Are Now Being Asked to Consider First Grade, Second Grade or Third Grade Retention
Should You Accept It, Fight It, or Use This As a Catalyst for Significant Improvement
The Great Schools Staff put together an excellent article on Grade Retention. The article focuses on the downsides for retention and the need to do things differently whether you choose to retain your child or have your child promoted.
What has surprised us lately is that public and charter school parents are now facing the possibility of retention in 1st and 2nd grades.
Third grade retention was adopted in Florida public and charter schools over a decade ago. More recently:
- The number of students facing third grade retention has risen, as the passing scores are higher than they previously were
- Public and charter schools have sometimes recommended first and second grade retention
Third Grade Retention May Be Mandatory
Third grade retention is mandatory in Florida for students scoring a Level 1 on the third- grade language arts FSA – Florida Standards Assessment. There are 7 Good Cause Exemptions.
The two that are most likely to help at this point are:
- If the student passes a 3rd grade portfolio – check with your child’s teacher on where you child is at and whether completing this is possible
- Getting a passing score on the end of year District Test or the 45th percentile on the SAT10 – a national exam
Another option is to improve your child’s reading comprehension to grade level by the time the next school year starts.
The biggest challenge we see is that most students who fail the 3rd grade language arts FSA have a reading comprehension level that is 1.5, 2. and sometimes 2.5 years below grade level
We have helped many students avoid third grade retention – with a focus on dramatically improving a child’s reading comprehension over the summer.
Parents concerned about third grade retention should call us ASAP at 561-361-7495. Calls in May and June help, later calls may be too late
First and Second Grade Retention may be questioned.
The evidence is fairly conclusive that there are few benefits to grade retention. Having said that, there are some cases where the child is younger than his or her peers, the child is immature and the child is well behind academically. In these instances, a case for retention can and should be made.
Grade retention takes a couple of different forms:
- In some districts, schools are discouraged from holding a child back before 3rd grade, even when parents see the benefit. In these cases, we encourage a constructive conversation with the principal
- More often now, we are seeing more and more cases of first and second grade retention, and even isolated cases of Kindergarten retention.
The Great Schools article makes a good case for doing more than retaining or promoting a student. We recommend several things for all children where retention may be suggested or considered:
- If the student is not in special education and has an IEP – an individualized education plan – the student should initiate action ASAP. There are two reasons for this:
- A student with an IEP can only be retained once before third grade
- An IEP can get the services and accommodations that may help your child succeed
- Find out:
- How far behind your child is
- If your child learns differently
- If attention, anxiety, eye-teaming or related issues are holding your child back
- Consider a major effort to get your child back on track
Read more about our strength-based approach at Strength-based Training
If we can help, give us a call at 561-361-7495