This school year more students than ever will have a letter sent home warning their parents that the student is not meeting grade level requirements and may be at risk for third grade retention.
In Florida and 14 other states third grade retention is the law if a child does not perform well enough on the state mandated test. In Florida, we expect 30 percent of the students will score that low.
We have helped hundreds of students avoid third grade retention. As a parent, you should know this year is different. Below are 7 key points you want to know:
1- In Florida, the new Florida State Standards are much harder than ever before. The 3rd grade reading Florida Standards Assessment is likely to be equally tough. If your child is struggling, your child may be 1.5 or even 2 years below grade level in reading comprehension. This may be worse than you thought and that is because this year’s standards are at least a year tougher than last year
2- Your child’s teachers and school are probably as frustrated as you are with this mess. If they share that your child is at risk for third grade retention, they are trying to be honest with you
3- You want to make sure your child gets the accommodations they need to pass the test and special education services, if needed — just had another call yesterday from a mom whose daughter has no help, and she is two years below grade level. This concept is much more complex than ever before — for help with the process visit the Response to Intervention Trap
4- According to Florida Statue 1008.25 Point 5(c)7,:
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.
Each district either uses the state portfolio process or develops their own. This is the best alternative route to insure promotion — it allows your child to show mastery of specific skills
5- Have your child assessed for a learning difference and an attention and eye-teaming challenge. You also want to know your child’s present level of reading comprehension
More than half the 3rd graders we see learn differently, have both an attention and eye teaming issue and are at least 1.5 years below grade level in their comprehension
6- Find the right program and professional who teaches the way your child learns best, can address your child’s challenges and who have a record of helping students succeed in months and not years — time is of the essence.
7- Follow through with a passion. Work collaboratively with your child’s teacher, school and the professional you choose.
For a no cost copy of our book Success by 3rd Grade and an assessment that will help you to screen for a learning difference and an attention and/or eye teaming issue visit Success by 3rd Grade