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by Ricky, Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Sep 14, 2010
It has been a tradition in many schools for many years. We even had it in 1957, at Acalanes where I went
I wouldn't exactly call it a "ditch" day. Ditch means that students cut class. What really happens is the kids all have mommy and daddy call and excuse them from school that day. This friday there are presentations given to the senior class from the counselors on important information, like college scholarships, financial aid, and graduation requirements. Parents, if you have a senior at Amador, PLEASE don't excuse them from school this friday. They will be missing very important information.
Both my AVHS kids participated - no problems
I have a Senior at Amador and received a recorded message from the new principal, Jim Hansen, regarding Senior Ditch Day. FYI.... Thursday is Senior Picnic (WaterWorld in Concord). My child will be at school Friday. Sure, it was around when I went to Amador (in the mid-70's) AND I went to school that day and so did most of my friends. Why? Because it's the 'right thing to do'. That's the lesson we need to teach our children "Do the Right Thing" which isn't always the easy thing. If a parent approves of their child ditching school on Friday merely because they are a Senior, isn't that the same as contributing to the delinquency of a minor child? These children will be out in the world, college or working, in less than a year. How is it preparing them for the realities of real-life, if we as parents approve of Senior Ditch Day???
It's a California thing. Friends and I attended high schools in other states and we've never heard of it.
Thank you for your post. I teach at AVHS and graduated from there about ten years ago. "Senior Cut Day" when I attended was when all the seniors took the Monday off after Senior Ball. Some were excused by parents, some signed themselves out as they were 18 and others just cut.
As time has gone on the seniors started ANOTHER Senior Cut Day after Senior Picnic. Last year they claimed to have two other Senior Cut Days with some half-hearted participation.
Essentially anytime the Senior Class already has a 3-Day weekend they try and make it a 4-Day.
Regardless of whether or not you or your family participated it is a complete thorn in the side of schools. With 5 furlough days I am already losing a week of instruction. This makes teachers with AP tests in May and California State Standard examinations fall behind at a very early time in the year. The financial damage itself is a ding in a year with a tight budget.
I love the parents in this community. They are present, supportive and very easy to work with. I hope that students are not spinning the story when they get home and getting excused when there is no need, they already missed school on Thursday and they have one day until the weekend. So parents I hope you are able to get the complete story and make the decision you think is best for your student and school system.
Isn't there a minimum number of periods that a student must attend for the school to get it's money? Does anyone know how many periods that is?
What a horrible way to start the school year off. We haven't even completed one month of school and already there is a Senior Ditch Day? I can't believe we are already having this conversation.
It's called "Senior Cut Day" for a reason!!! If the kids cut THEY pay the price not mommy or daddy calling them out for the day. Parents, you can't do that for them in college, don't do it now!!!
Another fine method from the practice of extreme helicopter parenting: excusing your child for Senior Ditch Day.
Both of my kids...honor students...graduated from very well respected colleges...both did Senior Ditch Day. Yes, I shamelessly called them in BUT... I saw them up studying most nights in high school past midnight when my husband and I were dying to go to bed and trying not feel like we were ditching them by getting into bed at a decent hour.
Each parent has to decide...
To: "Amador Grad" who is now teaching at AVHS... My kids were probably your students if you teach AP. Really, I did not mean to make your job harder when I called my kids out a few years ago for Senior Ditch day but I meant what I said above...and that is that my kids worked soooo hard and stayed up so late EVERY night trying to get their work done. They did everything we asked of them and more. Their teachers all liked them and their grades were the best. There were many, many nights when my husband and I guiltily went to bed at 11:30 and left them to study until 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. I am serious about this. I don't think one ditch day killed them or you compared to all the dumb assemblies they had to go to.
Just my take on things. I know AP teachers work really hard. My kids did too.
To "Karen", please don't assume I am a teacher at AVHS because I am not. I am a parent though and did not call any of our kids out for "Senior Cut Day". My husband and I told them all, you don't go to school you take the consequences.
Every parent should make this choice on their own. I had two sons graduate from Amador...one was responsible, never got in trouble, did all his work...and I called in an excuse for Senior Cut days. The other was constantly challenging authority...so I refused to call in an excuse for him and he spent a day serving in-school suspension (BORING!)for cutting. To his credit, he didn't skip any other days his senior year!
NEWS FLASH!! MOST TEENS ARE UP TILL THAT HOUR!! Why would you or any other parent feel guilty for going to bed before 1 or 2am?? What you should feel guilty for is calling in to excuse them for a day that is not in anyone's best interest - except for of course, the seniors! Why is it so difficult for parents to say "NO" to their kids...especially when it means the schools will lose out on $$ - sounds like a good opportunity to tell the seniors about the "real" world they will be facing soon enough.
Only one of my children participated in Senior Cut Day. It was at the end of his senior year, he had all AP classes and it was after the AP tests, so they were playing bridge, watching movies etc. We talked it through as a family. My husband and I told him we would not condone this, but we wanted the truth, not a lie about where he would be that day. I did not call him in and it went on his transcript. I thought that was consequence enough, so there were no further ramifications at home.
I have never heard of Senior Cut Day being this early-it has traditionally been the Monday following Senior Ball weekend and all the kids go camping. If 2011 is starting it this early, be prepared for several "cut days" to come. I can guarantee that the students will try for that Monday in May.
I know parents have to pick their battles, but this is one of character. Parents supporting this really need to think through what they are endorsing. Lack of respect for authority, not following the rules, lying to cover bad behavior so as to avoid consequences. If you think it is not harmful, let your student participate, but PLEASE teach them to pay the price of their choices.
Just a Mom: Well said! And I agree, this is way too early in the year for this to be anything but an extra ditch day dreamed up by the class of 2011.
@ Just a correction Dave S. I don't think this 'extra' Senior Ditch Day was started by the Class of 2011; it's been going on for a couple of years now.
My two cents on parents writing how they feel their child(ren) earned or deserved the 'ditch day' because they were staying up so late or working so hard and their grades were excellent. Really? Is that how you want to reward your children? By approving of them not fulfilling their responsibilities/obligations, just because they put in what you consider extra time. My understanding of the AP courses is that extra time is necessary.The Big Picture is that our children will be 18 soon. They will be considered adults in the eyes of the law. They will suffer the consequences and rewards/benefits of their decisions from this point on in their life. If you feel guilty for all the extra time your children spent up late at night, reward them with your time, a new computer or whatever you want but don't tell them that they can cut out on their responsibilities. That's wrong. Think long-term.
Okay, I've said my peace. Today the Amador Seniors are at WaterWorld in Concord, having fun, missing school. Tomorrow, I know my Senior will be back in her classrooms, will your's????
What message does it send when a student is rewarded for their good work by getting to skip school with parents' permission? Self-satisfaction for a job well done needs to come from doing the job well. Will the future doctor need to be allowed to skip out on a scheduled surgery in order to become satisfied at treating patients?
Didn't see your post before I posted. Glad to see others think the same way!
I don't comment often on these types of threads. Parents will do as they believe they should and that's perfectly fine. I write only because I speak from experience on this matter, having ditched school without my parents permission. I feel I'm better for having faced the consequences of my actions because my parents were not enablers.
Most important question-why in the world are seniors at Waterworld? What are they celebrating? Their accomplishments this year, most of which haven't even occurred?
Who dreamed up that little gem?
My daughter told me about ditch day on Fri and how many of her friends were going to ditch. I told her, it was HER decision, BUT; consider waiting till the next ditch at end of year, where she could possibly feel less weight on her shoulders fr her classes. I told her I would call in for her if she decided to ditch. She decided she needed to be at school due to test/AP classes. I agree w/maya7, they must face the consequences by the actions they take. This time next year they will be away at college and will be making their own decisions...
@AVHS Senior Parent: How are you teaching your daughter consequences if you call her in? Mixed message there.
Thanks Maja7 for the correction. I guess it should be called "one of the senior ditch days" I sure hope that doesn't carry over some day to "college student ditch day" then "employee ditch day." How about a "parent ditch day?" Now that could be fun.
Maybe the teachers at the high schools who have primarily senior students should schedule an exam for that day and weight it heavily towards their grade.
@ Comfused: the consequence is dealing the burden and stress that she would create for herself having missed tests/instruction and having to play catch up. I am a lucky parent that I have child that chooses to study hard on her own all her school life and I would still call in for her if she chose to ditch, which she did not THIS TIME. :)
It would be wonderful if the teachers scheduled a test. However, I'm betting there would be too many parent complaints.
Alright Parents! Your kids have gone through so much in high school! One day will not kill them to miss! If you dont call them out they 1) will call them selves out 2) they will have someone else call them out and you will lose respect for them! I was in high school a couple years ago! Senior year is suppose to be fun! ITs like if you let your kids stay home cuz they have a cough! So just let them enjoy there time in high school cuz they already have there mind set on ditching!
I would like to hear from parents who attended high school in other states, or had children who attended high school in other states. From an outside perspective (I attended high school in another state and have friends with high school seniors in another state now) I will tell you some of the things that are new for me:
1. The idea that senior year is supposed to be 'fun.'
2. Special non-educational school sponsored day trips (like Waterworld) for seniors, just because they're seniors.
3. Senior parents forming a club to do special things for seniors throughout the year.
4. Senior 'ditch' days.
I'm intrigued because all of this is new to me. Are there other people out there from other states who are unfamiliar with these aspects of senior year?
The problem with scheduling a test on the day of a "ditch day" is that if a parent calls out their kid, it is an excused absence on Zangle, therefore teachers are required to give make up work for students if their absence is excused. Trust me, we have tried and tried and tried to figure out ways in our classes to keep students from ditching but with the excused absence loophole, there isn't much we can do about it except stress to our students how important it is that they are in class. If it were an actual ditch day, meaning parents don't call their kid in and excuse, THEN we would have some leverage because the absence would be unexcused and we do not have to give make up work for an unexcused absence, or a "cut".
@ AVHS Senior Parent-Please that is not a consequence! Make your child deal with a cut if they chose to not attend class!
@ Melissa- If my children lied to me about behavior, I did not lose respect for them as they were too young to have earned it. I enforced the consequences. I did not always agree with what my children did and they pushed boundaries. I knew when they ditched because they would tell me. They knew that meant a long weekend alone at home with no car privileges, no electronics and no phone access, but it was better than letting me find out on my own because the consequences would double. My children have always had my undying love. Now as I am getting to know the adults they are becoming, they are earning my respect. Believe me, it is because they have learned to be people of character.
@Teacher-I can only imagine it gets worse each day. When my kids were in school I volunteered many, many days each year, and my hat is off to the quality of the education you gave my children. I am so very grateful.
When my kids gave me the argument of "But I will be the ONLY Senior in school!" I would respond, "That's fantastic! Think of the one on one tutoring you will get!" it did not make me popular, but it made them much better human beings, and that is the job of a parent.
Let's take this to a new level...you all know what happens on Senior Ditch Day, right?...If your kid is not sitting at your house being supervised by you...they are out getting drunk and partying all weekend. Sure...your daughter told you she'd be at Buffy's house having a sleepover, and a shopping day on Saturday, but that's not what happens...party time at someone's house where the parents aren't home...or worse at a house where the parent condones that behavior. And that "camping trip" after Senior Ball on the end of the year Senior Cut day...that's just a drunken, drug induced free for all. Cut the bull about "my kid is becoming an adult" and remember that you only have this last year to teach your kid what it means to be a real parent. Do you let them make the decision about Senior Cut Day? Yes...but you let them pay the consequence. If they cut...you had better know where they are and what they are doing. We do have good kids in the community, and some won't be doing those things if they cut, but there is a lot of pressure for these kids to be doing "what everyone else is doing." When they say that, they mean that they want to be doing what all of their favorite TV shows show them them what teens are doing...(the new 90210, Glee, etc...)Don't say you weren't warned...
Someone asked above regarding how many periods a student has to be in school in order to not have an absence count against ADA (and the district lose money). The answer, according to PUSD's website, is 1 class period.
With all due respect (because you've earned it, I'm certain!) you clearly should not have missed class. There are typos upon typos in your short paragraph!
"Alright Parents! Your kids have gone through so much in high school! One day will not kill them to miss! If you dont call them out they 1) will call them selves out 2) they will have someone else call them out and you will lose respect for them! I was in high school a couple years ago! Senior year is suppose to be fun! ITs like if you let your kids stay home cuz they have a cough! So just let them enjoy there time in high school cuz they already have there mind set on ditching!"
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I don't think ditch days are something people do in the state where I come from. We worked as normal in senior year, it wasn't that different from any other year, though the second half of the year was a bit laid back. No, parents didn't form a club to do special things for seniors - do they do that here? And we also didn't have big graduation parties, but I might be showing my age here!
I'm surprised parents call in an excuse for their kids to ditch school. It's basically showing kids that their parents are OK lying to the school as well as depriving their school (or my school) of revenue. Both not things you want to teach your kids are OK. I hope the students do some work to earn the $50 bucks they should give to compensate the school district if they are responsible kids.
I'm not sure what to call it, but there was a flyer at school about volunteering with other senior parents to plan and carry out various fun activities for the senior students during the school year. Nice thing to do, I'm just not familiar with this; coming from a public high school where this didn't happen. I was just wondering how prevalent it is.
How many skip days does Amador have? I think Foothill has just one: the day after the Sr. Ball. The real world is going to hit these spoiled kids very hard in a few years.
I asked my Senior at Amador about attendance in class today, Senior Ditch Day. Some of her classes were half-full, others had only 10 students. And, get this, there are rumors of having another Senior Ditch day on November 11th....11/11/10. Guess they haven't looked at the school calendar because that is a holiday, Veteran's Day. No worries until they decide on another Senior Ditch Day, I suppose. The parents that would allow their children to stay home are invariably the same parents that complain about the school donations/fees, their child has too much homework....blah, blah, blah. Wonder how they're going to feel when their child is still living with them at home at 30 years of age because they can't hold a job or balance a checkbook!
It's just not the kids that need to grow up, it's the parents, too.
Some of my teachers had tests and projects due on 'ditch day'...and you weren't allowed to make it up unless you had your parents contact them with a valid reason why you weren't at school that day. Luckily I went and aced all the assignments that day..and half my friends are now failing most of their classes. Thanks mom for making me go to school(:
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