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Your kid is late again and it’s your fault. You cannot use the ‘doctor’s appointment’ excuse more than eight times a semester. You also can’t write that your child is late because she was afraid of failing the Chumash test. You might as well tell them your daughter is failing Gd.
Teachers have seen them all. Thus, you must learn the art of writing late notes.
You want your child getting into a decent high school, and late notes will get them there. I'm going to help. Here are some late notes that will help you, the parent, and the family, look good when writing notes for Jewish day school:
My Child was Praying
If it sounds religious, it’s not a demerit. Play their education game. We all know the kids have no clue what they're saying in the Hebrew prayers. How many times have they sang ‘Adon Olam’ in school? Exactly my point. No clue.
There’s no way your child was praying. They haven’t even joined in the Hatikvah the past few weeks. Oh. The school will tell you, 'They sing that "Adon Olam" so beautifully.' That’s how they get the donations. The kids sing it with such commitment and Kavanah, proper intent, to harmonize. They think they’re singing about winter break and not having to be in school.
My Child Was Honoring Her Parents
It's a Mitzvah to let you sleep through bus pickup too.
You can use any Mitzvah and the note will score extra credit points. ‘My child was visiting the sick on school time.’ ‘My child was honoring her parents by letting them sleep.’ ‘My child took out the trash.’ Even if it looks like you’re running a child labor camp, that’s fine if it’s a Mitzvah.
‘I was teaching him the blessing on cereal.’ That's educational, and no Jewish day school is going to argue that the blessing shouldn't take a couple of hours of focus.
We Were Visiting My Parents
That will get you an extended weekend every once in a while.
Visiting grandparents can be part of the commandment to ‘honor your parents.’ Going to classes is not a commandment. Though, you get into more trouble for skipping school than sinning. The school will also support visiting the grandparents, as they are the ones paying for the education.
We Ran Out of Frosted Flakes
They’ll understand. Your child needs the flakes frosted. Anybody with a heart and kids will understand that your child threw a fit when you offered them Corn Flakes. They know your kid ripped up the box and threw it at you, smashing the Corn Flakes, spat on Kellogg’s, and pulled out all the drawers in the kitchen, threw all their clothes on the floor, ran away from home, and cursed out Mom. That’s expected nowadays. It’s a normal reaction to cereal with no sugar.
The school will also understand that it's questionable to make a Bracha over unsugared cereals.
We Were Still On Vacation for Chag
Use the holiday as much as you can. Milk it. That note can last for three weeks after any holiday. They give you off eight, you take eighteen for your child. Eighteen lets them know it was a meaningful religious thing, as well.
Slap ‘Chag with grandparents’ on that note, and your child will walk out with a 4.0 without ever being in class.
Remember, late notes for Jewish day school can be used for not being in class for days or weeks. There is no reason to put in all that effort of writing for one day, or a couple of hours. What? Now, they expect you to write? You’re not in school. If your child has a doctor’s appointment in the middle of a school week, that’s a good time for a long family weekend getaway.
I’m a Mother
Accuse them. Let them know. These twenty-five-year-old teachers have no idea what you’re going through. Your kid deserves a decent grade because you have to parent them. Even if you’re not a mother, if you’re writing a late note you’re close enough. You can be the guy running the bodega; if you have to write the late note, you're the mom.
Let the doctor know you’re a mother. Bring that note to the doctor’s office. Instead of waiting in the waiting room, make the doctor wait. At least your note is legible.
‘We made a mistake.’ Let it all out. You’re writing a note already, maybe you can find someone to talk to about the pain of parenting these children. You didn’t mean to have the seventh child. Maybe the teacher will have a heart and reach out to you.
I Had to Pack Snacks for Nine
Put it on you and the other eight kids you birthed. You can add in ‘I have a family,’ for spite. Have them asking why the note has nothing to do with the child. They’ll get the point.
You can add in, 'DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND???!!!' Add that into any note for late note effect.
My Child Was Running Errands
Your child is a prodigy and you know that. Just ask you. That’s why you’re coming up with excuses for them to be late and skip tests. He’s a genius and you've seen him at work. His sense of direction is amazing. You saw that when he was in pre-school and could already find sugar cereals in the supermarket. Don’t worry about them accusing you of abuse and child labor. If you want to talk about abuse, they’re running school till 4:15pm. Plus, have you seen the Hebrew homework, in Hebrew? That’s sweatshop labor abuse.
We Went to Israel
With that note, your child never needs to show to class. You can get off a whole half year with that note. They’ll still give your child an ‘A’ at Jewish day school. They have to.
The school has had enough arguments with people claiming that every moment in Israel is Jewish education. It’s about preservation of our people. If elementary school parents could set-up their eight-year-olds with good Shidduchs, they would have them skipping school so they could get married earlier.
My Child Was Learning Torah
That note will get you nowhere. They know that didn't happen.
We Don’t Understand You
‘Neither me or my child understood your homework.’ Yes. You are part of this. They know you’re doing the homework.
Have you seen this modern Hebrew? It’s impossible to hold down two jobs and to keep up with third-grade level. You can also write, ‘We had to go to after school classes to understand your class. We are late because we were taking your class.’ Better yet, write the note in Hebrew. ‘אנחנו מאוחרים בגלליך.’ She’ll the get the point.
If it’s a first grader, write the note. First graders are still tracing the Aleph Bet, and they don’t get homework. Even so, you can still right the note for them. Better yet, trace it.
Remember, it’s not the education, it’s what high school they’re going to get into. The blaming the teacher technique will work, if they want to keep their job. On a side note, it’s about time you brushed up on your non-Biblical Ivrit.
More Brilliant Late Note Ideas to Help You
‘We had an extended Shabbat.’ Make your weekend getaway sound Jewish. You can even say that you went to a deli.
You went on a ski trip? If it's over a weekend, that's an extended Shabbat.
‘They went to Minyin.’ If they go to shul, they can get off. You can just write ‘shul.’ The only issue is that the school has already pegged you, the parent, as a heretic. They know you’re not going out of your way to pray with your child. You might want to write, ‘They went with their Bubbie and Zayde to Minyin.’ The school loves them. They’re the only reason your child is at the school. They’re the ones paying.
‘I was running around, picking up all the children for their after-school activities, because none of the other parents in this class help with carpooling. See the children that showed up on time? I hate their parents.’ The other parents never do anything. Hate them. Let it out.
‘Why don’t you teach the children how to use an alarm clock in this school?’ That is a complaint more than a late note. Put the blame on them.
‘The bus wouldn’t wait.’ Your child is special. The school should know that. Your child is the champion. Your child is the winner. Your child is the best. The others are nothing compared to your child.
‘The bus was late because of my child.’ The school is fine with that.
‘Culture Club was playing and we had to play through “Time,” and then we rocked out to some Uncle Moishy and the Mitzvah Men. As a family, we sing together.’
‘I took them to the Metallica concert last night.’ The honest, bold and defiant late note. You were hearing the heavy metal. You’re feeling it. If you’re worried, tell them it was an Uncle Moishy concert that you were drinking at with the kids.
‘Tooth hurt.’ Don’t tell them which tooth. There’s no point. It could be yours. The goal is to make the education hard on the teacher, while your child still receives a 4.0 for having Jewish grandparents.
‘Their little brother ate it.’ You’re religious. They know you don’t have a dog eating the kids homework. Why dogs love eating homework so much is something I will never understand. Yet, they eat it.
They’ve seen little Jewish boys eat. If it has sugar on it, they’ll eat paper. Nobody has ever eaten those Lieber’s or Paskesz pebbles without devouring half a sheet of paper. If you need an animal for the note, you can use a goldfish. You can tell the school you won the goldfish at the Purim carnival. They’ll believe the goldfish ate it.
‘During these times.’ Anything you say with ‘during these times’ cannot be argued with. They chalk it up to the pandemic.
‘The pandemic.’ Just write ‘the pandemic’ and your child is promised a perfect score. If your child pays attention in school, they’ll learn how to get government assistance.
‘I am a parent and I need to sleep.’
You are not waking up at 6:30am. Responsibility is not important when you’re tired. You spent all day carpooling yesterday, and it wasn’t even your own child. You don’t want your kid getting bad grades and your family looking bad. Make sure you have the notes prepared.
As we recap, never forget to add ‘Chag’ to your late note. Holidays can always be used to get out of school. You also get off more days of school if you add in grandparents and Israel (ex of the perfect late note- ‘We went to Metallica in Israel, on Chag, with our grandparents’). And when your child is older, they will learn the importance of celebrating holidays to get out of work.
Next time we will talk about mastering the art of handing in late notes to the Jewish day school staff saying 'my child is Jewish' and ‘my child is a Tzadik,’ thus ensuring success with no explanation.
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