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Old 08-22-2009, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Letter to teachers about missing school

First I hope this is the right place for this. Second I know I read others letters, but I did a search and couldn't find them--Sorry!
DD is going to be out of school Sept8-Sept15 for vacation. I already cleared this with the principal. But this is her first year at the junior high school, so this is the first time she has had more than one teacher. (7 to be exact) and I want to inform the teachers asap about vacation because I would want advaced notice if I was a teacher, and I want her homework before we leave. Principal said there would be no problem, but let the teachers know. So does anyone have a letter that they have used to do this? Thanks for the help. I love this community.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here is an excuse letter specifically for WDW vacations - found it on another website.

Most of it seems okay to me (and it's great that the other site's OP thought to do this), but some of the letter is kind of over the top in describing what a kid will learn at WDW! Mission: Space is more likely to teach how to deal with throwing up while spinning a trillion miles an hour, and I seriously doubt any child (or adult?) is interested in the physics of rides. Sociological aspects of crowds? Yeah, right - just what a kid's thinking about on vacation. I might edit it, myself, especially if you think a teacher might require your child to report what he/she learned on your trip!

Anyway, hope this example helps!

School Excuse Sample Letter
TO: [school official]
RE: [students name and vacation dates]

Please be advised that [student] will be out of school during the week of [date]. We ask that his/her absences be excused.

The reason for [student]'s absence is that our family will be out of the state during this week. While we are gone, we will be visiting Walt Disney World. We believe that [student] will be learning many things during this trip and that his/her education will continue in his absence from school.

Some things [student] will learn about:
* Different cultures of the world, including architecture, language, diet, and dress, by visiting the different countries in the Epcot World Showcase (Japan, China, Germany, Mexico, Norway, Canada, France, etc.) [student] will have the chance to explore the exhibits for each country and speak with natives from each country who work as cast members.
* American history by viewing the Hall of Presidents presentation in the Magic Kingdom and the American Adventure show in Epcot.
* Nature and conservation at Animal Kingdom.
* Science by exploring the Mission:Space ride in Epcot where he/she will have a chance to see and feel what it would be like to travel by rocket to Mars and by experiencing the Universe of Energy exhibit which teaches about fossil fuels, energy, and conservation.
* Economics by managing his/her own spending money and making budget decisions on how to spend this money.

[Student] will also be learning about map reading by navigating in and to the different theme parks, as well as the resorts and water parks via the Disney bus system, sociological aspects of crowds including patterns and behavior, physics of the different rides, breakthroughs in technology at the Innoventions computer lab in Epcot, art and animation and the history of film, and mathematics.

We believe this will be a wonderful and educational experience for [student] and hope you agree not to charge him with unexcused absences as a result. If it is possible for [student] to take any assignments with him/her to be turned in when we return or to turn in before we leave any work that will be due while he/she is gone, please let us know as soon as possible.

Thank you for your attention to this. If you have any questions or need any further information, please feel free to contact me.

[Parent's Signature]

Last edited by leoandme; 08-22-2009 at 03:17 PM.. Reason: Spacing is weird
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe I am an exception to the rule but I would just send in a note that says your child will be absent from X day to X day & you would appreciate if he/she could get their homework/make up assignments so they can be worked on during flight/ride to WDW. I might mention that the dates have been approved by the principal. I would also add any questions, please call me at #.
Here, my HS children have a vacation slip that gets filled out & signed by the student, parent & teachers as well as the principal and then it is the teachers responsibility to make sure the students have their work to take with them.
IMO, the school, teachers, principal doesn't need an opinion of what the student will learn while on the trip, just that you (the parent) are taking your child.
Either way, have a Magical trip. My children are also missing 8 days of school.
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would send a note or e-mail to the teachers and state that I've cleared the absence from x date to x date with principal and would appreciate homework assignments in advance. Our schools don't require teachers to provide homework in advance so my daughters have to make up the work - getting it in advance would be great.
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree. I think I would keep it simple and not overstate the educational value of a Disney vacation. While there is value - the biggest piece may just be the family vacation and no one needs to judge that.

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Old 08-22-2009, 07:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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DH and I are both teachers and would agree about keeping it short and sweet. Dates and offering to make up the work either before, during, or after the trip, whatever works best for the teacher.
Now, I only teach second grade, so whenever I have a student that goes on vacation during the school year, I make up whatever work I can with them before they go, so they don't have to worry about anything while away, or upon returning. That can be a little more difficult for the upper grades, due to schedules, different teachers, etc. Plenty of notice is your best bet.

Have a great time.


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Old 08-22-2009, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with the other posters. Just send each teacher an email. No need to go into specifics about what the child will be learning. As a former teacher, I would read the first line about when they will be gone and that's it. Don't over do it!

Also, have you read your school handbook regarding homework or class work? The school I used to teach at had a policy that all work would be completed upon return. It is very difficult, especially this early in the school year, to say what will be covered in a week. Many teachers will be reviewing concepts to see where a students strengths and weaknesses lie. When does your school year start or has it started? We don't start here until Sept, 9th.

If I had a student that requested work prior to a vacation, I would remind them of the policy and tell them to write a journal or make a presentation upon returning. If they were working on a unit in a book I would tell them to continue in the unit or if they were reading a novel, ask them to continue reading to a certain point.

When we took DD 1 out for a few days last October she completed a project on the countries of Epcot. She also received a folder of work upon returning that she missed and that was completed over the weekend following her return.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks I will just send a short note to the teachers and ask for her work before we leave. they started school last week, so I don't think she will miss much this early in the year. And we are leaving Sept 8, (day after labor day) so I think they will just be finishing up the "review" part of the year
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I actually talked to the principal of my boys schools tonight and he told me to write out what they might learn so that way he could excuse the abscences. So I really appreciate that letter.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think that letter's from themouseforless, right? I used a variation of it for my kids last year - it was so overkill. But it was very early in the school year, and I didn't want the teachers to think I wasn't serious about academics. They both gave me patient smiles (like every other kid in the class wasn't going to WDW at some point in the year) and told me to have a great trip. My kids' school does have a pretty relaxed official policy, though - which I didn't know because I had never taken advantage of it. Better to do a little overkill than give the wrong impression.

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Old 08-24-2009, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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When I have to take my kids out of school for a family vacation...I just write a letter to the office and tell them my kids will be out of school from X-day to X-day and I would like their home work for those days. I keep it short and sweet. I don't give anymore information on where we are going or what we will be doing. Our school officials don't give people to much flack about being gone during the school year because we live in a tourist town. I can't really take time off from April to the end of September. So we go when we want too.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I spoke to my girls' teachers personally and warned them ahead of time and they both said they wished they were going to Disney World lol I just need to send a note to the office a few days before saying what days they will be gone.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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As a high school teacher I would have to agree with sending just a short e-mail giving your child's teachers a heads up that she will be out of school, the principal has already approved the absence so it is just to inform the teachers. In terms of getting work ahead of time that is not always possible and often makes extra work for the teacher so while that is what you would like it may not be what happens. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As a teacher, I would think a letter like that would be total overkill. If the principal has excused the absences, then they're excused, period. I would just ask for the work.

I would say 90% of public schools will try to work with you on excusing absences for a family vacation (especially if your child/children are good students), but they are under no obligation to do so, no matter what the reason. The only reason schools "have" to excuse absences is for sickness with a doctor's note and family emergencies, such as a death in the family.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tkm1005 View Post
I agree. I think I would keep it simple and not overstate the educational value of a Disney vacation. While there is value - the biggest piece may just be the family vacation and no one needs to judge that.
I'm a teacher and agree completely...lets face it some people do not value a family vacation and
when you add a Disney vacation to the mix, it may just cause resentment.
Short & sweet .... and add it's already Cleared with the Principal.
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