5 Tips For Taking Your Child Out of School for a Disney Vacation

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Cape May Cafe

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Determining whether or not to take your children out of school for a Disney vacation is a tricky subject and always divides opinion.  Some families prefer to keep their children in school and plan vacations during summer or public holidays.  However, for others, work schedules and budgets may make it easier to make plan that once-in-a-lifetime Disney getaway when school is in session.  If you fall into that second category, then we’ve compiled a few steps to help you navigate working with your school to plan this time away.

Things to Do:

1.Pick a time during the school year when there are not likely to be conflicts. If you do decide to take some time off during the school term, familiarize yourself with the academic calendar and plan your vacation at times where the lack of attendance won’t hinder your child.  Try and avoid the end of report card periods, times of year where testing may occur etc.  Not only will it make it easier to get permission but there will also be piece of mind that the disruptions to you children’s time at school will be minimal.

2. Get familiar with the Student Handbook and your school’s policy on absences. There’s nothing worse than planning your magical Disney getaway only to find out that it goes against the policies of your local school district.  Most schools will allow time to be taken away from school for family trips that are deemed educational but there may be length limitations etc. You might not be able to plan that 10 day getaway if the school only allows kids to miss 5 consecutive days of school. Save yourself problems later down the line and stick to the policies as much as you can.

3. Notify the school and your child’s teacher(s) well in advance. Call the school office to arrange absences with the school secretary as soon as you know you’ll need some time away.  Email or write a note to your child’s teacher(s). Have your child notify each teacher as well. Elementary teachers have 20-30 students to teach on a daily basis, and Middle and High School teachers can see 100+ kids in a day. Give them time to gather the work that will be missed, or to plan ahead for any upcoming assignments. I recommend 2-3 weeks in advance.

4. Be willing to do the work on vacation. With Standardized Tests and strict curriculum requirements,  teachers cover a lot of information every day. Missing school for several days to go on vacation will mean that there is some catching up to do.  Its important to incorporate this into your plans. Schedule time while on vacation to make sure that your child completes the work that is provided.  Airport waits and layovers are a great time to squeeze in a bit of school work!  Since you’re children are not in school, its up to you as a parent to take on the role of teacher in order to help your child learn new information.


5. Make the trip a learning experience.  When my family took a Disney vacation my 2nd grade year, we were learning to tell time in school. So that year my parents made me the Time Keeper for the trip. You could also teach them to follow a schedule, read a map, use money, or politely communicate with strangers. For a list of ways you can make your Disney trip educational check out this article.

I hope that these tips help you the next time you plan a Disney vacation. Missing school is never ideal, but teachers understand that traveling during the school year happens. If you need any help planning your next Disney vacation I’m happy to assist in any way I can.

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Want expert planning from a certified Disney planner who is also a teacher? As a Disney Vacation Planning Specialist with MickeyTravels, I can help you plan your DREAM Disney Vacation. Contact me today at strimpe@mickeytravels.com or call 217-622-6366 to start planning. You can also follow me on Facebook to get news, tips, and planning advice. Plus, my services are entirely FREE.

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