended up with 5 unexcused absences and I had to sign a Very Dire attendance contract because the trip. It was annoying because their teachers were completely ok with the trip and the boys did a great job working ahead and making up what they missed. If they’d missed a week from illness, it would have been no problem with the district but harder on the boys and teacher. I’m a very honest person, but our experience makes me think that the district really wants people to lie and call their kids in sick because that looks better in their statistics.
I’ve been taking my kids out of school for Disney since kindergarten. Wouldn’t worry a bit about 1st grade, just let teacher know. Now that DS is in middle school though I’m worried about this year. But not worried enough to forego our fall trip!
Most teachers want to know in advance even if they don’t give homework in advance. While I can’t say any were supportive of our vacations, only 1-2 ever made me feel weird about it. While we’re gone I just call them in sick daily (we have to call each day a kid won’t be in). The teachers know what’s going on but the front desk doesn’t need details. This year I may just call DS in sick w no advance warning. With 6 or so teachers…just don’t know how to do it.
Check your school’s attendance policy. You do not want them to miss more than what’s allowed or enough to trigger any administrative consequences a la @SallyEppcot.
Hello! We missed the entire week before Christmas Break last year when DD was in first grade (to go to Germany and not WDW though.) Her teacher was quite straightforward in telling me that they would be doing nothing meaningful that week and it was no big deal. DD was disappointed to miss a class party, but that was about it.
I will add, however, that since in addition to those 5 days, we missed 2.5 days for WDW and then had 2 sick days, we got the threatening letter saying that if she got any additional absences we would first have a meeting at the school and then possibly be referred to a judge. That was annoying and stressed me out – but I think it is important that they do check on kids with too many absences since some are in real dangerous situations of neglect. And I think if we had had a meeting, everything would have been fine.
Have a great trip!
Thank you all for the input, a little more at ease now!
You mentioned that it was a Christian school, which I am assuming means that it’s a private school and you are paying tuition. To me, that makes all the difference in the world. If I am paying tuition, and I say my kids are going to be out for a week, I don’t even want the school to blink. Public schools are different because there are district wide policies in place that exist for both practical and political reasons and may or may not get enforced evenly. On the other hand, there are very few legal protections available for parents of private school students, so I would carefully review the policies and the contract that you likely had to sign to ensure that they do not have any grounds for kicking you out.
I have been taking my son out of public school every year K-4. My daughter just started K this year, so for her it has only been the one year. No one has ever said anything even slightly negative to me about them missing school. I have always let the teachers know in advance, and they really haven’t been given much in the way of work. It has just been a non-issue. However, out of curiosity, I checked the school district’s attendance policy, and the “max” of unexcused absences is ten. I do not know what that would trigger.
My last thought on this - if you child is struggling with school, it might make a difference. My daughter now has an IEP in place and is having some difficulty with school, so I am feeling a little concerned that there might be some push back if we pull her next year. I am still likely going to do it, but will need to make sure that it doesn’t cause any setbacks for her.
We pulled DS out for a week in first grade amd had no problems. Told the teachers in advance and then just called him in sick to the front office. They did give me trouble one year (second grade) about possibly having too many absences. My response: not once in 4 years has my child ever been late. Out sick (or “sick”), yes, but never late. He also has never, not once, missed a homework deadline. If that doesn’t prove my commitment to his education, then having perfect attendance sure won’t. If he’s going to be there that day, then by golly he will be on time and well prepared. But they will just have to accept that he won’t be there every day, and they may not like the reason. I will get off my soapbox now.;o)
We took our kids out when my oldest was in elementary school with no problems. However with our oldest being in middle school now I would not feel good doing this now. I think he would miss too much. Its hard now because we have to travel during breaks from school so now its peak season.
If I remember correctly you may want to rethink the calling in sick. 50 years ago I got sent home from kindergarten because I was out for 3 days and didn’t have a doctor’s note to give them. I think that policy is still in effect, it is at work. If you do you may want to get your doctor on board.