Chicago Tribune: Many students will tag along when Mom or Dad heads to the office Thursday, skipping class to shadow their parents in a nearly two-decades-old national tradition.
But several local school districts are issuing warnings to parents in advance of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day: Students will be marked absent and held responsible for missed work.
School officials say they are done turning a blind eye to a practice that could be shifted to the summer, when kids are not in school.
Hawthorn School District 73 in Vernon Hills urged parents to think twice before removing their children, issuing a statement on its Web site that said: "We do not encourage parents to take children from a regular school day." District officials in Gurnee and Libertyville voiced similar concerns about large numbers of students missing class, requiring teachers to make up the day's lessons.
"If so many children are out on the same day, everything that's done has to be redone," said Principal Jill Martin of Hawthorn Elementary South School. "We're responsible for every bit of the Illinois learning standards. That's a lot of information to pack into 180 school days."
Naperville School District 203 doesn't allow teachers or staff to bring their own children to work and urges parents not to do it either.
"We support kids shadowing their parents, but they can do it any day of the summer. It doesn't have to be now," said district spokeswoman Melea Smith.
Event organizers disagree. They designated the fourth Thursday in April for the event, beginning in 1993, with the intention that students would return to the classroom and learn from each other's experiences the following day, said spokesman George McKecuen of the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day Foundation.
He acknowledged that the advent of high-stakes testing, detailed learning standards for every grade and the federal No Child Left Behind law have stepped up the pressure on teachers and principals. Educators must account for how many minutes they spend teaching every subject on every day. And in the spring, students undergo the state's standardized testing to measure how much they've learned.
For this reason, McKecuen said, organizers may consider shifting the day to another point in the school year.
"When this day was created, they chose this date in the spring when there wasn't so much -- at that time -- stress on testing," McKecuen said.
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