Monday, November 26, 2012


***updated below***

What has dragged me back to blogging? Two things. Last week I got some very nice compliments from old friends that I don't see very often and it felt nice and I'm trying to avoid sending a nasty email to Zack's school so I thought I'd blog instead. Sarcasm comes across much better in blog form vs. email to assistant principal.

Confession:  I'm a totally irresponsible neglectful parent and now my child has three unexcused absences for second term.  Let me explain.  We've long had the plan that because we don't live near family we would travel for Thanksgiving this year getting to see family members from both sides all in one swoop.  The exchange was that my kids would have to miss one and a half  days of school.  Now knowing this long in advance, I had each child go to each of their teachers the week before and 1. tell them which days they would be out b. get any work that they could complete and turn in early and 3. get assignments that could be worked on during the time they would be gone.  Remember, we are talking about one and a HALF days of school during a holiday week.  Let's all stop to think about how much instruction is actually going to be missed.  SO.  Skyler's teacher asked her to complete a particular assignment.  Zack has four teachers that were involved; one gave him an early assignment which he turned in prior to the other kids in the class the day before we left, one asked him to study for a quiz that would happen upon return,  one told him not to worry about it and to turn in his work the next week, one assigned no work at all. 

We've made this trip many many many times before and we've got it down pretty good.  This trip was an anomaly and it just sucked in terms of drive time.  Last night when it got to be 10pm and we were still hours from home I told the kids that they wouldn't have to go to school today.  They had passed in work that was asked of them and they are both A students.  I wasn't worried.

When I got to work late this morning, I emailed both schools to explain where the kids were.  Skyler's teacher said she would miss her and would send an assignment home with another student.  She received an excused absence for each day missed.  Zack's school responded that because they were not formally notified in writing prior to the absences, he would receive three unexcused absences.  I responded that we had notified each teacher and had collected and completed all work requested and that not one of the four teachers notified suggested to Zack that any other procedure should be followed.  I was told that now that Zack is older unexcused absences are taken seriously and that I should have also notified the Assistant Principal and requested permission ahead of time.  Now...I won't even get into another story, but let's just say that AP and I are not the best of buds and the last email he's going to respond to is one from me. 

I started another email detailing all the ways in which they are ridiculous for nitpicking the shit out of a situation in which an honors, gifted, advanced class taking, sixth grader who had notified all his teachers and done all requested work ahead of time during a holiday week should have an unexcused absence along with all the school skippers and regularly truant kids but I took a deep breath and as much as I think it is a ridiculous situation, rules are rules.  You can bet I'll be skywriting a message over the school and sending a registered return receipt letter to the AP about his next absence five days before it occurs.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

ps - I couldn't do it.  I even tried sitting on my hands.  I sent another email.  I'm guessing that the attendance secretary (along with the AP ;) ) has me on the "that parent" list.   
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