Christine A Howard

Taking Your Child Out Of School For An Appointment

When you have children, you often need to plan your entire week schedule around them. This is so much more true for special needs families.  If your family is like mine, you run to an appointment on a very regular basis.  Parents are rarely told how many medical needs a child might have one day when you’re expecting, but many children do have significant medical needs. If this is the case for your family, you will need to work closely with school.  So here’s a quick rundown of the procedure you should follow to make sure you’re not causing too much trouble, for anyone involved.

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kids at school


Clear it with the School Schedule

When you’re taking a child out of school, you can easily be fined if they become truant.  Most of the time they’re only going to lose a couple of hours and a day at most, so there shouldn’t be any serious repercussions for needing to take your kid to the doctor.  However, even a few hours or a day here and there can add up. 

It is very important to talk to the school about when your child will be gone for medical appointments.  Make sure to get an excuse from the medical professional your child is seeing so the absence can be cleared.  I have heard about horror stories where parents have had warrants for their arrest simply because they forgot this step.  Every state is different about attendance, with some being very strict.  

Make sure you give the school plenty of notice.  Just picking up your child with no forewarning isn’t the best course of action! My husband came to my daughter’s school recently to pick her up.  We were able to secure a last minute appointment for her flu shot.  When he arrived at the school to get her, he was informed that this was not the proper procedure.  With the dawn of metal detectors and lock down procedures, schools have very strict policies about these things.  It’s good practice, respectful, and means you’re far less likely to get into trouble over the action if you give the school notice.

Note down the hours you’ve lost if you’re schooling at home. Of course you are going to have a little more leeway here compared to a more traditional setting. Believe it or not, virtual public schools still need to take attendance. They still need to prove how many hours students are in school. So if your child is going to have a significant time away from school, you still need to let the virtual school know.  Most likely you will even need to send in an excuse.  

Try Not to Be Disruptive!

When it comes to being disruptive, it doesn’t have to be simply that you removed your child from school for a bit. It can mean that it has an effect on their ability to concentrate and do school work.  So even just taking your child out of school for an hour or so can cause a massive shift in their energy levels. They may be more hyperactive when going back to school or extremely lethargic.  Think about what they are having done to see if adjustments need to be made when returning to school.  Make sure to warn the school if you believe your child will need extra supports afterward.

Changing up your child’s routine for medical appointments is truly not fun for most kids.  Try to keep things calm and smooth. Do things as fast as you can with as minimal disruption to the routine as possible. This can be especially hard however when your child is afraid of anything to do with healthcare.  Always reassure them when you need to. Similarly, heading somewhere like the Kinder Smiles Pediatric Dentistry will mean your child will have a much easier time of stepping into such a big and scary place like a hospital.  There might even be lollipops on offer!

Changing up your child's routine for medical appointments is truly not fun for most kids. Try to keep things calm and smooth. Do things as fast as you can with as minimal disruption to the routine as possible.

Taking your child out of school is going to be a tricky time, but often necessary.  Follow these tips to make the time out of school for appointments much less stressful.

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