Grade Retention is a controversial subject. Championed by Former Governor Jeb Bush, the research on grade retention is inconclusive. Given the choice between grade retention and social promotion, we favor …
Improving student performance to Avoid Grade Retention Risk, Where Possible
Supporting the Grade Retention Option When it is in the Student’s Best Interest
Note: many students who are considered for grade retention may have three, four, five or six of the following. The students often:
- Are visual learners and can do far better with a program that plays to their strengths
- Have an attention problem and tend to find instruction boring — whether they have ADHD or not
- Skip words and lines when reading — this makes reading difficult, understanding the content even harder and may even give them headaches when they read
- Have difficulty remembering rules or several things at a time. For the phonics-based programs that require rule mastery, results may not be what you had hoped for
- Are further below grade level in reading comprehension than the parents realized — too often schools use reading fluency, how well a child reads for a student’s reading level. This may not be a good indication of reading comprehension and comprehension is the key to success
- Can do far better with a program that highlights their strengths, identifies and addresses their challenges and gets the school accommodations they desperately need
We offer a no cost assessment you can take with your child. Then we offer a no cost strategy session that can be used to discuss grade retention, improving reading comprehension or some other related challenging question. We strongly recommend doing the assessment with your child — their answers may surprise you. To get started, you can access this at Success Assessment
The Success Assessment will screen for a visual learner and for attention, eye-teaming and related challenges.
After doing the assessment with your child — the answers may surprise you.
Call us at 561-361-7495 to discuss your most challenging question.
More Information About Grade Retention
We are facing a year when many students will enter the next grade with lower reading skills than ever before because:
- The struggling readers are reading less and are more likely to lose ground as they are out of school for 5 months (March thru July)
- While schools are doing a lot, intensive reading instruction is one area where reading help may not have been as effective as it would have been if school were in session
Over the years, we have been asked by hundreds of parents about grade retention. In this period of COVID-19, the choices are even tougher.
The 3 most common challenges we see are:
- Some schools are recommending retention, and parents want to know if their child’s performance can be improved over the summer to both avoid grade retention and allow their child to succeed next year and beyond
- Parents want to retain their child and schools refuse to do so. In Florida, the Governor says parents have that right and it was confirmed in guidance from the Florida Department of Education. This is a situation that varies from state to state
- Mandatory third grade retention has been suspended for 2019-20 school year. Therefore, there are likely to be many 3rd graders promoted to 4th grade without the skills or reading level required to succeed. The 4th grade curriculum is far more difficult and requires higher reading skills in language arts, math, history and science
As Parent Coaches, we do not recommend the same choice for each parent.
- If a 5th grader with average intelligence is 1.5 years below grade level in reading comprehension, the school may recommend retention. We believe this gap can be narrowed or closed during the summer and that grade retention may not be necessary. Note: there are other factors that need to be discussed before making the decision (e.g. maturity, health conditions, and other family dynamics — like a recent divorce)
- If a 5th grader is 3 years below grade level, this might be an excellent case for improving reading comprehension to reduce the need for grade retention. The student might be able to close the gap over the next 15 months, but it would be a stretch to be at or near grade level in a few months
- Many 3rd graders would be candidates for grade retention in a normal year. Some schools may recommend it for a student who is 1.5 or more years below grade level.
If your child is far behind in reading or other subjects, the best course of action is to find someone who can help your child make dramatic gains
Call 3D Learner at 561-361-7495 to discuss your situation and what is possible.
When is Grade Retention Right?
While we believe that an effective reading program can often negate the need for grade retention, there are situations where it is right, including:
- Sometimes a student starts school when they are the youngest in the class. Then, by the end of kindergarten or first grade, it is clear the student is not mature enough to progress. This is especially true when a student has ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or other conditions
- Students who missed a lot of the past school year may do best with grade retention. If a child was sick, or there was an upsetting family situation, followed by this 5 month gap, retention may be right
- When a student is so far behind their peers, an extra year to catch up might be right
At 3D Learner, we have helped many students avoid grade retention; at the same time, we’ve also helped a smaller number of parents to recognize that grade retention is the best option.
Call 3D Learner at 561-361-7495
for a no cost strategy session
Our goal is to help your child be all he or she can be. We recognize that to retain or not to retain is a tough choice. We are here to help.
Before calling, we suggest completing our Success Assessment with your child. It may help make the conversation much more productive. The three things that often happen are:
- Parents realize their child learns differently
- Parents gain a better understanding of the invisible challenges facing your child
- You discover a better way to help your child succeed