What is your opinion on taking kids out of school for a vacation?
As a travel agent, this is a question I hear from my clients a lot. I wish there was a clear-cut answer I could give them, but unfortunately there is not. However, there are several factors that I recommend to them to consider when making the decision for themselves. With that, here are the top four things to think about when deciding if taking your kids out of school for vacation is worth it.
Can your child(ren) handle missing school at that time?
Or more specifically, this can range from “Are their grades at a comfortable level for your family’s standards?” to “Is there any major testing going on during our vacation time?” I would never recommend pulling a child out that is struggling, has a major project due. or would be missing major testing such as finals or state testing. It would, in my opinion, add too much stress on the child and could actually hinder the fun of the vacation.
What is your school’s policy on absences?
This is something you would want to talk to both the teacher and an administrator about before booking your vacation. Ask questions like will it be excused or unexcused, will your child be allowed to make up all the work for full credit, and could this hurt your child in any way (for example: lead to no exemption from finals)? Make sure both the teacher and administrator are on the same page in terms of how the absence will be handled. Email might be good in this situation so you have it in writing.
Are you working around blackout dates?
So, one of the obvious tickets many people around Colorado Springs will be working around this year will be the Epic passes, especially with that amazing Epic Schoolkids Pass they offer! I compared the blackout dates of those passes with the calendar of District 20, and all of the blackout dates overlap with the winter school holidays. This could make it difficult to plan a family ski vacation if you were hoping to do so and this could be a situation where pulling your kids out of school for a couple of days might make sense.
Another big ticket I can think of that could affect a large portion of this community is Disney’s Military Salute offer. This promotion offers amazing discounts to our military; however, it does come with some inconvenient blackout dates. If you were planning to go over Spring Break or Christmas week, you will not be able to use the offer. Blackout dates can be something to really consider if you are on a budget and needing to use these great offers to afford you family vacation!
Are there special family situations to take into consideration?
The one situation that comes to mind for me living in this community is the military, though by no means is it the only. For example, if a child’s mom or dad has just gotten back from a long deployment, and they would like to spend some family time together on a vacation, I say do it! This can apply to any family where one member is away often or works strange hours and may not get to spend a lot of quality time with the family except on vacation. Family time is important, in my opinion. If the only time you can get it is during the school calendar, then so be it! Have that family time! Trust me, the memories will last much longer and make a bigger impression on the kids than anything going on in school!
I hope this will help you while making your decision about vacations and school. I just want to say one last thing: I believe travel is educational and beneficial to children. I think it is important to see and touch things they would otherwise only read about in school. It enriches their lives and gives them a wider base to draw from when making connections in reading, writing and science. And, as I mentioned earlier, it gives them memories to last a lifetime!