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  #21  
Old 07.08.2011, 21:42
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

Just to add to the OP - I feel for you I really do - I think it's really hard for expat families with kids in school. When you're looking at travelling a long way to visit your family (and a week to the states, with jetlag to take into consideration is hardly worth it) and perhaps you can only afford to do it a couple of times a year and you want to make the most of it.... it's hard.

I actually find Christmas the hardest, because here the kids are in school up til Christmas eve so travelling back home for Christmas is virtually impossible now. I mean, I don't want to do it every year, but every now and then I think it'd be nice for the kids to see their grandparents on Christmas
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Old 07.08.2011, 22:08
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

Vaud has 2 years of compulsory enfantine, if I am not mistaken.

That said, depending on your commune, ours is so foreign that we only found a lot of understanding anytime we needed some kind of exception, they are very used to it.

I would talk to your teacher and arrange at the same time some kind of psy testing, for example, in the US that is not done here, special skills, or so. Or some program you can document for your kiddo to do while you are in the US, some kind of catching up studying, or homeschooling with a mini certification at the end, I would do it anyways, since homeschooling is so supported and easy in the US. That might facilitate having local school here agree to having your child reconecting with his home culture and family.

I would also tutor him in French, though, playfully, while there, since it might be a shock for him to reinsert him back to the system. Get a fun young student to give him fun French class a day, or so.
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Old 07.08.2011, 22:20
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

Be careful about spurious illness. School action against truancy (depending on community, perhaps) is backed by law. Keeping a child from lawful attending school without permission is quite serious.
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Old 07.08.2011, 22:24
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

We switched our son from the local International School to the regular school. The principal made it very clear: 2 half days per year. Anything else requires written permission. There are hefty fines in my Kanton (St. Gallen) for withdrawing a child from school without consent.

To the OP: like others said, talk to the principal.
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Old 07.08.2011, 22:42
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

In most cases, 6 weeks during the Summer should be plenty of time to visit anywhere in the world. Just make sure you book very early for the best prices. When our kids were at school, we were never able to visit my parents for Christmas, but they came to us most years.
In this case, the visit is for a family wedding- so a bit different- but perhaps not in the school authorities eyes here in CH- especially for a child who is not yet bi-lingual (perhaps). As said, talk to the teacher and school authorities. I've just asked my neighbour who is on the school board and her answer was a clear and definite 'no'.

Please do not take this personally, but as a teacher in the UK, I grieved for all those kids taken away from normal schooling for weeks on end to go to the Costa della Cerveza the hairdressers, looking after younger kids, etc- and who ended up falling even further behind and through the net, despite all our efforts. Not at all the case here I know.
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Old 07.08.2011, 23:05
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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In most cases, 6 weeks during the Summer should be plenty of time to visit anywhere in the world. Just make sure you book very early for the best prices. When our kids were at school, we were never able to visit my parents for Christmas, but they came to us most years.
In this case, the visit is for a family wedding- so a bit different- but perhaps not in the school authorities eyes here in CH- especially for a child who is not yet bi-lingual (perhaps). As said, talk to the teacher and school authorities. I've just asked my neighbour who is on the school board and her answer was a clear and definite 'no'.

Please do not take this personally, but as a teacher in the UK, I grieved for all those kids taken away from normal schooling for weeks on end to go to the Costa della Cerveza the hairdressers, looking after younger kids, etc- and who ended up falling even further behind and through the net, despite all our efforts. Not at all the case here I know.
It still makes my blood boil that the travel companies have parents over a barrel every school holiday, charging top-notch prices then a week after the schools go back, the prices drop down again.

It's almost too tempting to take kids out of school, particularly if parents are on a tough budget but still want to give their family a holiday.

I'm sure they have all sorts of reasoning up their sleeves and in their business plans, plus the fallback "You know the score when you had kids" but it doesn't make the pill any less bitter to swallow.
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  #27  
Old 07.08.2011, 23:14
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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In most cases, 6 weeks during the Summer should be plenty of time to visit anywhere in the world.
Or, move to Ticino and you get 10-11 weeks in summer!

Tom
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  #28  
Old 07.08.2011, 23:53
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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I saw some posts on here about Kindergarten and children who are 5 years old (or maybe I just misunderstood), but anyway, obligatory school in Switzerland starts at the age of 6 in primary school. Kindergarten is not obligatory by law and therefore taking the child out for a few weeks may not be a major problem. Do not expect the teacher to be happy about it though...

If the child is older than 6 then I would say that an absence of any more time than is absolutely necessary would be absolutely exceptional and a week would probably be pushing it, never mind 3-4.
Snoopy, I think it varies in different cantons. In Baselstadt, two years of kg is part of the compulsory years of schooling.

Also, for that age group, (in Basel) a child is allowed a maximum of 10 days off in a two year period. Parents are required to fill out an application form for any of those days, stating the purpose of the days off school.

I have no idea what happens if a Head does not approve those days, but the days taken are recorded for the canton education department records. My understanding is that parents can be fined if children are away for excess days.
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Old 08.08.2011, 00:18
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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When I was a teacher in the UK, parents were taking kids out of school for weeks on end
It is illegal in the UK to remove your child from school in the UK without the head teacher's express permission. Heavy fines and jail sentences are the result. Personally I think this is nanny stating taken to the extreme.
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Please do not take this personally, but as a teacher in the UK, I grieved for all those kids taken away from normal schooling for weeks on end to go to the Costa della Cerveza the hairdressers.
Just a question here because all these laws seem to be to protect kids who parents can't or won't help with their education and upbringing. While I agree that some kids most probably need to be protected from their parents, what about those that don’t?
My parents took me out of school for a month to go and help out with a wild-life project in a game park in South Africa when I was 13. I still had to keep up with some school work but it does not seem to have made me into some social misfit.
Some of my friends used to spend two months on a boat to the Seychelles every second year when they would do school work on the boat and then learn all about the ocean and sailing and different cultures. They are two of the most wonderfully balanced and educated people that I have ever met.
What about those situations or is it really the case that no state anywhere trusts a well-rounded and educated parent to be able to educate and take care of their children anymore?
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  #30  
Old 08.08.2011, 07:28
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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It is illegal in the UK to remove your child from school in the UK without the head teacher's express permission. Heavy fines and jail sentences are the result. Personally I think this is nanny stating taken to the extreme.

Just a question here because all these laws seem to be to protect kids who parents can't or won't help with their education and upbringing. While I agree that some kids most probably need to be protected from their parents, what about those that don’t?
My parents took me out of school for a month to go and help out with a wild-life project in a game park in South Africa when I was 13. I still had to keep up with some school work but it does not seem to have made me into some social misfit.
Some of my friends used to spend two months on a boat to the Seychelles every second year when they would do school work on the boat and then learn all about the ocean and sailing and different cultures. They are two of the most wonderfully balanced and educated people that I have ever met.
What about those situations or is it really the case that no state anywhere trusts a well-rounded and educated parent to be able to educate and take care of their children anymore?
The problem is that they can't write one rule for one and another rule for someone else. Not many parents would be taking their kids on an educational trip and throwing in daily study time. The OP wants to take her son to a family wedding, for example, and I know of other parents who took their kids out of school a couple of weeks outside of the school holidays in order to take advantage of the cheaper package holidays.

The school system has to take account of people simply taking their kids out for a jolly, otherwise every parent would say, "Yeah, yeah, it's an educational trip to the Amazonian Rainforest and we'll be doing three hours of quantum mechanics every morning." Then nip off to lie on a beach in Benidorm for two weeks.

As I said in an earlier post, I don't blame parents for doing this because of the stupid holiday companies hiking up the prices over the school holidays.
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Old 08.08.2011, 09:41
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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It is illegal in the UK to remove your child from school in the UK without the head teacher's express permission. Heavy fines and jail sentences are the result. Personally I think this is nanny stating taken to the extreme.

Just a question here because all these laws seem to be to protect kids who parents can't or won't help with their education and upbringing. While I agree that some kids most probably need to be protected from their parents, what about those that don’t?
My parents took me out of school for a month to go and help out with a wild-life project in a game park in South Africa when I was 13. I still had to keep up with some school work but it does not seem to have made me into some social misfit.
Some of my friends used to spend two months on a boat to the Seychelles every second year when they would do school work on the boat and then learn all about the ocean and sailing and different cultures. They are two of the most wonderfully balanced and educated people that I have ever met.
What about those situations or is it really the case that no state anywhere trusts a well-rounded and educated parent to be able to educate and take care of their children anymore?
Absolutely- I totally agree. Most Heads will be able to make the difference between a beach holiday or a family visit- to a trip with great educational value. In the UK you could discuss this with the Head and Governors and come to an agreement, providing you made a good case for this and providing your child is not at a key Stage and coping well with theie schooling. In CH, I do not think this would work so well- especially if the child is not fully bi-lingual so their education might be impaired by taking them out just as they are ready to turn the corner (linguistically speaking). Our daughter came for 1 term to Switzerland, and the Head agreed that the experience would be worth tons more than the term she would miss. Especially as she was doing very well, and he could see catching up would not be an issue. The exchange girl never did come for her term in UK- as the Head in CH said that if she did she would have to repeat the year.
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  #32  
Old 08.08.2011, 11:12
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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Vaud has 2 years of compulsory enfantine, if I am not mistaken.
Technically, not obligatory until HarmoS in 2012, but just around the corner.

Anyhow, the Vaud school law, and the rules applicable to the Vaud school law explain absences. See website here: http://www.vd.ch/fr/autorites/depart...et-reglements/

In french, but general translation--Basically, absences have to be written by the parents and in advance. Generally no absences will be allowed immediately before or after scheduled vacations. For procedure, Directors have competence for absences of up to 4 weeks, then it is the "service" that has to be addressed. The municipalities have the authority to make sure the obligatory schooling is respected, a fine of up to 2,000 chf can be charged.

So it seems it is possible but you need to follow the rules and approach the director in writing about it, if up to 4 weeks.
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Old 08.08.2011, 11:44
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

Im taking my daughter to visit our home country for 2 weeks on her short vacay in october. I wish it could be longer...an additional week or less would be nice. Its also a rare coincidence that my sister and her kids will be there and the family is complete. Im 3 mos pregnant and the next ideal chance for me to visit my family is in summer of 2013. My daughter is well adjusted and is in the regular first grade class in her local school. Im thinking of begging my husband to ask the teacher about it. But the gemeinde rules are very clear and he says theres just no way they would consider. I think the school also cancelled the free dental check once per year.
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  #34  
Old 08.08.2011, 11:55
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

We are doing the same thing in October. We are flying to Argentina Saturday, right after the vacation starts, and fly back Saturday before classes start again. Just below 3 weeks, and quite expensive, but at least we stay with the family and have virtually no expenses. I wish we could stay a tad longer....too long a flight (around 20hr all in all) for such a "short" visit.
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Old 08.08.2011, 12:29
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

I wouldn'd say tour-operators are "ripping-off" families by hiking prices at the beginning of school-holidays.
It's really a simple supply-demand correlation.

Personally, I will be very surprised if the OP would have her wish granted.
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Old 08.08.2011, 13:17
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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November's a pretty bad time for catching the flu... and that can take weeks to shift...
Schools call home to check whether you are indeed nursing that flu, if you are away, they will know that you were playing truant. With a potential fine of CHF 3000, this is not really something where you should mess about. Like everyone else said - check with the school what your options are.
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  #37  
Old 08.08.2011, 16:39
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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With a potential fine of CHF 3000, this is not really something where you should mess about.
Still sounds like a saving on the price difference on a holiday for a big family for 3 weeks.
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Old 08.08.2011, 16:44
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

Perhaps though, the biggest cost might be one of goodwill. If staff are spending much time and effort to 'integrate' a child and help with adaptation, language skills, etc- and feel that this is not respected by some parents?
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Old 08.08.2011, 16:48
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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Still sounds like a saving on the price difference on a holiday for a big family for 3 weeks.
Savings from "shifting" a holiday in the described fashion: 5000 CHF (est.)
Fine from the school: 3000 CHF
Loss of goodwill: priceless
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Old 08.08.2011, 17:00
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Re: Taking my son out of school for vacation

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Perhaps though, the biggest cost might be one of goodwill. If staff are spending much time and effort to 'integrate' a child and help with adaptation, language skills, etc- and feel that this is not respected by some parents?
Hmmm....I wouldn't get too philosophical, though, and heavy. I totally get what you mean. But, as a teacher myself, we get kids walking in and out of the classroom and school all the time, you learn how to push cohesiveness despite the different priorities of kids you get in the classroom, and their folks. I, for one, would love to see foreign kids being able to see their relatives and traditional family weddings in their homeland, even if it means me being in contact with the family/student through emails once or twice a week and check on their homework. 5yr old will go super easy tempo in September, anyways. So, I say, before we make the OP feel all guilty for trying to reconnect with her life back home (for what we know, maybe this bond might be a lot more important than a bond with the culture here, maybe they will plan to leave shortly, who knows), let's just say if it is ok or not, legally, leaving the heavy philosophy out of it.

But, nothing personal, of course it is easier for the teachers to not have kids waltzing in and out. And some kids too. We just do not know if this particular little first grader misses his family back home a lot, and it might actually be helpful to have him exposed to warm and supportive relatives back there, even if he has to study while on hols at the same time. I wouldn't go so far and assume all parenst who take kids out of class for a couple of weeks are irresponsible, do not think about the kid's future, only want to save cash, etc. In our area, offices seem to be nicely cooperative and flexible, I think it depends how nicely and reasonably one asks about favors.
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