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Ballet Talk for Dancers

What to say?


Fairy

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There is an Early Release class available at my studio from around 2:30-4 Monday-Friday. I would love to take this class, but I really don't know what to say to administrators and secretaries (who ever handles it) at school to let me out. A lot of the girls in high school can arrange their schedules so that they can get out early and not miss school. However, I'm not in high school yet so I can't do that. Last year, my principal would not permit it, but we have a new principal so we'll see... :) I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this and what to say to principals about getting out. Is there a good way of saying "Uh, yeah I'm missing some school for dancing. Sorry!" Any replies would be greatly appreciated!

~Fairy

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"I am pursuing a professional course of training in classical ballet, on a vocational track." Then have two letters from your teacher and another interested party to verify this status. "I desire to take advantage of classes which require Early Release, which I hereby request."

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Depending on what county that you live in the procedures may vary. The first step is to get your PE class scheduled for the last period of the day. The next step is an application process that involves quite a bit, including SI audition results, SI attendance and roles performed. This is called "Credit by Objective", you may or maynot be approved for this program. If however, you do get accepted, there are projects that you must submit throughout the year.

 

good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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And, in school districts like the one we used to live in, where no early release was permitted for any reason, we had success with giving the school all the information suggested by the above posters, stating unequivocally that we WERE going to take our DD out for the last period 3 days a week, and calmly explaining that we would take legal action if they did not permit it. End of story.

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Wow! Thank you so much! Sounds like I have a lot I might have to do, but that's ok because it's for something I love!!! :wink:

 

Thanks again! :D

 

~Fairy

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Fairy: I see that you live in Virginia. If you are in the Northern Virginia area there are differences in the way that this issue is handled by the school districts. You will always however require the documentation mentioned by the others in the previous emails. Your parents will also have to become involved in the process no matter where you live.

 

Arlington will allow an early release ballet class to substitute for PE. Prince William will allow early release with a health class supplement for PE. But I'm betting you live in Fairfax....good luck! Fairfax does not allow substitution for PE. Fairfax will allow early release if certain other classes, such as government, are taken online. Since you are in Middle School this might not be an option.

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Thank you for the information dancedreams! :wink: Do you ( or anyone else) know anything about Loudoun?

 

~fairy

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Sorry, don't know what they do in Loudoun. Good Luck, from what I've heard it is never an easy task.

 

I began the process with my daughter's school last May, but am going to double check the status....her guidance counselor was out on maternity leave and I'm sure there are going to be "loose ends" to work out before school starts in September.

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Sorry, not that familiar with Loudoun's policy. However, I do know that some dd's have successfully acomplished it in that county.

 

All that I can say is get crackin------------------doesn't your school start next week????

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calmly explaining that we would take legal action if they did not permit it.

 

Yes, if one of your letters of support is from the family lawyer, then that can sometimes have a lubricating effect on the wheels of bureaucracy! :thumbsup:

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Unfortunately my school starts next week...noooo! :( Thank you, everyone, for sharing! It really helps to know what I have to do ahead of time! I have a week till school so if anyone still wants to share something, I would love to hear it! Once school starts, I'll inform everyone how it goes! Thanks!!!!

 

~Fairy

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Knock Knock - Parent of a dancer in Loudoun County

 

We tried to get early release at the high school level this year for our DS. We were told unequivocally "no" until he is, at the earliest, a Junior. In the past, the school allowed dancers - on a case by case basis - to schedule their study hall block/class for the last period of the day. The students were allowed to leave early on those days (every other day - we have block scheduling). No elective credit was granted, but at least the students could attend the higher level dance classes they needed. As of this year, study hall has been eliminated - it is now an "enrichment" block (at least at our high school) and attendance is mandatory. We were also told that exemption from PE was not allowed. In addition, as of now, there are no on-line courses offered in Loudoun County that could provide any degree of flexibility. Our administration was not at all receptive to any arguments we presented and refused to work with us until our son is a Junior, when the two-year PE requirement will be completed. But you may find more success at your cluster of schools. Since you're still in middle school, you may have a bit of flexibility. I believe all Loudoun County middle schools require students to take study hall for half a block in 6th and 7th grade and for an entire block in 8th grade. You might get your schedule set so that study hall is the last thing on your schedule, thus allowing you to leave early - with the school's permission of course - at least every other day. Keep in mind, though, that this block of time is also used when your teachers think you need extra help, you need to make up work or tests dues to absences, or for scheduled "group" meetings and training sessions, such as study skills. Also of note - if you are in the gifted and talented program - I believe you will have to dedicate study hall to that program instead, at least in 6th and 7th grade.

 

As for high-school - if you are going to request early-release, start planning your strategy several months in advance. We may have had more success if we started in January as opposed to June! Good luck!

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