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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Shortened School Day


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Our 14 year old daughter will be a freshman next year at a private school. They are quite willing to work with us for her to have a shortened day to allow for more dance hours but need guidance on how to fulfill graduation requirements. Has anyone gone this route before and could give guidance? Thank you!

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Our 14 year old freshman (in 2007/08) went to a school that allowed her to leave mid-day and return for afternoon class. She took all of her core classes (English, Biology, History and Geometry) at the school. She was allowed to take her elective (Spanish) and required Health course through BYU's online program. Additionally, they counted Ballet class as PE. Hers was a very competitive public school. If your private school is a part of the Association of Independent Schools, they may already be familiar with the Online School for Girls http://www.onlineschoolforgirls.org/ The courses are rigorous and your school might be willing to accept them as well. It's great that they will work with you!

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My daughter's private school also allowed her ballet to stand for her P.E. requirements. At the beginning of each year, she wrote a letter detailing the average amount of hours she danced at the ballet studio weekly. It was signed by her ballet teacher and submitted to her high school. Her school is a boarding high school, but she was a day student there. They follow the traditional Mon. - Sat. classes, with Wed. and Sat. being a shortened academic day (till 11 a.m.) because all students spend the afternoons in sports games. So my daughter headed right to ballet on Wed. She opted to attend the first part of Sat. classes each week, but left a little early for ballet. It worked out very well for her.


Her teachers were wonderful about giving her the syllabus in advance so she could be working ahead for the times when ballet would take priority. So many teachers are now posting their syllabi online on their school's websites that it's even easier for students. It may also be possible for your daughter to use an online presence like Khan Academy to learn lessons (esp. math and sciences) she'll miss in the afternoons. My daughter is pre-med at a rigorous university now and she's done that (in addition to asking friends for their notes) on the occasions where she's missed classes due to dance performances.

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It will probably depend on the critieria of your State's education requirements. If you can fit your request into the pidgeon-holes and show that her ballet training is satisfying criteria required to be covered, you may be able to talk them into it.

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My DD will be attending a charter school next year for 1/2 day in order to attend dance during the daytime. Her dance classes will count as her electives and P.E. credits.

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My DD is starting public high school next fall. We met with the guidance counselor early, since block scheduling in our district creates severe limitations on early dismissal. Though we are taking this year-by-year, she is able to take three classes instead of four, leave daily at 1:45, and take one credit per semester through a state-approved online high school program. She is opting for health and social studies credits online, since she feels these are the classes she can best handle independently.


I will add that we have been cautioned that this schedule will become more difficult to maintain as she advances through school, since some classes are only offered late in the day.


Our school is in a sports-heavy area and even through DD has a physician's note to be excused from PE and to take ballet instead, they are balking at it. But if challenged I don't think they would question our DD's doctor--I think that being the exception to the PE rule is just a pain for them. I'm glad she will have additional time/credits available to study something that she wants, like foreign language or additional math.


Like many here, we're hopeful that a combination approach will do the trick!

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My daughter left school at noon and was able to take courses online to make up the classes she was missing. We used Indiana University and Florida Virtual High School. Fortunately, in middle school she took advanced math and language classes so when she made this schedule change, it was much easier to fulfill the requirements to graduate. The guidance counselor was extremely helpful.

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We have quite a few threads on this issue, as it comes up almost every year, if not every semester. :wink: A 'search' will most likely bring up quite a few threads with suggestions, observations, and approaches to give you some guidance and/or food for thought.

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