The Old Disney and School Debate


As to whether or not it’s cool to pull kids out of school for a trip. Well it seems to have been settled by our school. We’re going Feb 5-10 and our 6 year old(first grade) will miss 5 days to go. We talked with his teacher just to touch base, and not only is it ok, but the school sees this as a learning opportunity and will have forms to fill out so the 5 days are excused absences. Awesome!


When I took a five year old with me and he missed school, I made him do a scrapbook to show his class. I also quizzed him about the educational things as we went. For example, as we were in line for Expedition Everest we talked about Mt. Everest. Afterwards and still today I can say “Logan, what continent is Mr. Everest on?” He knows that it is in Asia thanks to his trip to DW. I would also quiz him on places that the animals live, countries we visited in Epcot, and the Hall of Presidents, ect. I believe he learned more that week than most kindergarten students. Our school system also allows trips to DW to be educational absences. It truly can be educational as long as you take those oppertunities.


That is AWESOME. I mean…it’s first grade. It’s nice to hear about a school with some perspective!


Our schools were very cooperative in Elementary. Not so much in Middle/High School. Too many different classes and kids coming through for the teacher’s to keep up with the make-up work for voluntary absences. Or so they say:blink:


I took my children out at every level of school. I have two college grads; one college senior and one junior. I’m thinking the learning curve doesn’t get interrupted by family time. The memories would not exist should I have changed the approach.


When we took DD out for a WDW in Kindergarten, I was nervous to tell the teacher. She was not only nice about it, she gave us a scrapbook to fill out so she could share her trip with the class when we return.

DD’s in middle school now, so we’ll only take her out 1 day for our April trip - but that’s mostly because she doesn’t want to miss school!

I agree with Boss - spending quality family time together & making memories is a top priority with us!


I am not a parent, but based on my own (hazy) memories of the first grade, I think pulling for a few days in February shouldn’t be too bad.

Someone said somewhere they took their 5 year old and if things haven’t changed very much, that’s kindergarten, and what do they really teach in kindergarten beyond very rudimentary introductions to arts, crafts, and the interaction with a larger group of people their own age on a daily basis.
So that means, for me, if it were my kid, I’d be OK with missing a week of “K” and a couple days of first grade, but in the case of first grade, make sure you can catch your child up to where the class is once you get home (it should not be very hard).


Hey Boss, did your kids have Block Scheduling? Block is nice but when 1 day counts as 2 if you miss 1 week you’ve actually missed 2 from the educational standpoint.

SG, it has been a while since you’ve been in Kindergarten:laugh:
Most kids STARTING school can read and at a min write their ABC’s as well as their name. K is no longer just coloring, fingerpainting, cut & glue. They’re actually reading and writing in there.


We took our kids out at all ages too. One time we booked our cruise 15 months in advance and the schools changed their schedule and my high school kids missed their finals. They survived and were able to get good enough grades to get into whatever college they wanted. Family time goes by too quickly. Enjoy it while you can.


Since I was deployed in an active theater for 10yrs and 2 months of my 20 years on Active Duty vacation time was whenever I was home and Pam said “We’re going here on this date and I don’t care what anyone has planned or scheduled”. She did her best to get around school schedules, but if they did not marry up, OH WELL! All 3 of our kids got full rides to state colleges so it didn’t make a difference. But Pam was diligent to talk to the teachers and make sure the missed work was done before or on the trip.

Many of the projects noted in other posts are outstanding ideas. Learning opportunities continue outside of the classroom every day. What you do with it is your decision. If you want to turn it into an opportunity I say TAKE EM’ OUT and have fun. I missed lots of time with them being deployed. I’m grateful we did it now that the baby is 22 and just moved out to her own apartment.


Oh don’t get me wrong, my absolutely most favorite time of year to go to WDW is in Oct to celebrate all the festivities especially F&W and our anni. I would go in a second if DH said pack. But when the kids ask us not to take them out of school (not just for WDW but for anything) because of how hard it is on them, that’s when we had to stop. :sad:

April, so glad you’re able to make this trip. I’ll be wishing I was there too. Haven’t been in Feb in 10yrs. It’s a great month to go.


we are taking our girls out for the week in November - they are 2nd and 5th grades. This is the 3rd time we’ve taken them out. So far they have been counted as unexcused absences, but the teachers have been supportive and given them a packet to complete to stay caught up. I haven’t told the school yet this year but have talked to one of the 5th grade teachers (she has 2) and that teacher was all for us going!


I just took my ds (a senior) out for a week in September. It was totally his decision when we were in the planning stages as to whether he would want to do this or not. He already has a short day due to having pretty much enough credits to graduate with the exception of mandatory 4th year of english. Prior to, I called the school to see if it was even something to consider. They said it was fine, with his history and good grades. He had to bring a form to each teacher signing off that they agree he can miss a week of their class. Every single teacher signed it, with good wishes, a couple asking if they could go with. The day before we left, got a call from his Dean telling me the Assistant Principal asked him to call and tell me my Son will be considered “Truant” if he took that time off. I guess spending time with your family, with all the teachers best wishes is a bad thing. The Assistant Principal didn’t even have the guts to call me himself to have a discussion about his last minute warning. My Son is now truant (with already Merit Scholarship letter in hand from a college)!


I’m taking both my girls out of school for 3 days leading to the Thanksgiving holiday. I am telling the school that we are going to visit family for the holiday. They are a SR and a JR. The school will survive not teaching them to pass the FCAT test for 3 days since thats all they do the rest of the year anyway. :glare:


Woo-hoo! A scofflaw! :laugh:

See… the original answer was so SENSIBLE. “He’s got a great record, it’s not going to be a problem, go and have fun.”

They’re so afraid that they have to treat every child EXACTLY THE SAME that they don’t dare tell a good student that it’s okay for him to miss something, because then others will ask why it’s not okay for a them, and the administrators are afraid to say, “Because you’re struggling/because you’ve spent a year not trying very hard/because you never do your homework/because you’re an idiot.” (Okay, maybe not that last one. :biggrin:)

If I were able to take a trip with my kids… 5th grade and preschool… I’d take them out of school in a hot second!


Beth is your son on Block Scheduling? And hat’s off to your son on his accompliments so far. All 3 of mine are on A/B (1 is almost all A) so hopefully scholarships will head our way too. :wink:


We didn’t see too much of a problem with pulling him out a few days being this young but I was afraid of what the school might say. They touted reporting unexcused absences, if they get to 5 of them, to the district and it had me worried. He does well in school and don’t doubt his ability to catch up on anything. I’m just so glad they won’t frown on us for pulling him out and I love that they are Disney friendly lol.


I no longer have children in school, but way back then, we did take them out a few times. I really have a problem with “asking” permission to take my child out of school for a few days. And although I would never say taking kids out often as ok, teachers do take time off during the yr (not talking sick), school systems change calenders, and then there are the strikes that occur. Yrs ago, we had a strike and later it was deemed that the Christmas break was cancelled. I told the principal that my DH always took this time off and I was keeping my kids home for this family time. I did so with her blessing.


I couldn’t agree more. I’m more about telling them how it’s going to be. :biggrin:


I’m in the same position as you jo-jo. My kids are grown - but I agree completely with everything you said. We did take our kids out a time or two - fortunately our kids’ school didn’t start until the second week of Sept., so we’d always plan our vacation for the end of Aug. beginning of Sept. When we did take them out I was always respectful of the teachers, but didn’t “ask permission”.