Does the school have the right to retain my 6 year old son in grade one only based on immature behaviour although he's excelling academically?
My son is the youngest in his class, yet very smart and is doing academically better than many of his classmates. His academic school reports are very good, but state that he acts immature..he giggles when he's not supposed to, rolls on the floor at storytime, etc I was told he needs some more time to mature. Now I'm told they want to retain him in grade one only based on that reason. As far as I understand retention at this early stage is only recommended for those who do not have the necessary emotional and social maturity needed for formal academic instruction. Retention is viewed then as a way to prevent failure before it occurs later on. In my case my son does not have any academic problems. All he needs is some time to mature and I don't understand why this can't happen while he's developing further academically in grade 2 instead of boring him and breaking his confidence in grade one again, while watching his classmates go to grade 2 knowing he is better academically than a lot of them. I just don't understand how the school sees this retention in the benefit of my son.
Have you talked with the teacher and principal about your concerns? You might also consult the district about their policy with regard to retention and your rights as a parent to refuse the retention, particularly if your son is excelling academically.
Here are Education.com expert and community answers in JustAsk that other parents with similar questions received (which you may find helpful as well)...
dmillerteach,Child Professional, School Administrator, Teacherwrites:
As a child advocate, I have learned a lot about what is "appropriate" and "inappropriate" ways to deal with children's behavior. Unfortunately, when I was trained as a teacher, I got a different message. Parents are often frustrated with the ways schools deal with their children -and rightly so! Teachers and administrators are frustrated now more than ever with the lack of resources and students who are struggling are getting the brunt of the situation. The best advice is to use a firm, positive approach with the school, which shows you know of your rights. Always speak about your child's behavior in context of his continuing growth, situations he is dealing with, and if appropriate a disability. This way, the school will be reminded to deal with him as a whole child, and not a number or problem kid. It is also useful to use key language and refer to current laws, as it triggers a certain "uh-oh-she knows her business" response in the principal that cares about being taken to court. Below is an AMAZING resource from Advocates for Children in NY. Some of the legislative info applies directly to NY laws, but similar laws exist in your state (you may have to comb through the DOE website or contact the DOE directly to find out). Good luck!