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Missing Week of School for Excellent Opportunity??

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Replies to: Missing Week of School for Excellent Opportunity??

  • 2boysima2boysima 1737 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Go.

    But...it is a tough time. Is she submitting project for Intel Science Talent Search? If yes...that process is a significant undertaking with a number of short essays and other materials due, as well as the research report. She should try to get as much of this work as possible at least started in draft form before she goes away. Same thing for any rolling or ED/EA college apps.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8988 replies79 threads Senior Member
    It sounds like a wonderful opportunity. But I do understand your concern about missing a week of class.

    In addition to the school rule issues pointed out above, it would be VERY hard for a senior with rigorous courseload to miss a week of school. Even missing a day or two can be tough (my experience is with IB classes for DS. I assume AP similar). If college apps are submitted before the trip, that would help.

    Others may boo-hiss me on this suggestion...but could this presentation be handled via video tele-conference tools?
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  • mimk6mimk6 4108 replies54 threads Senior Member
    Speaking of absences, they had senior parents night tonight at DS's school and the assistant principal's made a big deal about not missing any days of school this year. So do they think the kids are supposed to skip admit days when choosing a college?
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  • MarianMarian 13214 replies83 threads Senior Member
    So do they think the kids are supposed to skip admit days when choosing a college?

    Yes, but in reality, the kids will save up their unexcused absences for those visits.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7978 replies35 threads Senior Member
    colorado_mom: Your suggestion is an interesting one, but this is not yet the time for it--at least in my general field. I have attended probably 50-60 international conferences by now, and I have never seen a presentation by teleconferencing. This includes the talks by people who were 80+, for whom the travel must have been a bit difficult in itself.

    It is really an incredible honor for a high school student to be invited to speak at such a conference. If anyone were to be accommodated by teleconferencing (in my field), as the conferences currently go, it would probably be a Nobel laureate who was ill and could not travel. It is possible that medicine is different as a field, but I would guess not.

    There seem to be some school districts that either a) deliver a much higher quality of instruction than we have around here, or b) hold an inflated opinion of the value of time spent in class. My money is on b)--although, now that I think of it, it could easily be both a) and b).

    Locally, the school will excuse students for college trips. I am pretty sure that they will even excuse them for family vacations. The general rule is that students have time equal to the length of the absence, after they return, to make up the work.

    Are the schools with very stringent rules private schools? Or could some of the people on CC run for their local school boards, and improve things for everyone in their districts?
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  • alwaysamomalwaysamom 12276 replies217 threads Senior Member
    or b) hold an inflated opinion of the value of time spent in class.

    QuantMech, I agree with you. Every time I see this issue come up here on CC and people worrying about excused and unexcused absences, it amazes me. None of the schools that my Ds attended would even think of purporting to weild that kind of power. Why do parents put up with this? I don't get it. I doubt that there is any high school student who would suffer irreparable harm in missing a week of school, and for a girl like the OP's D, who is clearly a smart cookie, it shouldn't be an issue at all. This opportunity should not be missed.
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  • mominvamominva 3054 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Wow, congrats to the OP DD for the honor of this opportunity!!

    At this point, it is time for the parent to take ownership. This is NOT a decision for the guidance counselor, teachers, principal or school district.

    This is a 'life event' and, no ifs ands or buts, should be treated as such.

    The college app personal statement which includes the student's perception of this awesome opportunity/experience will be enough to mitigate any repercussions from any vindictive school policies.

    Include a copy of the program with published student name in the application packets.
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  • HuntHunt 26787 replies131 threads Senior Member
    Unless the school's principal is a complete dolt, he or she will excuse the absence, because this is good PR for the school as well as for the student. If for some stupid technical reason it can't be an excused absence, then perhaps it could be designated an approved field trip or assignment that isn't an absence at all.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8988 replies79 threads Senior Member
    "This is a 'life event'" - I absolutely agree. The problem is that surviving fall of senior year (with rigorous classes, college apps, etc) is also a life event. That can be stressful even without missing a week of school.

    A lot will depend on how supportive the teachers are. It could impact grades. That could be an ok trade-off in my mind. But we never played the "gpa game" (many unweighted music classes meant DS would never be in very top slots). My concern is stress, perhaps easily handled by OP's daughter.

    If the district rules don't prevent graduation for too many unexcused absences (for trip plus some college visits second semester), the attendance factor is not a big deal.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7978 replies35 threads Senior Member
    This should be an excused absence and would be in many districts. What are the requirements for an excused absence in your district, colorado_mom?

    Not denying the stress imposed by week-long trips during the school year. QMP had to learn multi-variable integration from the book, rather than class. When there is a lot of homework, it's hard to squeeze it all in. But in retrospect, the worry looks silly. Missing school should not be a big deal, in this case.

    Many academics have tenure before they are invited to speak at international conferences. The invitation is a big deal.
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  • ENsMomENsMom 236 replies20 threads Junior Member
    So many valuable suggestions here! My apologies for not responding sooner -- I have been swamped getting all our ducks in order to obtain the visas for this trip -- as luck would have it, found out just this week that my D's passport expires within 6 months so had to be renewed on an expedited basis in order to obtain the foreign visa! Somewhat of a bureaucratic nightmare, but so far, so good.....

    I am hoping that we do not have to go to battle with our school regarding this absence, but am preparing for battle just in case! I have found our school district's policy regarding "excusable absences" and the section I believe will likely apply in our case is the following:

    "7)For justifiable personal reasons, including,but not limited to, an appearance in court,
    attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of his or her religion,
    attendance at religious retreats, attendance at an employment conference, or
    attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by
    a nonprofit organization when the pupil’s absence has been requested in writing by
    the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative
    pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board."

    I believe that my D's absence should be excused under 'employment conference' (she is technically an employee of the medical center and is receiving a stipend) or possibly under 'educational conference' even though it is not for legislative or judicial processes (why the limitation, I wonder?????).

    I have had a little talk with my D about her time management while we're traveling, i.e., that as much as both she and I will want to see the sights in our free time, that keeping up with her schoolwork will have to be her priority. I also said that I will run interference and speak with the head of her group if she has to skip a conference event here or there in order to stay on top of her schoolwork. As we all know, these types of events are also full of lunches, evening banquets, etc. etc., and she may have to take a pass on one or two of those.

    I must thank everyone as well for their congratulations and wishes for a great trip! We are very happy for our D -- it is nice to see all of her hard work over the last few years result in such a nice recognition and further opportunity.
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  • ENsMomENsMom 236 replies20 threads Junior Member
    And mimk6, thanks for the kind offer of assistance!!! I hope I won't have to take you up on it, but if I do, I will!
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8988 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Good luck on the trip! It does sound incredible.

    QuantMech - I'm not sure about the absence policies at our district. I know that college trips are discouraged... but really kids need to see at least a few of their colleges when in session, so we went. And class was missed for school sponsored events (music trips, state meets for EC, etc). For DS, most of that stuff happened in Spring semester - I remember one particular week close to IB exams where he was saved by 2 day unexpected school cancellations (construction snafu).

    He's a bright and capable kid (my bright disorganized kid had to drop out of IB). But fall semester senior year was brutal. Hmmm...just remembering now that part of the hassle due to needing to rewrite IB Extended Essay (his EE advisor was new). That put an extra crunch on college apps.
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  • starbrightstarbright 4549 replies111 threads Senior Member
    Many academics have tenure before they are invited to speak at international conferences. The invitation is a big deal.

    It IS a big deal for a highschooler! I think it's fabulous she's going to do this. Though I am surprised you said this Quantmech as it makes me realize your field is very different than mine. Is your's engineering (going by your title)? In our field, undergrads at int'l conferences is not at all unusual, and it's very much the norm at the masters' level. Now highschool student, that is unusual!
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7978 replies35 threads Senior Member
    Yes, I think my field (quantum mechanics) is very different from yours, starbright. It would be quite rare even for a postdoctoral research associate to speak at an international conference--give a poster session, yes, but not give a talk.

    It is basically unheard of for undergrads to speak at an international conference, in my field. I have never even known an undergraduate who spoke at a regional meeting of a professional society, let alone an international conference. Master's level students wouldn't speak, either.

    Ph.D. students do give poster sessions, but hardly ever give talks, except in regional meetings with a common-interest focus. When a Ph.D. student wins a national award, the student is invited to speak at a national meeting following the award (by which time, the person already has a Ph.D.)
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  • starbrightstarbright 4549 replies111 threads Senior Member
    ^ Ah it could be because only those with PhDs in hand could know enough to actually present something in quantum mechanics! :)

    But also maybe different terminology along with norms? To be 'invited' in our jargon, means as say a keynote speaker or to be on a special panel at an international conference (that sort of thing is for senior folks usually). But that would be quite different than say having a paper accepted at a conference for presentation (where the authors decide among themselves who will present).

    Sorry to sidetrack this thread, I just was very curious!
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  • oldfortoldfort 22982 replies292 threads Senior Member
    It took many years in my professional life before I could speak in front of large audience. I couldn't imagine doing it when I was in high school. Kudos to OP's daughter.
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  • wis75wis75 14102 replies64 threads Senior Member
    So glad you are going ahead with the trip. Sounds like you can make it an excused absence, if not, don't worry. Her teachers may let her get work done ahead of time, take quizzes if it means the difference between a mandatory poor grade or a good one. This experience trumps anything HS can offer.
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  • bears and dogsbears and dogs 3050 replies26 threads- Senior Member
    It happens to some teens. some genius, like the astrophysicist who is the director of the planetarium at AMNH.
    he was only teen, HS student when gave lecture at the international conference.
    We don't know what OP' D exactly did or took part of.
    maybe after the thing is done, can hear the report?
    Like, this Canadian girl was 12 year old when crashed into Earth summit conference and gotten standing ovation.
    Which eventually gotten her to Yale, but who knows what happened afterword.

    When there is a chance to do amazing thing, you just want to do it.
    You never know.
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  • alwaysamomalwaysamom 12276 replies217 threads Senior Member
    ^^Severn Suzuki is still an environmental activist, involved in many causes and does speaking engagements around the world. Her activism at 12 was certainly admirable but not at all surprising, given the fact that her father was, and is, one of the world's most compelling and 'active' environmentalists.
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