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Unexcused absence for taking the PSAT in 10th grade!


Replies to: Unexcused absence for taking the PSAT in 10th grade!

  • MommaJMommaJ Registered User Posts: 5,728 Senior Member
    my kids are on an advanced track, they take Pre AP Pre Cal in 10th grade. They also have more time for test prep in 10th grade and summer between 10th and 11th grade so they take the SAT in the spring of 10th grade and again in the fall of 11th grade when they are the most prepared. This schedule works best for our family.
    When you forge an unorthodox path for your kids, you can't expect the school system to change its rules just for you, no matter how well it works for your family. If your kid's taking the PSAT as a sophomore is that critical, you can choose the little white lie of calling in sick or accept the rather minimal risk of missing a test or quiz during an unexcused absence. This is pretty much small potatoes all around, and not worth getting so worked up over. There will be far more annoying things to come during the college application process!
  • coolweathercoolweather Registered User Posts: 5,763 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I would write a note asking each teacher for makeup tests and quizzes and move on regardless whether the teachers allow or not. The PSAT takes about 2 hours. Bring your kid back to school after the test. Your kid takes the PSAT because he has to for his educational need. That's more important than anything else. I think that's better than calling in sick. Tactiful negotiation usually works.

    In California, when a kid is absent, the school receives less money from the state. I think that is the reason some schools make strict rules about unexcused absence.
  • LKnomadLKnomad Registered User Posts: 1,255 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I would call in sick and not worry about it.

    Also for those asking why test so early, if a student has the ability to do well early on and can get a test or two out of the way, it leaves them better able to work on AP tests later on Jr year. One of the best pieces of advice we received was to get testing out of the way. My son took his first SAT 2 as a sophomore and took his first SAT early jr year. This left the end of his Jr year open for AP studying and for other SAT subjects. Less stress later on.
  • coolweathercoolweather Registered User Posts: 5,763 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I would call in sick and not worry about it.

    I would not lie to teachers because teachers don't like lies. What if some other students see the kid taking the test and tell the teachers about it (intentionally or unintentionally)? This might put the kid in awkward situations with the teachers later. Furthermore, some kids abuse sickness and ask parents to call in sick when they are not prepared for the tests during those absences. I don't want to participate in that scheme.

    About taking the test early: There are several reasons. Some kids need the PSAT to see how many AP classes to handle in the junior year. Some need the score to apply to summer programs...
  • LKnomadLKnomad Registered User Posts: 1,255 Senior Member
    @coolweather The teachers wouldn't know one way or the other. The administration will either excuse or not excuse him. We ran into something similar with my son and college tours. I handed him a note and he brought it to the office and handed it to the secretary. The secretary then does her magic with a computer and all is well. No teacher is involved.

    I think everyone is making this a bigger deal than it is. The parent can make a choice for her child. If that parents wants her child to take a test then so be it.

    Glad I am homeschooling the second one. This just gets silly.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,762 Senior Member
    Just call him in sick. He is not feeling great, and will be in the next day. This is really easy.
  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD Registered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Our high school has 9-11th graders take the PSAT but I think it's more out of laziness than any goal of NMF/NMSF.
    That said, this is a personal choice. The school has no responsibility to bend to your personal decisions regarding what works for you particular children. Your kids should know whether or not there is a test on that particular day. If no test is scheduled, rest easy and let the child take the unexcused absence. If there is a test, you can try having your child ask to take the test ahead of time. (My daughter did that once)

    If your child is taking pre-calc, hopefully he/she will be taking Math II this spring as well as the SAT I.
  • EarlVanDornEarlVanDorn Registered User Posts: 1,270 Senior Member
    I'm surprised that so many people say the school has no obligation to accommodate the student. Taking the PSAT in ninth and tenth grade is important in that it makes one likely to score just a bit higher when they take it as a junior. National Merit status brings with it up to $250,000 in automatic scholarship money, and any principal who refuses to allow a tenth grader to take it is just a jackass. I would take it up with the school board and also the state board of education and perhaps write a letter to the editor. Your school needs a new principal.
  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom Registered User Posts: 5,601 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I'm very surprised that so many people are advocating dishonesty here. I don't see how taking the PSAT twice and the SAT twice is "over testing" if he does well on the SAT this year he may only take it once. He won't be taking any subject tests because, as we found with our daughter, the schools he will be applying to don't require them and it's was a waste of time and money to take them.

    In the past, including last year, this schools encouraged all 10th graders to take the PSAT, surrounding districts even encourage 9th graders to take the PSAT and pay for 10th graders to take the PSAT. My daughter took the PSAT in this school in both 10th and 11th grade and the SAT in spring of 10th grade and fall off 11th grade and was grateful to be done with testing so she could focus on AP classes and EC's. I think it's very important to take the PSAT this year because there is so little official practice material for the new tests.

    I will write to each of the teachers of the four classes he will be missing and explain his absence and hope for the best.
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,564 Senior Member
    The school could easily decide to either accommodate those 10th graders who had already signed up or to view absence for the test as an EC-related absence.

    I think people are suggesting you lie, because the school rules almost force parents to do that. One of mine had to miss for a non-school related activity. The first time I called in with the real reason and he was marked as taking a vacation day!! I found out everyone else called their kids in sick, which was an excused absence. I understand that schools do not want kids out for random reasons, but taking a test or pursuing an activity out of state, seem like they could be legitimate reasons to miss a day (or part of a day) of school.
  • bajammbajamm Registered User Posts: 1,411 Senior Member
    I like the phrase someone offered. Instead of calling him in sick, call in saying there is a personal/family issue that requires him to be elsewhere. That isn't a lie, is it?
  • mom2andmom2and Registered User Posts: 2,564 Senior Member
    But that may not be an excused absence, at least at our school.
  • ClaremontMomClaremontMom Registered User Posts: 2,400 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    @mom2and beat me to the punch...I believe it would also still be unexcused at our school. If I recall correctly, it would be listed as something like "Parent Request" but it's still unexcused.

    But again, most teacher's would still work with the kid (especially if it's generally a good kid). I think if the student goes to each teacher, explains what he is doing and asks if he can get whatever classwork he'll miss, or take whatever test he'll miss in advance (or whenever the teacher is available), the teachers will work with him. Hopefully, he doesn't have that "one" teacher....

    BTW, last year for the first time (since they moved the PSAT to Wednesday), our school district REQUIRED all 10th graders to take the PSAT.
  • jonrijonri Registered User Posts: 7,241 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    What I would do...

    Write a note a week or so in advance to each of the teachers whose classes he'll miss. Explain that he is going to miss the class because he has to take a standardized test outside school that day. Ask them to let him take any tests they are planning to give that day a day early. Offer that he will be willing to stay after school on the day before the exam to do it or at another time convenient for the teacher that he can.

    I think you'll find that most teachers will be willing to give him any test or quiz a day early. Others will say that he can make it up when he comes back, just like a sick day. I think the odds are slim that any teacher will actually give him a zero.

    I did something similar for an EC competition back in the day. Believe it or not, some of the teachers simply didn't mark my kid absent that day. Their way of dealing with the bureaucracy was to tell the white lie themselves.

  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 18,405 Senior Member
    10th grade PSAT was optional at my D's school years ago. My D1 need to register it at school and pay $10 at that time. Now they make it standard in the same school, so my D2 is going to take it in 10th grade without cost.
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