There are pros and cons when parents plan a family vacation during the school year and take their children out of class. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Everyone knows that travel can be educational, but should children be taken out of school for vacation? Debbie Haddad of New Jersey and her family are reminiscing over a trip they took last year to Disney World, a week before the official spring break.
"Literally half the cost, to fly the week before spring break," says Haddad.
Despite the savings, there was a price to pay
"When I was on vacation I did my homework on the plane ride there and back," says Sophie Haddad, Debbie's daughter.
"I didn’t get a chance to do it at vacation, but when I came back I had a bunch of papers on my desk," says Jason Haddad, Debbie's son.
A growing number of vacationing families are pulling kids out of school to save money and avoid crowds.
Principal Janine Colon of P.S. 196 in Brooklyn says it sends out the wrong message.
"If they take their child out of school, it's an unexcused absence. This is for vacation, it's unexcused, they can’t do it, they shouldn’t do it," says Colon. "Education is key to success and if you vacation during school time, you are really lessening the importance of education."
Colon says it gets trickier as children grow up.
"Each grade becomes more and more difficult, and missing a week of school in high school, it's very difficult for the child to catch up," she says.
The idea of students keeping up with their lessons, Colon says, is downright disruptive.
"Some parents also ask teachers for the work ahead of time and that’s an imposition for the teacher," she says.
For the Haddad children, having to play catch up was well worth it.
"I got to go on my first loopedy-loop roller coaster," says Jason.
"I think it was just fun to have a break and just hang out," says Sophie.