Florida Third grade retention policies were first put in place in 2002. Governor DeSantis has now given parents the option on both third grade retention and grade retention in any grade. Mandatory third grade retention based on test scores will not apply in 2020, as there is no testing.
When parents ask us about either third grade retention or grade retention in earlier or later grades, our advice has changed
1- Grade retention is an option to consider if your child is way below grade level and/or has ADHD or other challenges. Students with ADHD often have the maturity of a student 70% of their child’s age (i.e. a 9 year old with ADHD may behave more like a 6 year old). If this child also has reading problems, and the parents do not take action, grade retention may be the best option
2- When a child is not ready for middle school, grade retention may be the right choice. This often works best if one changes school.
3- The best option is to improve your child’s reading comprehension, attention and other skills.
Here is what some students may be facing. Matthew was 1.5 years below grade level in the middle of third grade. Given what is now called the Coronavirus Reading Slide, there is a good chance Matthew will be two years below grade level by August, without a major push.
The good news is that this gap can often be closed. Below is a case of where a student improved his reading comprehension from the 2nd to the 4th grade level over the summer.
At 3D Learner, we have focused on Success by Third Grade for the last 10 years.
If you have any questions or would like help – call us at 561-361-7495.
We have helped many parents to understand their risks, to then avoid Florida third retention and to help get their child’s reading comprehension back to grade level or above.
Senate Bill 1008.25 is the Florida law that covers Florida third grade retention and what a parent must be informed of.
At the bottom of this post is the specific wording from the portion on “Reading Deficiency and Parental Notification that covers third grade retention and what a parent must be informed of.
Given this is written in early March, the last point in the post is especially important — the wording is:
A parent of a student in grade 3 who is identified anytime during the year as being at risk of retention may request that the school immediately begin collecting evidence for a portfolio.
We encourage parents whose child is identified at risk for retention immediately request the school immediately begin collecting evidence for a portfolio.
Note, to be promoted a third grade student must either:
- Score a Level 2 or higher on the third grade English Language Assessment
- Meet one of the Good Cause Exemptions
Note, all the Good Cause Exemptions are harder to achieve than getting a Level 2 on the Third Grade English Language Assessment. The good news is that a student may be able to:
- Achieve Level 2 with intensive short term help
- Improve his or her reading comprehension to grade level with a concerted effort over the next 4 to 6 months
3 Keys to Beat Florida Third Grade Retention
1- Have your child do well on the third grade English Language Assessment. Some people recommend parents opt out of the testing. We respect their opinion, but all the good cause exemptions are much harder to achieve. Opting out does reduce the short term anxiety but it also increases the chances for grade retention.
2- If you have received notice that third grade retention is a risk, put a request in writing for a portfolio to be initiated ASAP.
3- By far the best choice is to:
- Immediately request a portfolio
- Have your child take the test
- Find the right help to get your child to grade level or above
Most students at risk for Florida Third Grade Retention:
- Learn differently than the way schools teach — that is, they learn best when he or she sees and experiences information
- Have some combination of attention, eye-teaming, anxiety and/or related issues
- Can do far better when he or she is taught to their strengths and when their challenges are identified and addressed.
Achieve Success by Third Grade
If this sounds like your child, take our no cost Success Assessment with your child. You will get immediate feedback and then you can call us for a no cost Stress to Success Strategy Session at 561-361-7495.
If you would prefer, just call 3D Learner at 561-361–7495