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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Planning for sick kids, early dismissals, and days and days and days off

Working parents, be forewarned: you should get your backup plans in place now.  There are early dismissals/PD days planned every other week, and lots of week-long breaks during the year.  At times, it seems like the kids are out of school more than they are in it.

Let's take a look at some of the reasons your students will not be at regularly scheduled school, and you can plan around them.  A handy calendar is at the end of this post.

Sick Days
You will be either be pleased or horrified to learn that head lice is a reason to stay home from school until it is treated properly, and lice is icky, so you should regularly check at home.  There are occasional lice checks at school, too, by willing PTA volunteers.  SPS lice policy here.  Eeee, my skin is crawling just thinking about this.  Ewww.

Vomiting twice or more the previous day, high fever, pink eye, or generally feeling horrible are all reasons to stay home.  More stay-at-home-worthy symptoms listed here.

Bagley has a terrific onsite nurse to patch up anything that arises while at school (and, as an aside, to administer prescription medication), and you'll be contacted if necessary.  Elementary school is almost as much of a germ factory as preschool, so be prepared for sick days.

Early dismissal days
Approximately once a month on a Wednesday, there will be a 2-hour early dismissal (so, pickup at 1:35 instead of 3:35).  The teachers use this time for training and to get stuff done.

Random days off
Also approximately once a month, there will be a day off for staff professional development, or 'day off between semesters' (yes, really) or a one-day holiday.  These can sneak up on you so get 'em on the calendar.

Weeks off
Plan those vacations now!  Two weeks off at Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Years; one week off in February for Mid-Winter Break; one week off in April for Spring break; and, if it's the same as last year, Thanksgiving week off as well.  That would be a total of FIVE WEEKS OFF between September and June. Yep.

Theoretically, Thanksgiving week is for parent/teacher interviews, but there were no classes for those three days last year, which was a big surprise to me when I found out in  early November, and immediately panicked about having my children at home for an entire week without any planned activities.  Luckily I didn't have to work or go to grad school that week, so childcare wasn't an issue for me.

I don't actually know if that is what is happening with Thanksgiving week this year - but I will be sure to ask Ms. Ayer at the kindergarten playdate this weekend!  Or perhaps a current PTA board member would be able to enlighten us? ** UPDATE 8/16/11 from DBE staff - 'probably the same as last year but TBD in the next few weeks' **

School Year Calendar
This has mostly been posted on the Bagley google calendar, which you can download to your iCal or google calendar:  http://www.danielbagley.com/happening_calendar.htm

Wednesday September 7 - first day of school
Wednesday September 28 - 2-hour early dismissal
Friday October 14 - NO SCHOOL
Wednesday October 26 - 2-hour early dismissal
Friday November 11 - (Veterans' Day) NO SCHOOL
Monday November 21 - Wednesday November 23 - (NO SCHOOL - tentative - parent/teacher conferences instead)
Thursday November 24 - Friday November 25 - (Thanksgiving) NO SCHOOL
Monday December 19 - Monday January 2 - (Christmas holiday) NO SCHOOL
Tuesday January 3 - first day of school after break
Monday January 16 - (MLK Day) NO SCHOOL
Friday January 27 - (day between semesters) NO SCHOOL
Wednesday February 1 - 2-hour early dismissal
Monday February 20 - Friday February 24 - (mid-winter break) NO SCHOOL
Wednesday March 7 - 2-hour early dismissal
Friday March 16 - NO SCHOOL
Monday April 16 - Friday April 20 - (spring break) NO SCHOOL
Wednesday May 16 - 2-hour early dismissal
Monday May 28 - (Memorial Day) NO SCHOOL
Wednesday June 20 - Last day of school

Hmmm, 'school' is a funny word when you look at it too long, isn't it?

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