Third grade retention is a real risk for a student with a significant reading deficiency. In 2020, we are seeing more and more cases where anxiety is the main issue. Parents are being told to opt-out of the test. Beware …
If a Florida third grader gets a Level 1 on the Third Grade English Language Assessment they could face third grade retention. In Florida, there are Good Cause Exemptions to Third Grade Retention, that allow a third grader to be promoted to 4th grade, if they meet these more rigorous requirements. A portfolio may be the best good cause exemption, but getting a Level 2 on the third grade English Language Assessment is often easier.
If anxiety is the major issue, there are some great ways to reduce the stress — if your child has a 504 or IEP. If they have neither, and you see this early in the year, it is often possible to get a 504 Plan within a month — with a doctors diagnosis. If your child’s physician has or does diagnose your child with ADHD or an Anxiety Disorder — we recommend getting the diagnosis in writing with a note from the physician that requests a 504 or IEP Plan
Any questions, you can post your question below or call us at 561-361-7495
Getting an IEP is a little trickier. Schools will often use MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) or RTI (Response to Intervention) to delay or deny an evaluation. Here is a blog post on how to expedite an evaluation.
We would recommend you consider adding some or all of the following items to the plan:
- Extra time – -the test is normally two 80 minute segments or 160 minutes. Time and a half is often enough — or 240 minutes — 4 hours
- Consider spreading the test over 4 days — 6o minutes a day — this idea came from the Florida State Department of Education
- Get the test taken in a quiet room with no more than 4 students
- Have the practice exams administered this way — your child need to get used to the process
- Reward progress
Watch this video on how to avoid third grade retention and to prepare your child for success in fourth grade and beyond.
Beat Third Grade Retention, by Taking Massive Action NOW!!!
Over the years, we have had many parents call us in March saying they were going to opt-out of the third grade English Language Assessment. They often thought this would reduce the risk of their child facing third grade retention. We shared our perspective that:
- The opt-out movement has a legitimate case that Florida public schools focuses too much on one test, but
- All the Good Cause Exemptions are harder to achieve then getting a Level 2 on the Third Grade English Language Assessment — this is the minimum score needed for promotion to 4th grade
- Students who are at risk for Third Grade Retention take the Third Grade English Language Assessment. Our logic is that one only needs to be at about the 21st percentile to be promoted, but they need to be at the 45th to 50th percentile on the alternative assessments to be promoted
- Parents check with the teacher and check to see if the school has started a student portfolio. Florida Statute 1008.25 states that:
“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.”
A portfolio is a set of mini-assessments that measure skill mastery.
We then recommend parents strongly consider getting reading help. The reason we recommend this is that:
- Virtually every child at risk for third grade retention is 1.3 to 2.8 years below grade level in reading comprehension by the beginning of the next school year
- Passing the test or any of the Good Cause Exemptions is much easier with a higher reading comprehension level
- Passing one of the Good Cause Exemptions requires a much higher reading comprehension level
- Fourth grade reading is much harder. Reading comprehension is much more important in fourth grade for Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies
3D Learner offers several ways to help your child avoid third grade retention and to get your child to grade level by the start of the next school year. We offer
- A no cost Success Assessment to see if your child learns differently and whether your child has attention and/or visual processing challenges
- A no cost Strategy Session — just call us at 561-361-7495
- Tips and exercises to prepare your child for the test
- A Focus Assessment that assesses your child’s reading comprehension, attention and visual processing at a very reasonable investment
- Program options that can significantly increase your child’s reading comprehension before 4th grade — over the last 6 years, we have been able to help every parent who contacted us in April or earlier to have their child be promoted.
If you have any questions or would like help, call 3D Learner at 561-361-7495. We are offering programs during the spring and summer to help your child avoid third grade retention.