School staff threatened to call social worker

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Betterself
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School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Betterself » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm

We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school ( kindergarten ). I emailed to school to ask for permission and found out that school can only approve 6 days of excused absence . We plan to use 3 days of unexcused days and therefore will use up 5 days of unexcused days allowed by the school district according to its guidelines. The staff,however, threatened me to withdraw her as the total days of absence will exceed 10 days or calling social worker. I originally planned to play along with them until hearing the treat.

What should I do to protect ourselves? We planto go back every two years so this will be a recurring issue.

GmanJeff
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by GmanJeff » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:16 pm

Go when school is not in session.

staythecourse
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by staythecourse » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:17 pm

What do the school board guidelines say? Have them quote the exact sections of the school board policy that you are in violation of. Then figure out is it a "shall" phrasing or more a discretionary enforcement. If it the former I would think you are tough out of luck unless you can convince the school board there is an educational opportunity, i.e. have them make a presentation for the class/ school about the trip. If it is the latter then I would think the presentation idea may make some headway.

In the end if it is a "shall" then you don't have many options. They only interesting thing is what does that have to do with calling a "social worker". Since you are stating the reason it would not be something that social services should care about, i.e. not a danger to the child's welfare. That would seem like a threat. Lawyering up should take care of that issue.

I said this in another thread folks don't get the principle does NOT care about your kid they care that their funding from the state/ district gets reduced when you have truancy. That is what they care about. Sad, but true.

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randomguy
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by randomguy » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:23 pm

For all we know they are required legally to call CS or it is standard policey with that much missed time. You call it a threat but it is probably more of a simple statement of what happens. Odds are nothing will come of it (Cs isnt trying to seperated kids and parents) but it will be a total headache.

Simple solution is to take vacations that dont require missing that much school or find a school that doesnt care (most privates are really flexible). You could also try working up the chain and see if you can figure out what the issue is and if it is something that the principal can waive/handle.

Rupert
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Rupert » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:23 pm

Private school

Jack FFR1846
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:25 pm

We have the same heavy handed tactics with our public schools. They make it seem like missing 10 days of kindergarten is as if the kid will miss out on defending his dissertation in front of Harvard, MIT and Stanford engineering department chairs. Give me a break. Missing juice break and one parent's reading day isn't going to affect anyone.
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ThisTimeItsDifferent
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:27 pm

Withdraw from the school at the beginning of the trip then re-enroll on returning?

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JoeRetire
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:28 pm

Betterself wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm
We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school

What should I do to protect ourselves? We planto go back every two years so this will be a recurring issue.
In my state, school is 180 days. You are planning on being absent for 5% of them every other year. Education is important. School is important. You should be setting an example for how important you feel it is.

Sorry, IMHO you should be planing on using non-school time for your trips.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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123
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by 123 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:28 pm

Is kindergarden required in your state to attend 1st grade?

Is she above the minimum age requred in your state to be in school?

Perhaps you could report a change of address for her to China when she leaves on her trip (disenrolling her from school there) and then re-enroll her in school when you return (but you might not get the same school or class depending on how your local school district operates).

Can she get homework/assignments to complete while on vacation and submit when she returns? Things like take photos on trip and explain them when she returns to her kindergarten class? Photos could include other kids she meets on the trip to demonstrate that the socialization (the primary purpose of kindergarten) continued on the trip.

Private schools would likely allow such a trip since you'd have to pay them for the time away anyway.

You could disenroll her and "home school" her during the trip and then re-enroll her.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by adamthesmythe » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm

Perhaps OP is going back for spring festival, which happens once a year.

I don't have kids. But it seems to me that the value of experiencing another country considerably exceeds the value of attending school. I think I would be tempted to go ahead with the plans and let the chips fall where they may. Which might include withdrawing from the school and finding another.

However- expecting to do the same thing every year seems to be stretching things.

livesoft
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by livesoft » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm

Schools are often paid from government funding that is based on the number of students each day in attendance, so they don't get paid as much if students don't show up. Thus, they are incentivized to get kids into the schools and make sure they show up.

The solution is to follow the school schedule. I am pretty sure the same thing happens in China: Parents don't take their kids out of school to go on vacation.
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JoeRetire
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:32 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
But it seems to me that the value of experiencing another country considerably exceeds the value of attending school.
Wow, really?
Don't be a lemming.

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dodecahedron
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by dodecahedron » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:33 pm

I would be tempted to file paperwork as a homeschooling parent, then
re-enroll (if desired) upon return.

Disclosure: I homeschooled my kids from third grade through 12th grade.
(Unschooling would be a better word for our approach as we did not
use a structured curriculum.)

I was emboldened once I noticed that my daughter seemed to be
using her time far more constructively on days when she stayed home
sick from school than when she attended.

Parents have primary responsibility for educating their kids. They
can choose to delegate to public or private schools but do not have
to do so. Travel is inherently extremely educational.

I live in one of the tougher states (as far as paperwork requirements
go) but it really is not all that hard for homeschooling parents
to remain in compliance with compulsory attendance laws even here.

Reach out to your friendly local unschooling support group. They
can help you with tips on how to deal with the paperwork to stay
in compliance.

Good info and links to resources here.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Rupert
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Rupert » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:33 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:32 pm
adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
But it seems to me that the value of experiencing another country considerably exceeds the value of attending school.
Wow, really?
Have you visited an American kindergarten lately? They spend half their days playing games on iPads and 2 hours a day napping. So, yeah, really.

OP: Since this is going to be a recurring problem for you, and if you want to stay in the public school (privates are more flexible about such things, which are based, as others have noted, on the public school's funding priorities, not your kid's educational priorities), it may be worth it to consult an education/school board lawyer re how to navigate this situation. You'll have to escalate it to the dreaded "central office" or to the school board in all likelihood, since it seems your school's administration has already decided not to work with you.
Last edited by Rupert on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

finite_difference
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:37 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:28 pm
Betterself wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm
We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school

What should I do to protect ourselves? We planto go back every two years so this will be a recurring issue.
In my state, school is 180 days. You are planning on being absent for 5% of them every other year. Education is important. School is important. You should be setting an example for how important you feel it is.

Sorry, IMHO you should be planing on using non-school time for your trips.
I’m a major education buff, but I think you’re completely overreacting. The kids can self-study for 9 days of absence. Not a big deal at all. I think the school is being ridiculous. Assign homework and have the kids report to the class on what they learned on their trip.
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niceguy7376
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by niceguy7376 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:44 pm

The first generation immigrants will generally face this dilemma.
In our county, they Request us to un-enroll and then enroll back again after the visit. They generally will put the kid in the same class.

As others have mentioned, it is tied to the funding.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by georgewall42 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:44 pm

The school is overreacting. I would ask for an audience with the superintendent's office and tell them that this trip is important for family reasons. Schools do not lose money by granting excused absences.

It will be a bigger issue down the road, especially when your child enters middle school and high school. 9 days is a lot at that level.

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celia
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by celia » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:46 pm

So you want to celebrate a "real" Chinese New Year instead of going to school? In the long term, which is more important to the child's growth or future? Will she be living in China some day? Is she learning to speak it?

If you can focus on the educational part of the trip, that is different than going to the beach for two weeks (which could also be educational, under certain circumstances). Talk with her teacher to find out what work she would be missing that she can return completed, so that you are "home schooling" while you are gone. That is what the schools are most interested in. ...that the child is still learning...

In Kindergarten, if they are learning to read, it is most important that the parents read with the kids each day or they can forget it. Talk to any first or second grade teacher in the fall and you will hear how much of the previous "learning" was forgotten since it wasn't practiced for 3 months.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:51 pm

Schools get state aid based on days that children are in attendance. If your child is getting any special services ( speech OT etc) those may be discontinued if she is not in attendance for a certain number of sessions.

I can recall my parents taking me out of school for a half day in 1959 (first grade) and them being being reamed out out by the principal. State aid is a big deal.
Last edited by BarbBrooklyn on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Carefreeap » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:51 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm


it seems to me that the value of experiencing another country considerably exceeds the value of attending school. I think I would be tempted to go ahead with the plans and let the chips fall where they may.

Lol I used the "Travel is educational" argument when I was in 6th grade and my teacher tried to guilt trip me about missing school for a one-time trip back East (we lived in San Diego). I think we compromised with some reading and me writing a report on the experience. That's a little advanced for a kindergartener but s/he could probably bring back toys for the other kids and/or do a show and tell presentation.
adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
However- expecting to do the same thing every year seems to be stretching things.
I agree unless you plan on moving out of the District.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by MDfan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:56 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:32 pm
adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
But it seems to me that the value of experiencing another country considerably exceeds the value of attending school.
Wow, really?
It's kindergarten.

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StormShadow
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by StormShadow » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:57 pm

Betterself wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm
We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school ( kindergarten ). I emailed to school to ask for permission and found out that school can only approve 6 days of excused absence.
You asked, they denied. You can try going up the chain of command, if you like. Otherwise, your options are to follow their rules or home school your daughter.

No offense, but I find it hard to believe that any trip "would require 9 days of absence".

Now, you are required to take your kids to school or have them home-schooled.
GmanJeff wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:16 pm
Go when school is not in session.
+1 Just like every other parent of a kid that goes to school has to.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:59 pm

my parents took me to Israel for 3 weeks when I was 10. I remember having to do my homework assignments (that my teacher gave my parents) each evening in the hotel. I know this is kindegarten. Perhaps she can draw some pictures of what she sees in China and bring them back for the teacher. And as for naps, I'm sure she'll be getting lots of them with the time change I'm sure.
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fourkids
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by fourkids » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:59 pm

Go! It's just kindergarten!
But as someone mentioned, you may have to unenroll and reenroll.
I believe schools are legally obligated to accept a child into 1st grade based on age alone.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by J295 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:02 pm

Follow the school rules (including requesting any waiver or such if available), or if you will be in violation accept the consequences of your choice.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:06 pm

Psh, I'd just threaten to pull her out of school entirely to home-school instead. They get funding based on the number of students, so strong-arm them.

There's a good chance school isn't even compulsory for her yet, based on age: http://ecs.force.com/mbdata/MBQuest2RTanw?rep=KK3Q1801. Only 17 states have mandatory kindergarten.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by dbr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:07 pm

I believe the issue in this case is not educational policy but legal. Every state has truancy laws and every district is involved in following the law. I don't understand the social worker reference as the relevant authority in cases of truancy is the Office of the District Attorney using the police to enforce the law. I have been witness to cases of parents receiving notice from the local DA over excessive unexcused absences of children. In case of violation it is the parent and not the child that is potentially subject to jail time for a truant child.

Private school and home schooling could be alternatives where the restrictions allow the proposed travel activity, but I am not a lawyer and the issue may vary from state to state, both at the younger cut-off and the older age cut-off.

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Watty
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Watty » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:14 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:16 pm
Go when school is not in session.
+1

In addition to the summer there are also a lot of other school breaks in most school calendars.

The school really does not have any way to judge how responsible you are and they have to deal with way too many parents that have multiple problems and are not talking good care of their kids which is why they correctly get social workers involved when there are things like excessive absences. They need to treat everyone equally too since if they don't call the social worker on you but they call the social workers for the crackhead family they could be sued for multiple reasons.

You might ask to talk with a social worker to discuss the situation and get their pre-approval, it might turn out not to be all that big a deal.

It might not matter much in kindergarden but I would also assume that if you take your kid out of school for nine days when they are in higher grades on that you will want some sort of teaching plan for your kid to study to keep up and you will also want the teachers to review that when you get back and give your kid additional help if they fall behind. That can be a lot of extra work for the teachers especially if they have multiple kids that are taking time off like that.

I would also be cautious about considering kindergarden as being just a glorified daycare. It is just a coincidence but this afternoon I was doing some work around the house and listening this podcast where they are interviewing a researcher who, among other things, has found a correlation between the quality of a kindergarden class and kids later lifetime earnings. You might want to listen to it.

NPR, Hidden Brain, "Zipcode Destiny: The Persistent Power Of Place And Education"
https://www.npr.org/2018/11/12/66699313 ... -education

Another part of the issue is may be that the schools get federal, state, or local funding that is based on how many students are enrolled and the funding may have requirements about how many days the kid needs to be in class to qualify to get that funding.
Last edited by Watty on Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:19 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
Schools are often paid from government funding that is based on the number of students each day in attendance, so they don't get paid as much if students don't show up. Thus, they are incentivized to get kids into the schools and make sure they show up.
I went to college early, taking an informal approach to notifying my high school that I would not be returning. Well, I was intending to tell them :D It never made sense to me that they sent a truant Officer to my parents’ house, until I figured out that they lost funding if I wasn’t there. Follow the money; works 99% of the time.

Private schools work with families.
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quantAndHold
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:22 pm

The school is overreacting. But you lost me when you said you were planning on doing this every other year. I assume you're going for spring festival. Which is great, but that's not when American schools have time off. I've worked with a *lot* of Chinese people, and exactly none of them pull the kids out of school for two weeks to go to spring festival that often.

Go this year, but don't make a habit of it. I bet the parents would be glad to see you and your daughter during a school break, too.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:24 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
Perhaps OP is going back for spring festival, which happens once a year.

I don't have kids. But it seems to me that the value of experiencing another country considerably exceeds the value of attending school. I think I would be tempted to go ahead with the plans and let the chips fall where they may. Which might include withdrawing from the school and finding another.

However- expecting to do the same thing every year seems to be stretching things.
I agree.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:25 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
Schools are often paid from government funding that is based on the number of students each day in attendance, so they don't get paid as much if students don't show up. Thus, they are incentivized to get kids into the schools and make sure they show up.

The solution is to follow the school schedule. I am pretty sure the same thing happens in China: Parents don't take their kids out of school to go on vacation.
this

OP has not stated why it is paramount to pull the kid, bi-yearly, at this particular time of year instead of breaks/summer ...
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Isabelle77
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Isabelle77 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:26 pm

Is kindergarten mandatory where you live? In Washington you don’t have to be enrolled in school until you’re 8. So, take her out and then re-enroll her when you get back.

Or private school.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by 123 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:27 pm

My parents never took me out of school for any vacation or family trips.

They wanted to take advantage of the essentially free childcare the public school system provided.
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by retiredjg » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:32 pm

What is this "call the social worker" thing about?

When I first read your post, it seemed to me that the school does not have the authority to approve all the days you are asking for, but maybe the social worker could give you an exception that the school cannot give. If that is the case, I'd go with the social worker and hope for the best.

Traveling to a parent's homeland is an invaluable experience. I would think many social workers would see that.

There have to be ways for students to get exceptions when an exception is warranted and the student is able to perform adequately.

123
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by 123 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:34 pm

In an earliar post the OP indicated he/she lived in Georgia. Per the Georgia Department of Education: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-a ... ments.aspx

"Compulsory Attendance
Georgia law requires that students attend a public or private school or a home study program from their sixth to their 16th birthdays. Public Kindergarten is available in every school system, but it is not mandatory.

Entry Age for Public Kindergarten and First Grade
A child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter a public Kindergarten. The child must be six years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. School systems must verify age before enrollment.

A child who was a legal resident of one or more states for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to Georgia and who was legally enrolled in either a public Kindergarten or first grade, or a private Kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association, would be eligible to enroll in Georgia schools, provided that the Kindergartner is five years old by December 31 or the first grader is six by that date."

If the child is under 6 years of age being in school is not required in Georgia.
Last edited by 123 on Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:35 pm

I was at the hospital today for a procedure, and as part of the intake they asked me if I “was safe” at home. I had no idea at first what they were on about, but then figured it out. They’re mandatory reporters, just as the school probably is.

The next time you see a kid on TV who was discovered living off the grid, not attending school, etc. and you ask yourself how it was that nobody noticed ... well, that’s why we have mandatory reporters. I’m not saying that OP’s behavior rises to any actionable level, but schools have rules, and better that reporters follow them without letting their biases override caution. Full disclosure: when my son was an infant, he fell down a flight of stairs, breaking a bone. The doctor was right to be suspicious, since very young children seldom break bones. Doctor lightened up after an hour.
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dbr
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by dbr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:37 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:19 pm
livesoft wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:29 pm
Schools are often paid from government funding that is based on the number of students each day in attendance, so they don't get paid as much if students don't show up. Thus, they are incentivized to get kids into the schools and make sure they show up.
I went to college early, taking an informal approach to notifying my high school that I would not be returning. Well, I was intending to tell them :D It never made sense to me that they sent a truant Officer to my parents’ house, until I figured out that they lost funding if I wasn’t there. Follow the money; works 99% of the time.

Private schools work with families.
They sent a truant office because that is what the law says they have to do.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by Teague » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:46 pm

They are going to call a social worker? There's a completely over-the-top employee and/or local policy there.

Fine, you're going to call a social worker, then I'm going to call the local TV news about our rather fascist threatening school policy. All of the TV news stations, in fact. And the school superintendent, to let them know I'm calling the TV stations. And write a letter to the local paper(s) to boot. The school wants their funding tied to attendance, it's not about some noble overarching concern for the child's welfare. They want to let you know that they are in charge of your child, you are secondary. Sheesh!
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by RightGuard » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:47 pm

Escalate it up the chain of command. Don't get worked up dealing with the lowest level policy enforcer, they may have no discretionary authority.

Work to find solutions, there are some threads posted here to follow.

9 days, especially in Kindergarten (and most of primary school) every other year is nothing. Sitting inside a classroom for 6 hours a day is one component of overall education, and probably not even the most important one.

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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by wrendan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:48 pm

Betterself wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm
We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school ( kindergarten ). I emailed to school to ask for permission and found out that school can only approve 6 days of excused absence . We plan to use 3 days of unexcused days and therefore will use up 5 days of unexcused days allowed by the school district according to its guidelines. The staff,however, threatened me to withdraw her as the total days of absence will exceed 10 days or calling social worker. I originally planned to play along with them until hearing the treat.

What should I do to protect ourselves? We planto go back every two years so this will be a recurring issue.
I would not read the the staff as making a threat but rather as communicating the information in an less than delicate way. The reality is that districts have guidelines for absences and to disenroll students (at my former district it was 10 days of continuous absences without a doctors not or documentation from a court of department of children and family services). Also, after a certain number of absences, as a teacher or administrator, I would be required to notify the department of children and family services by filing a form informing the state of the absences (I have done this many times as my students would visit their families in other parts of the world for extended periods of time). I have also had students who were disenrolled from school due to absences, who would then need to enroll in school once they returned. None of this is done with any particular malice but is reflects the policies establish by the state as well as by the district.

With this being said, you do have options in how you respond. Should you go, you could take the school to a hearing with the district if you feel a policy was not followed as it should've been. You could also check with your states department of child and family services regarding their guidelines for school attendance to see if you are breaking any regulations the state has in place for school attendance. You could also return one day earlier from your trip.

All of this is a long way of saying many things that happen in public schools are outside of the control of the folks you interact with. Best of luck.

wrendan
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by wrendan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:49 pm

Teague wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:46 pm
They are going to call a social worker? There's a completely over-the-top employee and/or local policy there.

Fine, you're going to call a social worker, then I'm going to call the local TV news about our rather fascist threatening school policy. All of the TV news stations, in fact. And the school superintendent, to let them know I'm calling the TV stations. And write a letter to the local paper(s) to boot. The school wants their funding tied to attendance, it's not about some noble overarching concern for the child's welfare. They want to let you know that they are in charge of your child, you are secondary. Sheesh!
Much more nuanced than that. Many districts and states have mandatory reporting policies that cover school attendance.

dbr
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by dbr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:50 pm

Here is more detail from my local district. Essentially it is a legal process with possible court appearance. The Social Work issue has to do with child neglect, involvement of child protection, and possible removal of the child from the home. I am still trying to find information on how to establish this absence as an excused absence, which is the the route that needs to be followed. I am aware of children in our area who have missed as much as a two weeks of school for family travel and I am sure that was with the agreement of the school. Note that on reading the school district and county district attorney web pages it is patently obvious that all this legal apparatus is not directed at parents pulling kids to travel with their families but rather is part of the legal process of dealing with kids and families having problems with school attendance for any variety of personal and legal issues. Unfortunately authorities have their hands tied by the law.

Attendance support in **** involves three steps, which become more serious if a student continues to be absent. After three unexcused absences, parents receive an attendance alert letter at home. Then, if the student is absent again without an excuse, the school will begin the intervention process as follows:
Group meeting with parents at the school, where someone from the **** County Attorney's office explains school attendance laws
Students Attendance Review Team (SART) hearing to develop a plan to improve attendance
Court hearing

School Attendance Matters Partners

The Office of the **** County Attorney
**** County Community Human Services

Here is the material from the Office if the **** County District Attorney:

Consequences for not following the law

For children under age 12, parents can be petitioned to court for educational neglect and ordered to:

Pay fines.
Cooperate with Child Protection.
Participate in parenting classes, counseling sessions or other services designed to improve their children’s school attendance.

For children aged 12-17, parents or students can be petitioned to court for truancy and ordered to:

Pay fines.
Not drive until they turn 18 years old.
Be placed under the supervision of **** County Human Services.
Participate in programs or services deemed appropriate for the student’s specific situation.

In extreme cases, children can be removed from their parents’ home and placed in foster care or with other adult family members, or in a shelter or group home.
Last edited by dbr on Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

theplayer11
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:52 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:16 pm
Go when school is not in session.
bull..learn more than sitting in a classroom

wrendan
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by wrendan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:53 pm

123 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:34 pm
In an earliar post the OP indicated he/she lived in Georgia. Per the Georgia Department of Education: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-a ... ments.aspx

"Compulsory Attendance
Georgia law requires that students attend a public or private school or a home study program from their sixth to their 16th birthdays. Public Kindergarten is available in every school system, but it is not mandatory.

Entry Age for Public Kindergarten and First Grade
A child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter a public Kindergarten. The child must be six years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. School systems must verify age before enrollment.

A child who was a legal resident of one or more states for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to Georgia and who was legally enrolled in either a public Kindergarten or first grade, or a private Kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association, would be eligible to enroll in Georgia schools, provided that the Kindergartner is five years old by December 31 or the first grader is six by that date."

If the child is under 6 years of age being in school is not required in Georgia.

A student who was previously attending school consistently and then is not attending school for an extended period of time raises big red flags for teachers and administrators. Children, especially under 12, are at the highest risk for undergoing abuse and absences (explained by the parent or otherwise) are often associated. At out school we would report it because we are not able to evaluate the validity of the claim explaining the absence without a doctors note or documentation from a court or state agency. Thats for the social workers to do.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:02 pm

This is an over reached. I would disenroll my kids and home school them for a while. You learn nothing in kindergarten, says a mom of a cute kindergarten once, she didn’t know how to count to 100, and I didn’t care. Her teacher had to send me a note and asked me to help her learn how to count. I did. She finally caught up at 3rd grade. I wouldn’t worry about learning.

typical.investor
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by typical.investor » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:09 pm

wrendan wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:53 pm
123 wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:34 pm
In an earliar post the OP indicated he/she lived in Georgia. Per the Georgia Department of Education: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-a ... ments.aspx

"Compulsory Attendance
Georgia law requires that students attend a public or private school or a home study program from their sixth to their 16th birthdays. Public Kindergarten is available in every school system, but it is not mandatory.

Entry Age for Public Kindergarten and First Grade
A child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter a public Kindergarten. The child must be six years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. School systems must verify age before enrollment.

A child who was a legal resident of one or more states for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to Georgia and who was legally enrolled in either a public Kindergarten or first grade, or a private Kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association, would be eligible to enroll in Georgia schools, provided that the Kindergartner is five years old by December 31 or the first grader is six by that date."

If the child is under 6 years of age being in school is not required in Georgia.

A student who was previously attending school consistently and then is not attending school for an extended period of time raises big red flags for teachers and administrators. Children, especially under 12, are at the highest risk for undergoing abuse and absences (explained by the parent or otherwise) are often associated. At out school we would report it because we are not able to evaluate the validity of the claim explaining the absence without a doctors note or documentation from a court or state agency. Thats for the social workers to do.
I think this is correct. I wouldn’t be afraid to discuss your case with the social worker.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:22 pm

"But it's only kindergarten" is definitely not the right outlook.

OP, this isn't permissible in public schools, period. Excessive absences impact learning, and funding.

Even if you get approval to do this now, you won't in the future. You had a child(ren). You now have summers off, 2 weeks at Christmas, and a week or two during Spring. Your vacations line up with those time periods.

It will all be back to normal in 18 years or so, unless you have multiple children.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

dknightd
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Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by dknightd » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:27 pm

Betterself wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm
We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school ( kindergarten ). I emailed to school to ask for permission and found out that school can only approve 6 days of excused absence . We plan to use 3 days of unexcused days and therefore will use up 5 days of unexcused days allowed by the school district according to its guidelines. The staff,however, threatened me to withdraw her as the total days of absence will exceed 10 days or calling social worker. I originally planned to play along with them until hearing the treat.

What should I do to protect ourselves? We planto go back every two years so this will be a recurring issue.
Talk with school staff. Then talk up the line to principle, then up from there.
Explain it is not a vacation. It is a unique global learning experience.

dbr
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: School staff threatened to call social worker

Post by dbr » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:33 pm

dknightd wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:27 pm
Betterself wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm
We are planning a trip back to China that would require 9 days of absence from my daughter’s school ( kindergarten ). I emailed to school to ask for permission and found out that school can only approve 6 days of excused absence . We plan to use 3 days of unexcused days and therefore will use up 5 days of unexcused days allowed by the school district according to its guidelines. The staff,however, threatened me to withdraw her as the total days of absence will exceed 10 days or calling social worker. I originally planned to play along with them until hearing the treat.

What should I do to protect ourselves? We planto go back every two years so this will be a recurring issue.
Talk with school staff. Then talk up the line to principle, then up from there.
Explain it is not a vacation. It is a unique global learning experience.
I agree. Find out from people in authority how to do this. You are not asking for a major concession here; you are only asking for how to navigate policy and law. I see kids out of school for periods like this all the time in our community.

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