Teachers: excused vs unexcused absences

Can someone please explain this to me?

I am pulling my son out of school for a week (it's a done deal, tickets purchased). We are going to see my sister in Florida and it'll be my last chance to travel before the baby comes. It's purely vacation and time with my family. I know my son will be marked absent for those 5 days he's out. I plan to ask for his homework packet for the week and any classwork his teacher feels he needs to complete.

But what is the difference between excused and unexcused, with regard to his academic record?
At my high school, excused absences weren't counted against us, and teachers HAD to let us make up the work--religious occasions, death in the family, etc. Anything else, including college visits, counted against us (we were only allowed 10 days max or we weren't eligible to be exempt from out finals) and making up work was at the discretion of our teachers. It's the same in college--teachers can't hold it against us in any way if it's excused.
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How many days has he missed thus far?
Those 3 days were counted as real absences, right?
I think this would be excused since he will be doing his work while he is gone.
Goodness, he's only in 2nd grade! lol
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Don't worry so much...my ex-sil does it all the time, but I digress...urgh
It depends on the rules of your school district. In ours, the kids are allowed a certain number of excused absences (there is a doctor's note to document the reason for the kid missing school) and a very limted number of unexcused absences - not sure of the exact # of these but they are tracked separately.

Having an excessive number of unexcused absences can cause the parents to be called in for a conference, the child welfare authorities notified or the child being held back.

I'm sure that you will be okay with the 5 days. Enjoy!!
He was out once, during the 1st quarter. Dad's office Christmas party. He was out twice in the 2nd quarter. Flu with a doctor's note. That's it so far. Let me see if I can dig up the district's policy on absences.

Thanks!
My kids had excused absences up until Jr High,then they were unexcused.
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In my district, this would be considered an unexcused absense. The school board's policy is that students are given ample vacation time and family vacations should be planned during those vacations or during the summer. Also, our teachers aren't required to give out work/ homework in advance in a situation like yours.
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What grade is he in? I was under the impression your son is still pretty young...like grade school at the most. If so, I wouldn't give a rip about excused vs. non-excused, I'd just go on vacation. High school is a different story.
I keep reading the title of this thread as: Teachers executed for unexcused absences.


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In my district, this would be considered an unexcused absense. The school board's policy is that students are given ample vacation time and family vacations should be planned during those vacations or during the summer. Also, our teachers aren't required to give out work/ homework in advance in a situation like yours.
Originally Posted by sunday
I found the policy in the school calendar I got at the beginning of the year. Ours is a very similar policy.

RCW, my son is a second grader. It does sound like they get more serious about this when the kids are much older. I'm writing a letter tonight, informing his teachers of his absence and to request any homework for the week.

Thanks!
When did grade school become so complicated?

I don't remember any difference between excused and unexcused absences in elementary school. I can understand in high school, but in elem. school the isn't in control over when they go to school. They shouldn't even care unless the absences become excessive.
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According to my sister, who's a school teacher, what it boils down to is how the kid is doing in school. If s/he is doing fine, it wouldn't be a big deal for him/her to miss school if the work is made up and the kid writes a report on where they went. If the kid has issues, is behind, struggling, etc, teachers will count that time against the kid at grading time. Reason being that if the kid isn't doing well, parents should view school as a priority and schedule vacations during regular vacation time.

This has come up in my family because another sister has talked about taking her son out of school at various times for things like vacations. The teacher-sister has been adamently opposed because my nephew is not exactly valedictorian of his class.
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That makes total sense, Mrs. P.

As I was looking on the 'net last night, I came across many discussions about this issue. It is a source of a lot of anxiety for a lot of parents (how the school will react) and a source of irritation for some teachers. Truth be told, it can be a hassle for the teacher to gather the materials in advance, for a child that is going away. Some parents give very little notice, which really sucks for the teacher. Then there are some teachers who refuse to give out homework/classwork in advance and just save it in a folder for the kid, for when they return. Even though it's easier for the teacher to do it that way, it really sucks for the kid who is catching up on double the amount of classwork and homework. Seems kind of punitive, IMHO.

I love my son's teachers. They have high standards and I trust them when it comes to my son's education. I may groan here and there, when they send home some outrageous homework, but they are wonderful.
Medussa, I feel like it will be fine. He is young and you are taking him to see family. My parents always took me out of school for family vacations, although it seems like schools have gotten a lot stricter about everything in recent years.

Wouldn't an unexcused absence be if the parent did not call the child in or provide a note?

Although I remember a time I was late in middle school because we could not get the car out of the snow, and even though my mom gave me a note saying that, the beyotches in the attendance office said that reason wasn't good enough

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Wouldn't an unexcused absence be if the parent did not call the child in or provide a note?
Originally Posted by iris427
i think an unexcused absence involves any situation that is not of an emergency or priority circumstance that keeps a child away from school.

to me, going on vacation to visit family would warrant an unexcused absense, even if the school is given notice of the absence and the child will be doing classwork while he's away. to the school, the vacation is not something that is unavoidable or urgent.

excused absences would be illness, with or without a doctor's note. sometimes a child can be sick enough to need to stay home, but not sick enough for you to have to take him to the doctor; death in the family or family crisis.
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Wouldn't an unexcused absence be if the parent did not call the child in or provide a note?
Originally Posted by iris427
i think an unexcused absence involves any situation that is not of an emergency or priority circumstance that keeps a child away from school.

to me, going on vacation to visit family would warrant an unexcused absense, even if the school is given notice of the absence and the child will be doing classwork while he's away. to the school, the vacation is not something that is unavoidable or urgent.

excused absences would be illness, with or without a doctor's note. sometimes a child can be sick enough to need to stay home, but not sick enough for you to have to take him to the doctor; death in the family or family crisis.
Originally Posted by rainshower
OK thanks for clearing that up.

Dude, he's in second grade . Vacations should be unexcused absenses, and so what? When I was in first grade I went out of country for 3 months(but I learned my times tables while I was there and sometimes went to school with my cousins but that's besides the point..). But I had good grades so it wasn't a problem.
Iris, as per district guidelines, where I live:

Families are encouraged to take vacations when school is closed. It should be noted that absences due to family vacations are considered unexcused (illegal) in New York State.
Iris, as per district guidelines, where I live:

Families are encouraged to take vacations when school is closed. It should be noted that absences due to family vacations are considered unexcused (illegal) in New York State.
Originally Posted by medussa
You're about to break the law


We're going to read about this in a few months, aren't we?

"Mother gives birth in prison hospital after being incarcerated for taking child out of school for family vacation"
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Iris, as per district guidelines, where I live:

Families are encouraged to take vacations when school is closed. It should be noted that absences due to family vacations are considered unexcused (illegal) in New York State.
Originally Posted by medussa
Thanks Medussa. I did my entire K-12 education in New York State (so I guess I should know this, huh?), and my parents pulled me out of school many times for vacations. It never adversely affected my education or my standing with the school.

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