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Early Release

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Has anyone had a hard time getting their students out of high school early to dance? I will be talking to my DD's guidance department to see about getting her out of school early next Sept for a trainee program, but I think it will be a big struggle - she has plenty of credits and an all A student but I think it will be a no!

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I'm sure it will depend on the schedule of the classes she will need and when they will be offered. Also, a copy of any trainee contract you have will help give the school the edge you might need to be considered. Remember, schools get these requests all the time. Some for good reasons, some not. You'll have to sell your reason as a good one.


Good luck!



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At my daughter's former public school, we had to show that she was in the top 10% in the US for her 'sport' (as they considered it). The company AD wrote a letter stating this and using summer program acceptance percentages to come up with this statistic (which is really impossible to quantify within ballet). The same was true of others at other public schools in our state, who were equally successful. The contract was presented and the AD again wrote a statement that he would provide quarterly 'grades' for the dancer to the school.


Best of luck!

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When my daughter received her schedule for her sophomore year the previous March, parents were given a month to request changes. I wrote a letter explaining her dance schedule and would it please be possible for her to have study hall for last period with the option to leave early when needed. A few weeks later the principal called and said the school does not have study hall because there are no facilities for it. However, she would let me take daughter out of school before last period every day if I would provide transportation. I was very suprised that the principal granted this permission to a sophomore. I said yes and it worked out wonderfully for the year. We were lucky to have such an understanding principal, but you just never know until you try! Good luck!

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My daughter gave up lunch so she could get out early. I pick her up and feed her in the car on the way to the train station. She is in Manhattan by 3:50 to get to a 4:15 class. She dose her homework on the train. She is very happy with this schedule.

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I don't know what kind of school your DD is at and so it might depend. My DD is at a public performing arts school and needs to be released from taking 1 class a day in order to dance with the school's ensemble. (Too long to explain how this all comes about.) But the state has an online public school that wants students to be enrolled full-time, but in some cases will allow students to take one class on line. So this is the route we are taking. You might want to check out what your state, or local district has to offer on-line if this would then free her up for early release.

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For her sophmore year my daughter is not taking one elective class and lunch. By eliminating these two periods I can pick her up from school, bringing lunch and dance gear and get her to the bus for NYC in time to take 4:00 p.m. class. If she ever has to be in the city earlier for private instruction I can drive her straight in and she will be there even earlier. The school was surprisingly accomodating. However we live within commuting distance to NYC and the school has encountered many students that were modeling/acting/ice skating, etc. and had paved the way for scheduling exceptions. I do need to provide the school with documention/prove of where she trains/instructor bios/schedule of classes-rehearsals, etc. each year. However my daughter is an honor roll student and I'm sure that if her grades were to slip drastically along the way the school would reconsider the schedule. So it is important that she maintain good academic standing. She will still have enough credits each year to graduate.

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I am sure it will depend on your school and the administration. My daughter has a wonderful counselor that is supportive of her goals of dancing. He has let her have early release and also a work study. The teaher had to write a final letter of hours and what she had done during her dance time. This year the school started zero hour so she goes a hour earlier for class and has no last period. Also taking a correspondence class so she can get out earlier. You really have to find someone that is excited about your childs goals other than you! :)

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For her sophmore year my daughter is not taking one elective class and lunch. By eliminating these two periods I can pick her up from school, bringing lunch and dance gear and get her to the bus for NYC in time to take 4:00 p.m. class.


Are you in the state of NJ, I ask my daughter High School last year about early release and they said, it is not allowed. I was considering ABT audition, if she was accepted, the hours are 2:30-5:30, but she would have to drop two periods. I trying to get information on the State policy, school to career.


I am also looking for a new school more ballet focus, anyone knows good training in the NY, NJ area that has after schools hours 4:00pm on. Good pre-professional training?

Edited by mirabray
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Thanks everyone for all of your responses!!!! She has 7 periods a day and will need to get out after 5th period. This is actually for a trainee program at her ballet school. We talked to the counselor yesterday and she was very understanding, but now we will have to talk to the principal.

This will be for next Sept which will be her junior year and will do the same for her senior year. She will have plenty of credits for graduation, but since she is going to college right out of high school, I wonder if not having the 4 extra credits will hurt her. She still has decisions to make, but at this point she just wants to do the trainee program.

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Just to try to present the school perspective (at least the one that was presented to me), while this may not apply in your state, the first reaction I received from my dd school when I tried something similar is that the State requires each student to attend X hours each day with time missed counted as an absence. Since one of the school's ratings (which affects the county ratings, which affects the state ratings etc.) is based on student absenteeism (even excused ones) the school becomes very concerned with letting students out early. This may present a roadblock for which you may need to be prepared to counter.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest LittleMissChievious

When your DD is in her senior year of high school, they may be able to count her dance training as work study. Work study students at my high school got out between 11am-1pm.


If there is absolutely no other way to get her out of school in time, home schooling may be her only option. If she's pretty self-motivated, home schooling should be a breeze for her. And it doesn't provide any problems when it comes to getting into college. My fiance was home schooled through his last two years of high school, and he recently completed his Bachelors in History (he spent two years at the University of Baltimore, and one of those was with a full scholarship) and is on his way to grad school.



Edited by LittleMissChievious
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mirabray ---- we are in northern nj - essex county. i have found that the approval/disapproval of an early release seems to be at the discretion of the school district. my daughter has a good ballet friend whose school district was completely unwilling to work w/ making any accomodation and she is now in a residential ballet situation. another friend from a completely different school district also in nj has been homeschooled. right now i am keeping my fingers crossed that our high school continues to be supportive and accomodating.

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Well, dd has decided to attempt attending high school instead of independent study next year. We are now going to see what the schools policy is on early release. :blushing: I am not hopeful. From what I understand, the school will allow the students to take a 0 period so they can get out of school a period earlier. This may work for us, but it means dd will have to arrive at school by 7:15am. She would get out by 2:15 and then the mad dash to the studio to begin classes by 3:30. :wacko:

Wish us luck! This is going to be quite a transition.

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Guest balletandsynchro

As long as your HS is not on block scheduling, as DDs old HS is, you should be alright. With the block scheduling, since schedule rotates every day, and some periods are longer than others, it is impossible to get an early release (we tried!), even with a free block. Your child might be able to leave early one day, but then have a late start the next, not ending until the end of the regular school day. :blushing:

Edited by balletandsynchro
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