Missing a week of school to travel

A few years back I pulled my daughter out of school for a 1 week trip to Disney World after the March break. The reason why I chose to go after March break is to avoid the worst of the crowds. Both my daughter and I are introverts and neither of us is quite comfortable in situations when we have to fight crowds at every turn.

I spoke with her teacher and made sure there weren’t any exams and that all of her homework would be covered so that when she returned she wouldn’t be too far behind. The teacher was really excited for Emmanuelle.

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When I informed the school administration about the trip, I got a very different reaction. The principle flat out refused to let my child out of school and said that should I choose to go anyway, there may not be a place for my child at that school when we returned.

Despite the reluctance of the principal and the school’s administration, there is no article in the Education Act stopping a parent from taking their child on vacation, especially for a short one. I was clear to point out that the rules and regulations were not on her side. My child had good grades in school, all the appropriate preparations had been done with the teacher to make sure she missed as little as possible. I warned her that should there be no “space” for my daughter upon her return I would make sure that the school got a very public name in the news, that I would deal with the region’s school board and have her removed. I am not the only parent to have taken out of child from school. I knew a girl in my daughter’s class who was gone a month, on a Europe tour with her parents and arrangements had been made.

Many believe that missing one week of school can be catastrophic for your child’s grades and learning abilities. Some believe that you are teaching your child that school isn’t a priority. I personally disagree with both if done correctly. First of all, in her entire elementary school progression, we went on a total of 1 trip and she had to do all of the homework and the class work prior to our departure. This is not teaching a child that school isn’t important.

We did go and there was no issue returning to school after our return. My daughter did not feel lost in class and we have memories that will last us a lifetime. I do not regret my decision, not even for a second.

 

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