I just found out that our one child needs to attend summer school. The session is scheduled over our already paid for vacation. We really scrimped and scraped to pay for the trip, and I’m not sure that we can re-schedule or get our money back if we need to cancel.
Dear Upset Mom:
I am sure that all of this is very upsetting! You don’t mention in your email how old your child is, or the other circumstances surrounding the fact that your child has been asked to attend summer school. There are several ways to approach the problem to find a workable solution.
Firstly, you should call the administrator or teacher who wrote the recommendation for summer school. Explain your situation to the teacher and ask for advice. Ask if attendance in summer school is mandatory for your child. Sometimes, children are recommended for summer school, but attendance is not mandatory.
Secondly, find out if attendance is mandatory for each day if you are told that you must enroll your child in that session.
For example, my one child has a significant learning disability. I did receive a paper for her for summer school. However, the session is for one month and attendance in the session once your child is enrolled is mandatory. I was in a quandary because my child is court ordered to visit her father out of state during that month. Her father refused to change visitation and so I was left with minimal options. I found out that attendance was mandatory once I’d enrolled my child, but attendance in the session itself wasn’t mandatory. True, the school highly recommended that I enroll my child, but I could not do that because of other issues.
Thirdly, find out if the school has an online option for summer school. Some schools actually have distance learning programs for children during the summer. This is very helpful because your child can go on vacation with you, and just log onto the website and complete lessons when she has time.
In some cases, the school may not offer you any options; it may be that your child can’t graduate on time or that she won’t be promoted to the next grade if she doesn’t attend summer school.
If your situation is similar to this scenario, you may have to think creatively to find a solution to the problem. This may mean calling the travel agency or travel club to find out if you can cancel your plans and get your money back. If you can’t do this, perhaps you can ask a family member or close friend to watch your teen for the time that you’ll be on vacation. Although this last scenario is less than ideal, it may be the best option you can find given the circumstances.