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School calendars were approved several months ago and have probably been available for viewing on the school’s website for awhile now. Using the school calendar can help you schedule doctor and dental visits at times when your child won’t miss important events.
How To Use The School Calendar
The school calendar gives you the most important dates parents and students need to be aware of:
- when grading periods start and end
- dates of 6-weeks (or 9-weeks) and semester tests
- when report cards are due out
- state assessment dates
- early dismissal
- possible days to make up due to inclement weather
Be aware that the days right before the end of a grading period and semester are generally spent reviewing for tests. Test dates, and review days, are particularly important dates for your child to be at school.
Students who are absent on these dates tend not to perform as well as those who present which may hurt their final grades. Report card grades are used to determine class ranks and grade point averages. If you have kids in high school, you’re probably aware how important these are when it comes time for college applications and financial aid.
Other Information You’ll Want
Some information is specific to certain schools.
- guest speakers
- pep rallies
- sporting events
- band and choir concerts
- UIL activities
- special activity days
While these won’t be on the official district calendar, you should be able to get a list from your school office.
It’s sad to see a student upset because they are missing an assembly they were looking forward to because they have to go to the orthodontist. I’m a mom and I understand how hard it can be to make those appointments. But being aware of important dates at school before you make appointments can prevent your child from missing something they’ve been eagerly anticipating.
[bctt tweet=”It’s tough when a student misses an event they were looking forward to at school.” username=”@sasmerchant”]
Official Attendance Times
Another important detail you might want to know is when official attendance is taken. A child who is present when the official attendance is taken is counted present for day. Scheduling appointments so that you can check your child out of school AFTER the official attendance has been taken can keep your child from accumulating any more absences than necessary. There will obviously be times when your child is ill and an absence just can’t be helped. But keeping absences to a minimum is good for your child and for the school. A child who is counted present when the official attendance is taken is counted in state funding formulas. Simply stated, your child being at school at this time helps your school get the funding they require to provide education services. When your child is absent, the school loses out.
Attendance is counted differently at the secondary levels, however. While official attendance is important for state funding, you’ll also want to remember that attendance for each class period is counted separately. You also don’t want to always have to pull your child out of the same class repeatedly or their performance in that class may suffer even if their other classes are fine.
I’ll give a personal example. When Butterfly was in high school, she occasionally had to go to the dentist. I didn’t want to always pull her out of her calculus class since it was one of the classes she had to work harder in to keep her GPA high. I also didn’t want all of her absences to be in this particular class. It was better for her if I scheduled her dental visits for different times, thus spreading the absences through different classes.
Finally, make use of the school calendar to avoid absences on state assessment days. Your child, and their teachers, will have worked hard all year to prepare for these tests. Whatever your opinion about these tests (and goodness knows I’ve got my opinions about them), they’re important to your school. In many states, students are required to make up any tests they miss. This causes stress on your child that can be prevented by checking the calendar beforehand.
Help with scheduling
So here’s what I urge you to do. Grab a copy of your school’s calendar – you’ll either find a copy online or can get a copy from the school office – and put those important dates in your own calendar (whether digital or paper planner). Before you make that next appointment for your child, take a look to see if there are any school conflicts. You may not be available to avoid all conflicts, but you’ll likely be available to avoid most of them, which will make life less stressful for both you and your child.
Before you leave, be sure to check out 10 Quick Tips for a Great School Year and 11 Insider Tips for a Successful School Year. And if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends by pinning it to your favorite Pinterest board or posting it to Facebook.