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Senior Ditch Day

Original post made by Interested, Birdland, on May 3, 2013

What are your thoughts about senior ditch day? Let them, or don't let them.

Comments (34)

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

let the teens decide...problem solved...duh


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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

Don't let them. They miss enough school as it is. However if you are going to let them participate in it Then you should pay the $53 to the Pleasanton unified school District


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Ditch days aren't even real ditch days. All the parents call in and excuse the kid or the kid, if 18, excuses him/herself.

The school loses money, there is no consequence for the student.

Extremely pointless and supported by most parents in this community. Not all, but most.


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Posted by Concerned parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I already told my child that he/she cannot participate, that he/she must go to school.

Come on, it is a three day weekend already, plenty of time to sleep in after senior ball/breakfast, and do something fun on monday (a holiday).

I do not agree with ditch day, there is no point and the district loses money.

Let the kids be absent when truly needed (illness, etc), but not just for the sake of being absent.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm

^^^ Concerned parent, are you unclear as to the gender of your child? If so, this would seem to be a bigger issue than participation in ditch day.


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Posted by CP
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

The lost revenue for the schools means I pay higher taxes. I'll gladly lie about having kids and other things if I can save a few pennies. Parents, make your kids go to school! That's what I'm doing with my son/daughter.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I'm a parent, but to a middle school student. I would consider allowing my child to participate in Senior Ditch Day if they were a good student and paid $53 to the school out of their allowance/paycheck.

Other than that, I don't understand why a parent would allow their child to participate. These kids are spoiled as it is.


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Posted by HighSchoolParent
a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2013 at 7:19 am

Some parents just need to let their children enjoy this time, its something that has been happening since who knows when so why is it such a big deal now? Well it's because they keep throwing the cost in our faces, do they even say anything about the teachers who ditch class too in order to do fun things, they call in sick school needs to get a sub, subs aren't free right? so we have to pay double since the regular teacher still gets paid. I have bumped into several of my kids teachers out and about in the City etc. to find out they called in sick and my child sat in the class reading or doing nothing bec the sub had no idea what to do. So if my child wants to participate I say go for it it's a free country! Plus if anyone disagrees who cares, because we all have the right to our own opinions.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 6, 2013 at 8:27 am

HighSchoolParent you must be joking. Every single person in any profession is allowed sick days and personal days. We are free to use them however we like. Shame on you for judging. I don't judge any other person in any other profession on how they choose to use their days off and I would expect the same in return. Your "its a free country" excuse is not a good example to set for your kids. Plus if "its a free country" then shouldn't I be able to use my days off as I please?


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Posted by Pleasanton love
a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 6, 2013 at 8:58 am

I totally agree with high school parent .ditching school is a right as a senior geeze people have you forget what it's like to be a kid they have earned this leave them alone


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Posted by oh my
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 9:08 am

"Every single person in any profession is allowed sick days and personal days. We are free to use them however we like."

You have got to be kidding. I think you might mean every public sector unionized worker gets to do this. In my profession, you call in sick when you are sick and I've done this about twice in the last 10 years when I was sick. My husband has 15 paid vacation and sick days in total. If he's sick, then it's one less vacation day. Teachers get the summer off anyhow. If you're really sick, of course don't go in. But don't take off extra vacation days during the school year when you get summer + all the huge school vacation days and it has a huge impact on the students when the teacher is not there.

Re. ditch day, a lot of high school students took off the day when there was a threat to the school, so maybe they should skip ditch day. There is a huge financial cost to the district and we all pay for it by lost programs etc. at every level. We can't afford more cuts because seniors want a day off to play when the teachers are in school.


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Posted by oh my
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

And aren't we supposed to be a community of characther exhibiting integrity and honesty etc? When is calling in sick from a teacher or a parent of a student when you / the student are not sick a sign of integrity or honesty?

What are we teaching our kids? This kind of behavior would get you fired in most other parts of the world and in the US 20 years ago and shows the worst kind of work ethic.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 9:25 am

My summer vacation is unpaid. It is not a paid vacation. Don't mistake that please. I am thankful for my summers but I don't get paid during that time so please don't lump that into the school year. What I choose to do with my days off is none of your business! I leave good sub plans and keep my students working even when I'm not there. I do appreciate the acknowledgement that I am needed though and that my students are actually impacted when I'm not there. Much nicer than all the negative comments about teachers in this district.


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Posted by Allen
a resident of Avignon
on May 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

To Pleasanton love of Ruby Hills neighborhood, for seniors to ditch school is a right? Excuse me !, With teachers continually fighting for decent contracts, other employees having to take unpaid furlough days, the system always looking to tax payers for more money, ie parcel taxes, what do you not understand about THERE IS NO EXTRA MONEY, figure it out, how many students at $53.00 each would that total, thousands and thousands of dollars, then see if you think it's still worth it. The children do not need an extra day off at my expense.


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Posted by Make the decision that's right for your family
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

Senior Ditch Day has been held forever. Some consider it a right of passage. If they have earned it with good grades and attendance, they want to participate, and it works for your family then let them. The world won't come to an end if they miss a day of school. Your/my taxes won't increase either. It happened every year since the beginning of time, so the district should budget for it. As for the graffiti threat day, don't beat yourself up for keeping your kids at home because admin didn't communicate effectively so you could feel comfortable sending your kids that day. What a surprise we haven't heard a peep from admin on that investigation. As for teacher sick days... I'm with High School Parent. Have you asked your kids? You'd be surprised how many days of school teachers miss. My middle schooler's teachers miss a day a week on average.


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Posted by oh my
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

"What I choose to do with my days off is none of your business!"

If you're calling it a sick day and you're not sick it most certainly is.


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Posted by Makesma Butttired
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

Have parents gone nuts? Carping about the "tardy police", too much homework, kids need to have (excessive) fun (i.e. goof off), and promoting ditch day. Come on folks - this country has to import workers because your kids are too lazy to work, and too lazy to study and do their homework.
P. S. If you lazy kid decides to ditch, please remember to send a check for the $50-100 (check with the school for the amount) the school loses in state funds because of your kid's absence for the day. Taxpayers shouldn't be expected to pay the bill for your kid to screw off.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

Oh My- exactly. Oh my! I can't believe this person seriously thinks that my sick days are his/her business. I don't care what you do with your life and your sick days or your personal days so butt out of mine. It is unfortunate when teachers in this district take advantage of their days off but for the 99% of us that use our days off sparingly, butt out of my business!!! I am around 150 students A DAY, all of which have germs and spread them to me. If I need a sick day, a mental health day, or a personal day, for whatever reason, to be a better teacher to your son/daughter, back off and support that.


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Posted by CP
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

There you have it. Listen to (unionized) teacher's hysterics above. Note the self righteousness. Note the lack of awareness of how the rest of us have to work and, when we take off sick, get time docked from our vacation allotments. Admits needing to take off for "mental health" days. Note how the government wants to do background checks on gun buyers, but this teacher who admittedly needs a check is union protected. No wonder why Pleasanton kids are doing so poorly.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

To be fair to teacher, most of us aren't trying to impart learning to a room full of 30 youngsters with multiple learning styles and, quite often, with a variety of issues from home (not enough sleep, for example). Think how difficult it can be to get one concept across to your own children (like the benefits of getting enough sleep).

To be fair to CP, the biggest difference for those in the private sector, I think, is that you most likely cannot bank your sick days (or vacation) for your entire career and roll it into your retirement calculation.

That benefit, teacher, is provided via the taxpayers (and yes, teachers pay taxes too). While I understand it is difficult to have others opining about your leave and everything else about your job, I am amazed at how few in the public sector understand that almost everything about your career is open to public scrutiny (name, salary, benefits, email exchanges*) precisely because it is public. (*Really. With limited rules for redacting [student info, private contact info, personnel matters, attorney/client privilege], emails with colleagues, supervisors, parents, and personal messages using your district email account are subject to public information requests.)

Perhaps _public_ needs to be emphasized as the first thing being taught to those seeking careers in the public sector.


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Posted by teacher
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

"hysterics"... :)

Thanks Kathleen for your comment. I appreciate you pointing out the challenges in my classroom and why a day off is absolutely necessary for a variety of reasons. I do understand that I am in the public sector, doesn't make it right though for people to get involved in my personal business because I chose this career.


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Posted by lessismore
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm

LET THEM DITCH

Please people, it's one day. The world will not end.

As for the $53.

How about you collect from all the families how pull there kids early to head to India for the summer or to go Disneyland.


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Posted by CP
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Thanks Kathleen. Yes, even teacher's public communications (email) belong to John Q. Public. So, teacher, if you're taking a day off for a 'personal' or 'mental health' reason, I need to know because as a tax payer who pays your salary and ungodly benefits I can complain to your authorities and have you disciplined. It very much IS MY BUSINESS. Bear in mind, teacher, that there are vigilant tax payers out there like Kathleen and me who are watching to make sure any misstep gets reported. That's our job, not your supervisors', because we pay your salary not your supervisors. You work for US and don't you forget it!


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

CP, Sorry. I actually read your first post without the sarcasm. Silly me.

There are people who abuse leaves in all walks of life, and supervisors who are dealing with it just fine on their own. Anyway, as I recall, personal necessity days are allotted as "no tell" days.

I mentioned emails because it is amazing that many aren't aware they can be requested as a matter of public record. Sometimes those little black redactions aren't enough to cover up what is being said about colleagues, supervisors, parents, students . . . just saying.


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Posted by CP
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Yes, about those emails ... inadequate redactions ... colleagues ... I guess you'd be one to know about such things.


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

CP, Do explain.


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Posted by nancy s.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

@Interested...you opened up a can of worms....


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Posted by Joyce
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

If they are going to ditch it is a little known fact that if they do come to school and check in in the morning then get excused to leave(by a parent) the school district does get paid their ADA. This is not an advertised fact but very helpful in the long run. The state does not pay the district for an empty seat (even though overhead costs remain the same whether or not a student is in attendance).


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Posted by Mary
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Joyce. True. The kids go to school and check in. School gets paid. Then the kids ditch. We did it 30 years ago. Been going on forever. Cheap thrill, actually. Better than some other alternatives. Let them decide, like Cholo suggested and get over it. By now, their grades are in place and their character is set and this is not a make or break issue.


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Posted by MM
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Some teachers work very hard. Some do not. It is time to stop treating them all the same. Reward those that deserve it. Raises should not be automatically given across the board.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I'm proud to say that I never overworked for anybody. However, I always made it my goal to give my employers at least a 50% return on their investment.

better than charles schwab...tee hee


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Posted by Teach
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

I'm a teacher who teaches seniors. I'm also a parent of students in this district. I'm also a former local student who cut on senior cut day in high school. I don't think most students have any idea that cutting costs the school significant money, nor are they likely to care enough to not cut even if they know. But they're not behaving maliciously - ignorantly perhaps, but not with ill will. I think the concept of "let the kids have their thing" is fine in theory, but senior cut day typically costs the high schools in this town about $20,000 each. That's not an insignificant amount in this district's current situation.

As far as instructional time lost, sure one day without seniors doesn't make that much of a difference on it's own. Frankly, I'm way more concerned with the 2-3 WEEKS of the school year that students miss instructional time to take standardized tests... THAT is a problem the school district actually PROMOTES. Our students are out of class to take CAHSEE, PSAT, STAR, AP Tests, soon we'll add new assessments... it adds up to over two full weeks of missed instructional time when we really need MORE time with students. They used to take PSAT and AP tests on weekends, but our district has moved those tests to school days in the name of equity (suggesting that more students have access to these tests if they're during class time - maybe, but what about what they're missing?). I'm not fundamentally against standardized testing, but the amount of TIME we spend doing it instead of EDUCATING has become significant. It's only going to increase.

Ultimately, I think a responsible parent should not excuse their child for Senior cut day, or at the very least should reimburse the school for the missed time (there's an opportunity for a lesson - make the student pay for their cut day themselves). Still, it's hardly a problem worth getting up in arms about when you consider the problems our district administration seem content to create for themselves.


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Posted by Senior Mom
a resident of Las Positas
on May 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

Was "senior ditch day" today?


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Posted by Roslin2016
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I went to Amador Valley, and I think that the prospect of senior ditch day is completely stupid. Not only does the school (supposedly)lose money, but more importantly, I found that it hindered our ability to learn on those days. Thanks to the ditchers, all classes were these carcasses with zero stimulation, and it even caused the teachers to slack off on those days. Ditch day doesn't exist because high school is hard and students deserve a break; it's just a pathetic way of rebelling.

In fact, seniors have it the easiest out of all the other grades, especially now that it's the second semester.


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