How to convince the school to retain my 2nd grader?
My child is November born, and is now in 2nd grade(7.5 years old) youngest in class. We would like to hold him back and repeat 2nd grade. He was asked by the school to be retained in Kindergarten. At that time we as parents refused. But all along it has been a constant struggle and frustration for all of us. Finally we decided to retain him in 2nd grade and now the school is not agreeing. They say he is just not motivated..I have to appeal to the school board. Please let me know how I can convince the school board to retain him in the 2nd grade.
It must be frustrating to know that your son's school is not listening to you or your wife's wishes.
Please know that the research surrounding grade retention is not positive. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has published a position statement (which means that prominent members of the NASP got together, reviewed the evidence, and determined their official "position" on the issue) on grade retention. Overall, research studies indicate that students who are held back/retained have worse outcomes, academically and emotionally, than their peers who were also candidates for retention, but who were promoted. See links below. Thus, grade retention is generally not recommended.
Instead of grade retention, experts suggest that parents and teachers work together to develop an intervention plan that can support the student's unique strengths and areas of weakness. For instance, if your son has not been formally tested for special education, this might be a good next step.
However, if you and your wife are certain that grade retention is the best step for your son, you should talk with the folks in the district office about appealing the school's decision. They will have recommendations for how you can formally begin the appeal process.
Laura Kauffman, Ph.D.
Licensed Child Psychologist