Choosing between having our 6-year old daughter learn about the Costa Rican rainforest by watching episodes of Dora the Explorer on TV, or to experience it in person was an easy one. Let’s go to Costa Rica! With our airline tickets purchased, various lodgings and a 4-wheel drive rental car reserved, we will be leaving next month for a 12 day tour of Costa Rica, and possibly a side trip into Nicaragua. We are very excited about this fun and very educational trip that will allow us to see the Monteverde Cloud Forest, the active Arenal Volcano, numerous fauna and flora, and of course the people and culture of Costa Rica.
Our daughter, Sydney, is currently in Kindergarten and this upcoming trip to Costa Rica would have her absent from school for 8 days. When we went to Kauai in November, we asked her teacher for her assignments so that she would not fall behind. For that trip we had Sydney do school work every evening and we found great joy in helping her learn and to see her progress first hand. Having a teacher to student ratio of 2:1 was pretty good and she went well beyond her class assignments. We thought everything would be similar for this trip, until I stumbled across something that freaked us out. To take this trip, Sydney would need to drop out of school. Our poor little daughter is going to be a school dropout at only 6-years old?
There is a state law that says if your child is out of school for 10-consecutive days, for any reason, than they must be withdrawn from school and dropped off the rolls. We had assumed that having her absent only 8 days would fall below this 10 day limit, but the consecutive days include weekends. Oops! With this new information we were seriously freaked out! Sydney goes to one of the best public schools in the city, but the only way we could get her in there was through the school lottery, which luckily, she was chosen. So, now we did not know if this was going to mess up her transfer status or if she would even be allowed to attend that school again.
We were seriously worried about her school situation and decided that we should look into flying back earlier, but before committing to that, we figured we should talk to the school about it first. So, after dropping Sydney off at her classroom yesterday I went to the office and spoke with the secretary. No problem! They just change a code in the computer and change it back again when she returns. Whew! So, Sydney will still be a Kindergarten dropout, but only for 12 days.