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School's Back In Session: Are You Prepared?

August 16, 2017

Are you and your child prepared?

Making the transition from the long, relaxed days of summer back to school can be tough when you are also pursuing a career in entertainment for your child. This time of transition is a great time to reevaluate your child's preparedness for both their educational and entertainment careers.

Education is paramount, and a  top priority on and off set.  Here are some tips for making the back-to-school transition for your showbiz kid a little less stressful for all involved:

STEP ONE: Communicate with your child's school.  Meet with your teachers and let them know that your child is a working actor.  Find out what the school's policy is for absence due to employment.  In California, for example, pupil attendance laws allow children holding current and valid entertainment work  permits only five absences of up to five days each (25 days max) for employment.  If you miss more than that, you may be asked to dis-enroll from the school in favor of an independent studio or home schooling program.  Why you ask?  It all boils down to dollars and cents.  Schools cannot collect ADA funding if your child is excessively absent.  This lost revenue to the school can be very damaging.  Read more about education.

STEP TWO: Make a "to-go" box full of supplemental educational materials so you are prepared for last-minute calls when school has already closed for the day.  In addition to basic items like extra paper and pencils, you will also need age-appropriate workbooks and flashcards.  It is important for you to know where your child stands academically so that the three hours spent with the Studio Teacher on set is time well spent.  Remember, the Studio Teacher does not provide curriculum and school supplies for your child.  Read more about Studio Teacher requirements.

STEP THREE: Know the laws in your state.  For example, many states, including California, have laws that require you to get permission (work permits) from school authorities prior to starting work on set.  Be sure your child is maintaining a "satisfactory" or better average as permission to work is not normally granted to children with below satisfactory grades. Read more about the laws in your state.