Grade Retention Can Often Be Avoided

Getting to Grade Level or Above Can Often Be Achieved with the Right Intervention

Avoiding grade retention is a priority for almost every parent where a child is at risk for being retained.   COVID Learning Losses have left many students further behind than they otherwise would have been.  Three key points about students at risk for grade retention:

  • Their reading comprehension is often well below grade level.  For third grade retention, the year many students are retained, students are often over a year and sometimes two years below grade level in reading comprehension.  For the bright right brain kinesthetic learner, grade retention is a risk because they do not learn the way the schools teach.   This includes students with high and even gifted IQs.  These kids learn best when they see and experience information.  They need a different approach to reach their full potential.
  • Beating grade retention does not require getting to grade level.  In Florida public and charter schools, it often requires a student to be at Level 2 on the benchmark assessments — approximately the 20th percentile.  In the first part of this blog, we will discuss strategies to Beat Grade Retention.  Note, opting out of the state mandated assessments increases the chances of a child being retained.  The other options for promotion are harder to achieve.
  • Over the last 20 years 3D Learner has helped many bright right brain kinesthetic learners to beat grade retention by significantly improving their reading, reading comprehension, attention and working memory and so much more.  These are students who often:

Have excellent memories for places they have visited, even from years ago

Learn best when they see and experience information

Are much smarter than present results would indicate

Note, half of these students had been diagnosed with dyslexia or learning disabilities and half did not. In the second part of this blog, we will discuss how to get your child to grade level or above.


Beating Grade Retention with a Collaborative Approach

The Florida Department of Education has an excellent page that provides valuable information for third grade parents on this subject.  Below are several ways they describe to beat third grade retention:

  • Getting a Level 2 on the third grade FSA requires a score of 285.  Here is a packet on the FSA from the Florida Department of Education.  The scoring chart is on page 3.  
  • Passing a portfolio.  Every parent whose child is at risk for grade retention has the right to immediately ask that a portfolio be started.
  • An end of year exam
  • An end of July exam
  • Having your child reading at grade level when school starts in the fall

If you have not already done so, we strongly recommend meeting with your child’s teacher and asking:

  1. What is my child’s present level of performance on your assessments?
  2. Is my child at risk for grade retention at this time?
  3. If your child is at risk for third grade retention, have they started a portfolio, where is your child at, and how can you help?  If they have not started a portfolio, ask them to do so immediately.  
  4. What can be done to reduce the risk of grade retention – adding that you are willing to do your fair share and more.

We had a mom recently who tried this approach and within days she saw a change in how both the teacher and she herself were now focused on her child’s success.

If your child is at risk for grade retention at any school and you want some guidance we offer a no cost Beat Grade Retention conversation.
We offer this no cost conversation for all parents.  To speak with us:

Call us at 561-361-7495 or
–  Click here to schedule a no cost Beat Grade Retention for Your Child Conversation


The Silver Lining in Grade Retention — Focus on Getting Your Child’s Reading Comprehension to Grade Level or Above

Over the years, parents have had very different approaches including:
I want to do everything possible to reduce the risk of grade retention
If grade retention is a risk, I may move my child to private school or homeschool

3D Learner adds a third option:
How you can significantly improve your child’s reading comprehension and other skills so that promotion is virtually certain, and your child gets to grade level or above in the relevant skills.  This approach also positions your child to do very well in the future.

Note, with the more rigorous standards now in place, a student who is struggling in the present grade is likely to do even worse in the next grade.  The time to act is NOW!!!

We had a case where the teacher said the student was virtually certain to be retained.  With our help, the student scored above grade level on the end of year exam and was in advanced classes within 2 years.

We also had a case where the 1st grade teacher told the parent the child was going to be retained.  They invested in our program in April.  At a mid-May meeting,  the mom asked the teacher about grade retention.  The teacher responded, “There is no way he will be retained given his progress over the last six weeks”.

All our successes started with a parent calling us to discuss the possibilities.  For immediate help, either:

Call us at 561-361-7495 or
–  Click here to schedule a no cost Beat Grade Retention for Your Child Conversation


Grade Retention and The Bright Right Brain Kinesthetic Learner

We know that most smart struggling students who are facing grade retention risks:

  • Are a right-brain, visual or kinesthetic learners (hands-on) who can do far better with experiential learning that leverages their strengths
  • Have some combination of working memory, processing speed, visual processing, attention, and/or anxiety challenges
  • Often have a visual processing issue — where they read slowly and/or skip words and lines when reading

Note: Dyslexia or learning disabilities may or not be present

Beating Grade Retention and Preparing Your Child for Future Success Can Best Be Done by Leveraging Your Child’s Strengths and Identifying and Addressing Their Challenges

  • Are much smarter than present results would indicate

At 3D Learner, we have helped many students to:

  • Beat grade retention by improving their reading and reading comprehension 
  • Rediscover their natural love of learning
  • Improve their working memory, processing speed, and self-esteem
  • Improve their attention and emotional regulation
  • Achieve far greater success than their parents even thought possible

Our programs can help the right brain, visual learner or kinesthetic learner to beat grade retention and to make significant gains in months.  3D Learner’s comprehensive educational assessment reveals important issues that many other assessments miss. 

For instance, one parent had a recent psycho-educational test that indicated her daughter had dyslexia, attention, working memory and processing speed issues. After her daughter completed our assessment, she was surprised to learn that her daughter:

  1. Was a right brain, visual learner or kinesthetic learner 
  2. Was a lot smarter than present results would indicate
  3. Had a significant visual processing issue, skipping words and lines when reading
  4. Struggled with reading comprehension and sequencing
  5. Had significant attention and emotional regulation issues
  6. Was very strong in 5 of the 11 skills we assessed — she had a great visual memory, was very creative and had a larger vocabulary than most
  7. But she had a real problem with the small words that often change the meaning of a sentence (i.e. words like the, but, what, if)

Parents often ask, “What makes you so different?”

Our approach is far different.  We:

  • Leverage the student’s strengths and interests
  • Identify and address issues like working memory, visual processing, or processing speed
  • Strive to ignite a love for learning, which is an essential part of the 3D Learner Experiential Learning Process
  • Help parents to be the coach and advocate their child needs 

Below are questions parents have asked us about grade retention:

Question: Is it too late in the school year to help beat grade retention?
Answer: It is almost never too late to beat grade retention.  The right brain or kinesthetic learner can often make significant gains in months not years, with the right experiential learning.

Question: I am not sure if my child is a right brain, visual learner, or kinesthetic learner or what issues are holding my child back.  I fear grade retention. Is there a way to talk with your team and to assess my child?
Answer:  Click here to download “Is my child a right brain, visual or kinesthetic learner” screening tool.     

Question:  Does grade retention help or hurt a child   
Answer:    The research on this subject is mixed.  Students often do better the following year, because they are repeating a grade.  Any benefit often vanishes by middle school. 

Question:  Are there cases where grade retention may help a child?
Answer:    Yes.  When a student is one of the youngest in their class and has ADHD, the extra year in third grade might help

All our successes started with a parent calling us to discuss the possibilities.  For immediate help, either:

Call us at 561-361-7495 or
–  Click here to schedule a no cost Beat Grade Retention for Your Child Conversation

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