Anonymous asks:

Can I Fight Grade Retention for my 7 year old son?

My son has received help from the special ed. teachers since he has started school. There was no mention of them even considering holding him back preschool or kindergarten. Now he is in first grade and with a month and a half of school left they are telling me that He will be retained and there is nothing I can do.....
    We had a IEP meeting in February to discuss his progress. There was a mention in that meeting of possibly retaining him, but that they didn't know yet. And, that ultimaetly that this decision would be left up to me. Which after some investigating have learned that it is up to the principal in our district. After some digging I have found that retention is to be more uneffective than effective!!
   In the first nine weeks of school the teachers noticed that he was not where he needed to be , but made no contact with me to improve this problem. In fact, they have been telling me that he is progressing well and particaptes more. He is very shy and it is hard for him to make friends. He is out to please everyone tho. After I was told they would be retaining my child I decided to sit down with him to see what he knows...he is at 133 sight words and has a 99 percent in Math. The school says that he is at 104 tho, with me he reads 133.
    I am very concerned for my child  and of the outcome of this decision. After reading all of the statistics and meeting with the teachers and the principal, I disagree with them. My child should move on to second grade.
In Topics: National education standards and No Child Left Behind
> 60 days ago



Apr 20, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

This is a difficult situation and after reading your description of the problem,icansee why you are frustrated.

Here are some things to consider:

Find out what the retention guidelines and timeline are for your son's schools.  For example in the district I work in, parents need to be aware in writing some time during the third marking period that their child may be retained.  Retention cannot happen if the parents were not notified properly.  Find out what their criteria is for retention.  If your son meets the criteria, then he should be promoted.  There may be an alternative criteria as well.  That means that if your son didnt pass a particular assessment, there may be an alternative one that the can take.  If he passes that alternative setoff criteria, thence should be promoted.

Contact the ESE specialist for the school.  See what she has to say.  Find out how his IEP is written about promotion.  Ask if his accommodations were in place when he was assessed.  If he is aloud extra time, was it given.

Gather evidence.  Any test papers, classroom, teacher notes and comments, anything that will help your case to get him promoted.

Ask if you can have him privately assessed.  This may not may not be an option.  

Even though research indicates that retention is not good for the child, I have seen where retention has benefited the student.  Usually it is best if in the younger grades such as K and 1st.  I know I would have benefited from any extra year of first grade - I have a learning diabilities as well.  If you would like my take on retention and it not being a bad thing, please feel free to contact me directly.

The bottom line, you need to do what is best for your son.  If you believe he should be promoted, then you need to fight for it.  State the facts and try not be be emotional.  Yu want the school administration totake you riotously, not as a hysterical parent.

Hopefully, I have given you somethings to concider or to think about.

Good luck!

Barb Kruger

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Additional Answers (1)

parentto4 writes:
i have sort of a similar problem my son is 12 and has adhd and his teacher has more or less brushed him to the side and he has been failing all year long despite all my efforts i have been trying to find out about the parents decision to promote and i was told that i had the right as a parent to choose to move my child on to the 6th grade and i totally agree with you about the statistics on grade retention and that it does more harm than good and that is from psychology board 2003.
> 60 days ago

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