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Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 25th 03, 04:41 AM
Vicki
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Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

Today we received a warning letter for truancy for our 2nd grader. The
principal said she was concerned about dd's absences. I am not concerned
about dd's absences--she is bright, she knows the material [she's missed
five days this month, but received 100 on her test for materials covered.]
I don't think the teacher is concerned. But the principal said dd is only
allowed 5 excused absences per semester.

I'm not happy about the possibility of legal sanctions for keeping dd home
(she was sick this month, but I wouldn't hesitate to take her out of school
for other things we feel are important.) Can they prosecute us for truancy
when dd is top of her class? I don't see the harm to anyone in dd not
going. And she *will* miss more school at Thanksgiving (important family
time.)

We had planned to talk at school conferences about keeping dd home one day
per week, or bi-weekly, to enhance her education. But from what I've read
about truancy laws tonight, this doesn't seem to be allowable. Has anyone
done this or know if it is doable?

dd does not want to homeschool full-time--she likes seeing her friends at
school and we think this is good for her. We have discussed getting
appropriate challenge in her classroom--the teacher has been helpful, but
there is only so much she can do. We chose not to skip dd to the next grade
as she is already the youngest in her class.

Have others faced this truancy problem? How do you approach it? If this is
a law (5 days/semester,) does the principal have much leeway in enforcing
it? If not, then who do we talk with? The DA? Is it possible to
homeschool part-time (the days dd misses) and avoid a truancy enforcement?
Could we test out of second grade and attendance be optional?

dh is calling the principal next week, and we will meet with dd's teacher in
three weeks. I'd like to have a sense of our options before we go so we do
what's right by dd and cause the least distress to her teacher and principal
(who are quite nice.) Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Vicki


  #2  
Old October 25th 03, 05:15 AM
ColoradoSkiBum
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Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?


"Vicki" wrote in message
news : Today we received a warning letter for truancy for our 2nd grader. The
: principal said she was concerned about dd's absences. I am not concerned
: about dd's absences--she is bright, she knows the material [she's missed
: five days this month, but received 100 on her test for materials covered.]
: I don't think the teacher is concerned. But the principal said dd is only
: allowed 5 excused absences per semester.
:
: I'm not happy about the possibility of legal sanctions for keeping dd home
: (she was sick this month, but I wouldn't hesitate to take her out of
school
: for other things we feel are important.) Can they prosecute us for
truancy
: when dd is top of her class? I don't see the harm to anyone in dd not
: going. And she *will* miss more school at Thanksgiving (important family
: time.)
:
: We had planned to talk at school conferences about keeping dd home one day
: per week, or bi-weekly, to enhance her education. But from what I've read
: about truancy laws tonight, this doesn't seem to be allowable. Has anyone
: done this or know if it is doable?
:
: dd does not want to homeschool full-time--she likes seeing her friends at
: school and we think this is good for her. We have discussed getting
: appropriate challenge in her classroom--the teacher has been helpful, but
: there is only so much she can do. We chose not to skip dd to the next
grade
: as she is already the youngest in her class.
:
: Have others faced this truancy problem? How do you approach it? If this
is
: a law (5 days/semester,) does the principal have much leeway in enforcing
: it? If not, then who do we talk with? The DA? Is it possible to
: homeschool part-time (the days dd misses) and avoid a truancy enforcement?
: Could we test out of second grade and attendance be optional?
:
: dh is calling the principal next week, and we will meet with dd's teacher
in
: three weeks. I'd like to have a sense of our options before we go so we
do
: what's right by dd and cause the least distress to her teacher and
principal
: (who are quite nice.) Any help would be greatly appreciated.
: Thank you.

If your child is missing school because she's sick, then she is *not*
truant. The school cannot punish/penalized you or her for missing due to
illness. They may require that you provide a doctor's note (which is a real
PITA since it means you have to take her to the doctor if she's sick), but
that's as far as they can go. If her absences are "unexcused"--IOW not due
to illness, a funeral, etc.--then they *can* penalize you. In fact in my
area the courts can actually fine the parents $2500 per day for each
unexcused absence. This only occurs in extreme circumstances where the
parents obviously just don't give a s**t about their child's education.
Your statement about "taking her out of school for things you feel are
important" is getting pretty close to the line. I wouldn't want to stand in
front of a judge and try to explain that one.

As for keeping her at home 1 day a week for "home schooling," IMO that's a
big mistake, and they could definitely come after you for truancy for that.
If you want to home school, then do it, but don't do it half way. If she
misses 20% of the school days, then she'll miss 20% of the material that her
teacher expects her to learn--or you will unreasonably expect her teacher to
spend additional time every week helping your daughter get caught up on
material she missed. If you don't want to do full-on home schooling, then
do it on Saturdays instead of on a regular school day.
--
ColoradoSkiBum

  #3  
Old October 25th 03, 05:40 AM
GI Trekker
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Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

I highly recommend homeschooling and finding other ways for your child to see
her friends -- after school, weekends. This "truancy" argument sounds more than
a bit like a threat. One thing to always remember in matters like this -- this
is YOUR child. NOT the school's and NOT the state's.

My mother faced a similar situation one time with me in the third grade, not
with regard to truancy, but with regard to an absolute horrible teacher who
distinctly despised me. The feeling was mutual. She also had a soft spot for
the biggest bully in the school. The overall situation got so out of hand that
the school board and my mother had a discussion. Of course they tried to
intimidate her, and gave preference to the teacher's statements over mine. But
my mother was not the type to be readily intimidated, and the school board
eventually had to back down and had to persuade the teacher to back off in her
treatment of me.

Bottom line on truancy -- what the schools are most concerned about is that
every student who doesn't show up is ultimately money lost in their school
budget. That's why they may try to intimidate you in these forthcoming
meetings. Do not let them, and please give serious consideration to full-time
homeschooling. It sounds like it would be the best optional educationally.
  #4  
Old October 25th 03, 07:29 AM
Vicki
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

"GI Trekker" wrote
I highly recommend homeschooling and finding other ways for your child to

see
her friends -- after school, weekends. This "truancy" argument sounds more

than
a bit like a threat. One thing to always remember in matters like this --

this
is YOUR child. NOT the school's and NOT the state's.

My mother faced a similar situation one time with me in the third grade,

not
with regard to truancy, but with regard to an absolute horrible teacher

who
distinctly despised me. The feeling was mutual. She also had a soft spot

for
the biggest bully in the school. The overall situation got so out of hand

that
the school board and my mother had a discussion. Of course they tried to
intimidate her, and gave preference to the teacher's statements over mine.

But
my mother was not the type to be readily intimidated, and the school board
eventually had to back down and had to persuade the teacher to back off in

her
treatment of me.

Bottom line on truancy -- what the schools are most concerned about is

that
every student who doesn't show up is ultimately money lost in their school
budget. That's why they may try to intimidate you in these forthcoming
meetings. Do not let them, and please give serious consideration to

full-time
homeschooling. It sounds like it would be the best optional educationally.


Luckily dd's teacher is very nice. The principal seems good. We're friends
with people on the school board. We are supportive of the school and have
had a good relationship in the past. dh volunteered in the classroom last
year. We initiated and donated money to start a community fund to finance
special projects or trips that teachers might want to do... I'm not saying
that the letter from the principal *isn't* about money... it just seems
misguided if that's what its about. It surprised us, got our attention...
but not in a good way. I'm angered by the letter. Maybe she is required to
send the letter and has no over-ride authority. I don't see this as an
issue the school board would have authority over... I don't know who we're
supposed to talk with, and what options are legal. dd will be truant by
their definition. Then what? I don't know.

dd rejected ft home school, and that's ok w/us right now. Maybe we'll
change our tune if we can't resolve this.
Thank you.
Vicki



  #5  
Old October 25th 03, 07:58 AM
dragonlady
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

In article ,
"Vicki" wrote:

"GI Trekker" wrote
I highly recommend homeschooling and finding other ways for your child to

see
her friends -- after school, weekends. This "truancy" argument sounds more

than
a bit like a threat. One thing to always remember in matters like this --

this
is YOUR child. NOT the school's and NOT the state's.

My mother faced a similar situation one time with me in the third grade,

not
with regard to truancy, but with regard to an absolute horrible teacher

who
distinctly despised me. The feeling was mutual. She also had a soft spot

for
the biggest bully in the school. The overall situation got so out of hand

that
the school board and my mother had a discussion. Of course they tried to
intimidate her, and gave preference to the teacher's statements over mine.

But
my mother was not the type to be readily intimidated, and the school board
eventually had to back down and had to persuade the teacher to back off in

her
treatment of me.

Bottom line on truancy -- what the schools are most concerned about is

that
every student who doesn't show up is ultimately money lost in their school
budget. That's why they may try to intimidate you in these forthcoming
meetings. Do not let them, and please give serious consideration to

full-time
homeschooling. It sounds like it would be the best optional educationally.


Luckily dd's teacher is very nice. The principal seems good. We're friends
with people on the school board. We are supportive of the school and have
had a good relationship in the past. dh volunteered in the classroom last
year. We initiated and donated money to start a community fund to finance
special projects or trips that teachers might want to do... I'm not saying
that the letter from the principal *isn't* about money... it just seems
misguided if that's what its about. It surprised us, got our attention...
but not in a good way. I'm angered by the letter.


Don't get too caught up being upset about the letter itself: in many
districts, they are pretty automatic. If your child misses a certain
number of days, the system automatically kicks out a letter to send to
you, and the letters all say the same thing. Depending upon the size of
the school, the principal may even have someone else signing the letters
the computer kicks out. Lord knows, I've seen enough of them -- both
for a child who was desperately ill and missed an enormous amount of
school, and for a child who had truancy issues.

If you've been calling the school to tell them of her absences, and that
she's been sick, they are not truancies, but they should be excused
absences. If you have NOT been calling the school to tell them why
she's not at school, they are, technically, truancies, and there could
be some nasty actions regarding this. If you call the school to tell
them you are taking her out for something that YOU think is important
but they do not excuse it, it is a truancy.

It would not surprise me to find out that after five truancies in one
semester they would take action; it would surprise me to find out that
they would disallow any more than five excused absenses. However, the
only way to know what is and is not the law vs. optional is to talk to a
local lawyer -- one who knows both the state law wherever you are, and
any local school board rulings. A newsgroup, with people from all over
the world, can't tell you those things. If you are very concerned, I'd
make an appointment with a lawyer who specializes in these things.

meh
--
Children won't care how much you know until they know how much you care

  #6  
Old October 28th 03, 02:14 AM
Vicki
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

"dragonlady" wrote:
If you've been calling the school to tell them of her absences, and that
she's been sick, they are not truancies, but they should be excused
absences. If you have NOT been calling the school to tell them why
she's not at school, they are, technically, truancies, and there could
be some nasty actions regarding this. If you call the school to tell
them you are taking her out for something that YOU think is important
but they do not excuse it, it is a truancy.


I have called to let the school know that dd was out sick. It seems that if
a child has more than 5 *parent excused* absences per semester (for
sickness, appointments, etc.) then they are truant. If a child is 5 minutes
late one day, that counts as one of their absences. So, sick or tardy, you
get 5 per semester. After that you need a doctors excuse. Since we're
taking her to see terminally-ill relations soon, she will go over the top,
even without additional illness. Something WE think is important for her IS
important for her. The idea that they could fine us for exercizing parental
authority is just SO ridiculous. Anyhow. We are coming to grips with this,
and I have to say, I am angry. What a stupid system.

Today dd came home complaining about a headache and stomache ache. Her
brother's have both been down with fevers and complained about stomach pain
and headaches, so I don't think this is an emotional issue. Still, I asked
about what went on in school today to feel out that possibility, and
everything sounds fine. If dd is feeling bad tomorrow, I am supposed to
either send her or call the doctor and get an excuse. This is insane.
Imagine if I was without health insurance--I'd surely end up with truant
kids. Even with health insurance, I'm not going to take her to the doctor
for the flu... that is just ridiculous.

It would not surprise me to find out that after five truancies in one
semester they would take action; it would surprise me to find out that
they would disallow any more than five excused absenses. However, the
only way to know what is and is not the law vs. optional is to talk to a
local lawyer -- one who knows both the state law wherever you are, and
any local school board rulings. A newsgroup, with people from all over
the world, can't tell you those things. If you are very concerned, I'd
make an appointment with a lawyer who specializes in these things.


Thanks. Good idea. dh wants to get a group of parent's together who have
had similar problems with this and go to the schoolboard and legislature and
get the law changed. So maybe dd will inadvertently get a great education
this year. "Stupid laws and how to change them." Either that or "Stupid
laws and opting out of the system."


  #7  
Old October 25th 03, 01:39 PM
Donna Metler
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?


"Vicki" wrote in message
news
"GI Trekker" wrote
I highly recommend homeschooling and finding other ways for your child

to
see
her friends -- after school, weekends. This "truancy" argument sounds

more
than
a bit like a threat. One thing to always remember in matters like

this --
this
is YOUR child. NOT the school's and NOT the state's.

My mother faced a similar situation one time with me in the third grade,

not
with regard to truancy, but with regard to an absolute horrible teacher

who
distinctly despised me. The feeling was mutual. She also had a soft spot

for
the biggest bully in the school. The overall situation got so out of

hand
that
the school board and my mother had a discussion. Of course they tried to
intimidate her, and gave preference to the teacher's statements over

mine.
But
my mother was not the type to be readily intimidated, and the school

board
eventually had to back down and had to persuade the teacher to back off

in
her
treatment of me.

Bottom line on truancy -- what the schools are most concerned about is

that
every student who doesn't show up is ultimately money lost in their

school
budget. That's why they may try to intimidate you in these forthcoming
meetings. Do not let them, and please give serious consideration to

full-time
homeschooling. It sounds like it would be the best optional

educationally.

Luckily dd's teacher is very nice. The principal seems good. We're

friends
with people on the school board. We are supportive of the school and have
had a good relationship in the past. dh volunteered in the classroom last
year. We initiated and donated money to start a community fund to finance
special projects or trips that teachers might want to do... I'm not

saying
that the letter from the principal *isn't* about money... it just seems
misguided if that's what its about. It surprised us, got our attention...
but not in a good way. I'm angered by the letter. Maybe she is required

to
send the letter and has no over-ride authority. I don't see this as an
issue the school board would have authority over... I don't know who

we're
supposed to talk with, and what options are legal. dd will be truant by
their definition. Then what? I don't know.

She is almost certainly required by law to send it. I would strongly suggest
getting documentation from your doctor, if possible, on past absenses, and
certainly getting documentation for ANY further medical absense.

Your state education code should be online, and will give truancy statutes.


dd rejected ft home school, and that's ok w/us right now. Maybe we'll
change our tune if we can't resolve this.
Thank you.
Vicki





  #8  
Old October 25th 03, 02:16 PM
Gale
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

"Donna Metler" wrote in message
...
..
She is almost certainly required by law to send it. I would strongly

suggest
getting documentation from your doctor, if possible, on past absenses, and
certainly getting documentation for ANY further medical absense.

Your state education code should be online, and will give truancy

statutes.



I second that motion. School Districts vary considerably in both rules and
how they are applied. For example, this school district I live in allows
only ten excused absences a year or you are retained. It is extreemly
difficult to obtain an exception, even for participation in national level
amateur sports teams [issue last school year], serious illnesses lasting
longer than 10 days, etc. A lot of parents in this area are hopping mad
about it. Same State, next school District away, not an issue at all, they
are much more understanding of why a child may be out for an excused reason.
So, look into your State and school district's rules and applications
thereof very closely and know that while we can give you anecdotal evidence,
it all comes down to your school district and how you interact with it.

Good luck!

-A, in Florida
--
see my creative works on ebay under aulame 123


  #9  
Old October 28th 03, 02:24 AM
Vicki
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

"Donna Metler" wrote :
Vicki wrote:
Luckily dd's teacher is very nice. The principal seems good. We're

friends
with people on the school board. We are supportive of the school and

have
had a good relationship in the past. dh volunteered in the classroom

last
year. We initiated and donated money to start a community fund to

finance
special projects or trips that teachers might want to do... I'm not

saying
that the letter from the principal *isn't* about money... it just seems
misguided if that's what its about. It surprised us, got our

attention...
but not in a good way. I'm angered by the letter. Maybe she is

required
to
send the letter and has no over-ride authority. I don't see this as an
issue the school board would have authority over... I don't know who

we're
supposed to talk with, and what options are legal. dd will be truant by
their definition. Then what? I don't know.

She is almost certainly required by law to send it. I would strongly

suggest
getting documentation from your doctor, if possible, on past absenses, and
certainly getting documentation for ANY further medical absense.


Do you think my doctor will give me documentation for dd having the flu
three weeks ago when we didn't visit the office? I'll call and ask. Do
most of you take your kids to the doctor when they have the flu? I did call
the nurse's line b/c we thought it might be meningitis, but I don't know if
they document that, I'll have to call the hospital and ask. It'll be a good
use of their time to look through the records, to prove my dd was sick.
Egads. This boils my blood. If everyone is being required to take their
kids to the doctor when they have a fever in order to let them rest at home,
then no wonder our health insurance rates are going up. What a nutty law.


  #10  
Old October 25th 03, 05:19 PM
ColoradoSkiBum
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bright 2nd grader & school truancy / part-time home-school?

: Bottom line on truancy -- what the schools are most concerned about is
that
: every student who doesn't show up is ultimately money lost in their school
: budget.

Right. And if your child is absent so often that the school is not getting
any money for her, then they should not be required to educate your child
*at all.*
--
ColoradoSkiBum

 




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