Missing Week of School for Excellent Opportunity??

<p>She needs to go. This is a BIG DEAL. Launches her into the small group of college applicants with something substantial under their belt.</p>

<p>Have her sit down now and plan how she will get everything done. Big calendar with deadlines etc. Have her contact her teachers and guidance counselor to plan her absence.</p>

<p>Check with GC about school deadlines for ED applications if she is planning to submit one. Get the Common App going and start writing essays! She may want to write an essay about her trip -- but get something started and available.</p>

<p>Wow -- it sounds like an amazing opportunity.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone for the words of support! My initial reaction when my D came home and told us about this what very much like what most of you have posted -- an immediate 'Wow- yes - go!" I think I was having some version of 'buyer's remorse' after accepting the invitation, and then getting overwhelmed with all the last minute planning that needs to be done in order to make the trip happen, what with having to obtain visas, etc. etc., and the worries setting in about allowing my D to take on too much.</p>

<p>School starts next week and my D's teachers are not yet available, so we're having to go on faith that they will all be cooperative in excusing her absences and allowing her sufficient time to make up the lost work. I am fairly confident that the teachers will be cooperative, but my D goes to a very large public high school (5,000+ students), so every once in a while they pull one of those "if we make an exception to the rules here for you, then we have to make it for everyone, etc." My D's guidance counselor was instrumental in her obtaining the research position in the first place, so I am sure she will be in my D's corner in dealings with the teachers. Also, as someone pointed out, it is something for the school to brag about as well -- the magnet program my D attends at this school is the go-to program for the high-achieving students in our city, and the program does like to highlight the unique accomplishments of its students. </p>

<p>I agree the experience to present at the conference is invaluable, and she will also spend two days watching others present, another great experience. We will have one full day and our evenings free to see the city. And yes, the many hours on planes (we are coming from California, so it is a long flight!) can be used to keep up with school work. The laptop is definitely coming along!!</p>

<p>I agree that she should go. As far as strategy, I would suggest that she tell the guidance counselor first, before she tells the teachers. That way she can be informing the teachers that they will need to deal with an excused absence, as opposed to asking their permission.</p>

<p>I would keep the trip on the down low until after the trip.
You don't want others to think she got special treatment.
Buy her a nice dark suit and closed shoes.
Chilly there in mid-Oct.
Is she done with her SATs/ACT testing?
She will have to email to keep in touch with her teachers while away.</p>

<p>I also thought college and would have had her miss that! Of course she should go, I'll bet her HS will be thrilled one of their students has this opportunity- most college students don't even get to do this. Even if they won't excuse the absence she should go- our district is cracking down on those, but it's 10 days before truancy laws kick in. This trip comes at a good time- well before semester's end or college apps are due. October is a big month for many medical specialties to hold conferences.</p>

<p>I would check with the school to see whether this will be counted as an excused or unexcused absence.</p>

<p>In some school systems, a week's unexcused absences could prevent a student from graduating on time. In the area where I live, there is a limit on unexcused absences; if you exceed it, you have to repeat the grade. This has mostly caused issues for students who wanted to go to grandparents' funerals in foreign countries, but it could apply to a situation like your daughter's as well. Your school system might have the same problem.</p>

<p>Also, I wonder whether the professor has considered problems that might arise because of the student's age. Even if she is 18, she might be too young to rent a hotel room in the Eastern European city, for example. Has this professor taken high school age students to this city before? I'm wondering whether it might be a good idea for an older family member to accompany the student to avoid hassles of this sort.</p>

<p>With regard to the idea that a school system might treat this as an unexcused absence: This reminds me strongly of the one-liner by Isacc Asimov: "Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain." A school district that would treat this trip as an unexcused absence ought to be dissolved! (Just my opinion, of course)</p>

<p>I think it would be a superb idea for the student to go on the trip. It is a very rare opportunity and a great honor for a high school student to give a presentation at an international conference. It would be a good idea for the student to talk with the professor about the housing issue that has been raised.</p>

<p>Typically, if a student is asked to go to an international conference, the costs are covered by a grant or by the university. This would include the hotel costs. The professor may be reserving the rooms, to begin with. It is also possible that the high school student will have a double, with a grad student or post doc.</p>

<p>ENsMom: If the high school made an exception for everyone who was invited to present work at an international research conference, they could easily do it--it's not likely to happen more than once in a decade.</p>

<p>QuantMech, we're talking about a public school here. Institutional stupidity is to be expected.</p>

<p>^Marian, post #14: Sadly, I know and agree.</p>

<p>Also, what kind of heartless school district would not excuse a student to attend a grandparent's funeral in a foreign country? Wow.</p>

<p>OP, I agree that the GC should pave the way and then daughter should approach teachers after the first couple of weeks (because those first couple of weeks are high-stress for teachers) and present a responsible plan for how she will make up the work. She should not approach as if she is asking their permission, just that she will be away that week because of this opportunity and wants to work with them on a plan for making up the work, etc. If the school gives you trouble re excused/unexcused, PM me. I'm known at our school (in CA) for being a successful advocate for high-achieving magnet school kids and programs. I have a few ideas...</p>

<p>This is the kind of thing the school could easily use to their own advantage as PR. If they don't see it immediately, you should make sure they get the point. Hope your D has a great trip!</p>

<p>I haven taken my kids out of school for a week for family vacation. This opportunity beats family vacation hands down. Congratulations on your daughter, you must be very proud.</p>

<p>yes, yes, yes. The whole unexcused absence thing is a farce anyway. Present the opportunity above the principal if necessary, to get it "excused". If they can not see the benefit, will not excuse her, then ignore them. Or lie like everyone else who takes their kids out of shool (death in family, student illness). Not that I think it should come to that, but it is more than common.
Congrats, you must be proud, and wow on getting your daughter involved in something like this. I am jealous you were able to hook her up with the opportunity!</p>

<p>I agree--she should go! But I also agree that a young woman traveling alone (no other HS students or teachers) to Europe with non-related adults may invite problems. Can you or another relative accompany her?</p>

<p>It's a terrific opportunity! Congratulations to your D.</p>

<p>Reference Post #8 OP is accompanying her d.</p>

<p>Go.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>It sounds like a wonderful opportunity. But I do understand your concern about missing a week of class. </p>

<p>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. </p>

<p>Others may boo-hiss me on this suggestion...but could this presentation be handled via video tele-conference tools?</p>

<p>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?</p>

<p>
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So do they think the kids are supposed to skip admit days when choosing a college?

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</p>

<p>Yes, but in reality, the kids will save up their unexcused absences for those visits.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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).</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>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?</p>