Are schools allowed to "hold back" a child in school or do parents have to request it?

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Posted 1/19/2011 by juliekins. in NSBR Board
 

juliekins.

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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:05:51 AM
Because my sister and I were talking about a child who is behind in school (3rd grade, public school if that helps) and I stated that she isn't *that* far behind, but just enough to perhaps need to repeat the 3rd grade depending on what the teacher said.

My sister told me the school can't hold your kid back anymore. Ever. So I ask because if this child truly needs to repeat the grade, do the parents have to request this? Because the parents may not realize it and might need to pay closer attention.

If this is the case, then this child could very well end up illiterate in the middle/high school level! I am just floored at the very thought and don't want to have to hold anyone back, but don't want to see anyone suffer through elementary because 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade concepts were not crystal clear.

Yes. It is one of my own children. So as a parent, I have to know what the heck *I'M* supposed to do in this instance.

Any advice welcomed.



Hoosier2
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:07:54 AM
in my school district, it's the parents that hold back a child. I don't think teachers have the power to do it.

ETA: I held my ds back from kindergarten, mostly because he was so shy...best thing I ever did for him. he has a great class of kids and is doing well in high school. also, my ds took high school algebra as an 8th grader. I had him retake it in high school, thinking it might be embarrassing..well, so did other parents. the teacher said the kids that retook it, "really get it". I'm glad I held him back and had him retake it. It's my philosophy that i would rather my kids "get it" than just advance because it is expected.

rosie9701
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:09:08 AM
I can't speak for all schools, but our district can and does hold kids back for academic reasons and even for attendance.

Since it is your child, why don't you request a meeting with the teacher to go over your concerns. You could also get the school pyschologist involved because in the elementary grades they seem to serve the same purpose as a guidance counselor does in the upper grades.

Meeting with the teacher is a great place to start. You can discuss options like tutoring, extra work or holding the child back.


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Peabay
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:10:40 AM
Our school district makes the recommendation (strongly) but the final decision ultimately lies with the parents.



Juliettie
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:11:33 AM
When I did student teaching 8 or 9 years ago, I know that in our district, kids were not held back in elementary school unless the parents agreed to it (schools could make recommedations, though). In middle and high school, kids COULD be held back in an area (English, math) if they had not passed that area. So, by the time a kid was supposed to be a senior, he could still "be" a junior due to not having enough credits.


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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:12:51 AM
You say the child isn't *that* far behind. It's third grade. It doesn't get easier from here out. Fourth grade starts ramping it up a bit, at least in my experience with my kids.

If the child isn't on track with their peers, then holding them back at this age would not be a bad thing. Much better than them getting to middle school or high school and fall so far behind that it's mandatory.

Meet with the teacher, guidance counselor and whoever else they recommend. You want to find out what is going on now so that it can be addressed. Don't just pass the child along to 4th grade assuming they will catch up.






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juliekins.

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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:20:12 AM

Since it is your child, why don't you request a meeting with the teacher to go over your concerns. You could also get the school pyschologist involved because in the elementary grades they seem to serve the same purpose as a guidance counselor does in the upper grades.
It's my stepchild, so I actually don't have the authority to be in the school or else I absolutely would.

Her test scores came back and though her grades on her report card look good, they are not representative of her actual reading level and math ability. I have been discussing it with her father (my husband) and had made him aware (he works...alot and her mother is pretty much absent most of the time) and that if the school recommended a hold back, he might want to really consider it, call a meeting, see exactly what was going on and that is how my sister said they wouldn't be recommending anything.

So I wanted to know, just how much is he supposed to raise a stink here. I know that he will speak with whomever he needs (it's a different district than my bio kids are in) and see what is going on, but because the test results weren't sent home until last week, and these tests were given in December and September, seeing where she was came as quite a shock. Her mom seems to think that Cs are pretty good for her and to me, I think "Cs in what?"

My 1st grader is making As, but on an adjusted curriculum. She is not working on 1st grade material. So her grades are GREAT! But, that does not mean she is *caught up* yet. She receives title 1 for everything. ANd I love my child, but I still want to make sure that if she goes on to a regular 2nd grade, that she is capable of handling it or have HER repeat 1st grade in a normal class.

It's never easy making these choices, and my husband and his ex really do not communicate over this little girl and that scares me for her. He's a great dad, and WANTs to communicate but that doesn't happen the way he'd like. I have told him to just bypass her and go straight to the school. I think in this situation that would be the better thing to do, so that is the process we are attempting right now.

It's such a tough world out there, and without an outstanding education, it's even tougher. I know this. I know 3rd grade is a little young but these are the foundation blocks.



juliekins.

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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:22:47 AM

You say the child isn't *that* far behind. It's third grade. It doesn't get easier from here out. Fourth grade starts ramping it up a bit, at least in my experience with my kids.

If the child isn't on track with their peers, then holding them back at this age would not be a bad thing. Much better than them getting to middle school or high school and fall so far behind that it's mandatory.

Meet with the teacher, guidance counselor and whoever else they recommend. You want to find out what is going on now so that it can be addressed. Don't just pass the child along to 4th grade assuming they will catch up.
I wanted to add that I totally agree with everything here, and if it were my own kid, I would hold her back in a hot 2 seconds. I wanted to make sure that since it is not my biological child that my thinking was not way off base. It's easier to say and do things when it is your own child. But my stepdaughter doesn't exactly have the best relationship with me, her mother hates me, and it's a tough place to be in. And I don't want to just mind my own business even though I probably should because I think no one else may speak up here if I don't.



jmd1970
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:27:28 AM
What if the child is making an "F" in every class? Obviously, a lot of parents would see the need to hold them back, but some wouldn't get it, or just don't care. I guess I am just confused. Are you saying schools no longer have the right to "fail" a student? Maybe I just don't understand the question.

Hoosier2
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:31:22 AM
OP....is the stepdaughter in one of the public schools in Indy or a suburb or a private school....I'm from Indy so I know a little about the schools. just curious

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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:31:45 AM
If you are saying in this example that the child just about meets the requirements to move on to the next grade but the teacher recommends holding the child back my question would be why would any rational parents not take the advice of the professional?

juliekins.

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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:40:22 AM

OP....is the stepdaughter in one of the public schools in Indy or a suburb or a private school....I'm from Indy so I know a little about the schools. just curious


We are not in Indy anymore and when we were, she didn't go there anyways.

We are an hour away from Indy, but that's where my husband still works and commutes, I just didn't update my location.

It's a very small school corporation that honestly, a C there is like an F at my kids' school corporation. *THAT* is what scares me. So even an A isn't really all that great. But if she brings home an A, her mom sees A, writes all over her paper that she is SO PROUD of her babi gurl (not that we shouldn't be proud!) but seriously, LOOK AT THE MATERIAL IT COVERED. This is what my husband is realizing, yes, a B is good, an A is even better but what was it over.

To further complicate things, MY 3rd grader is in advanced classes, learning 5th grade material and could actually skip 4th grade if offered. So I am trying to find that line of what is acceptable here because my daughter's standard is so much higher. I have one reading middle school books and one reading kindergarten picture books. She *says* she reads big girl books at school, but this again, cannot be corroborated.

Her mother talks about moving back to our town, and I really hope that she does, but that first year back is going to be hell on this child and my husband knows it. Because it is FRIGHTENING how sloppy her education is.

I'm a bit of a hardass with my kids and grades though, and this is why I posted, I just can't decide if I'm being far too nosey! I don't even really accept just average in my home for my kids.

But gathering these opinions is helping, I'll help support him to go in and have a chit chat, and we'll take it from there. Cause I just don't think in this situation, he could be too involved. No such thing.

Thank you everyone for listening and offering advice and pushing me here. My mother had her colostomy put on yesterday and I am about to head out for the day to see her in the hospital so if I don't respond, this is why. If you have concerns, or more advice that you want to give, feel free to keep posting or peamail me and I will be sure to read it as soon as possible and respond if needed.

I really do appreciate all the POV. Please don't think I was posting a PVM and I hesitated to post but darnit, someone has to do something.



eebud
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:55:31 AM
When my DSS was in K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, he was not getting it AT ALL. His mother did talk to the teachers about holding him back each of these years and they always suggested letting him continue on with his class. That scared me that he was REALLY going to have a tough time. Finally, when he got to 4th grade, he was failing pretty much everything. When he came back after Christmas break, he went back to 3rd grade and repeated the 2nd half of 3rd grade. This was the best thing that ever happened to him. He finally "got it". He went into 4th grade the following year and did fine in school. He was never a straight A student but he made acceptable grades that you knew he would be ok. I think the teachers would have continued to pass him on if his mother had not insisted that he be put back.





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melanell
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:03:40 AM

Our school district makes the recommendation (strongly) but the final decision ultimately lies with the parents.


Same here, with the exception of extreme absences from school, in which case the school will do the holding back of the student.

eebud
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:54:37 AM

Our school district makes the recommendation (strongly) but the final decision ultimately lies with the parents.



Same here, with the exception of extreme absences from school, in which case the school will do the holding back of the student.

I find that very interesting. So, a school will hold you back for a lot of absences regardless of the grades but if the student is failing all their classes, it is up to the parents.






Hans on left, Bud in middle, Gretchen on right

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Posted: 1/19/2011 9:15:43 AM
I wouldn't't hold back a child who's getting C's. I would meet with the school and find out why her reading level seems so low. I would ask to have her evaluated for learning disabilities if needed. Get her extra tutoring, and a summer program if needed.

I'll never forget the story our superintendent told us. A boy was held back in second grade and as she was reprimanding him for something in fourth grade he started to cry and asked when he was going to get to go back to his friends. Holding a kid back in kind is different than later years. Later is a huge blow to their self-esteem, especially if they live with siblings or steps who excel.

If her mother seems uneducated (babi gurl made me cringe. Our kids may have the same bio-mom), then it's quite probable that it's a learning disability holding her back and she needs a different approach.

Maryland
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Posted: 1/19/2011 9:22:51 AM
It's not really in issue in our district. Most parents (not us!) hold their kids back if their birthday is after April, so the kids are older anyways.

Just Jodi
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Posted: 1/19/2011 9:35:48 AM
I retained my daughter in 1st grade and I had to *fight* the school for it to happen. She struggled every day and homework was a nightmare. The school refused to hold her back so I went to the Superintendent. The reason they didn't want to hold her back? Too many parents of children with that teacher wanted their children retained!




Mewcat
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Posted: 1/19/2011 9:40:48 AM
I can't speak for all schools, but our district can and does hold kids back for academic reasons and even for attendance.

Since it is your child, why don't you request a meeting with the teacher to go over your concerns. You could also get the school psychologist involved because in the elementary grades they seem to serve the same purpose as a guidance counselor does in the upper grades.

Meeting with the teacher is a great place to start. You can discuss options like tutoring, extra work or holding the child back.




Just because you may choose to hold your child back, doesn't mean that they are unable to do what everyone else can. It might mean that they need extra time to learn the material or might be struggling with one particular subject.

From reading the posts if I were in your shoes I would talk to your DH about what kind of options would be best for her. Maybe he could talk to his Ex about what is going on with her. Her classes will not get easier as time goes in, so now is the time to do something about it.

I was held back and I turned out just fine
With that being said, I also suggest meeting with the teacher and school psychologist, they can help you decide what is best for her.


~*Melissa*~

Mewcat
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Posted: 1/19/2011 9:49:51 AM
In my case that one particular subject was math.. Oh it still makes me shudder. But I got through it graduated from high school and college. Now I am waiting with bated breath to be out of Grad School forever..


~*Melissa*~

esheen
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Posted: 1/19/2011 9:54:23 AM
I guess i have a question about any remedial that she is getting. Is she in Title I Math or Reading? You mentioned your young daughter was - is this child getting those services? If she isn't, that is an important fact. If she isn't getting those services, she may be doing well enough to be successful as a third grade student.

What were the scores like on the tests? and what tests were they? I think that your husband and his ex need to make an appointment to see the teacher together. He should tell her of his intention to meet with the teacher, invite her to be there and begin the conversation. If he is interested in helping his daughter he must include his EX as part of the team!!! I can't tell you how important that is. If she doesn't want to participate, that would be her decision and she can't blame your husband for doing it behind her back!

Wildcatmom
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Posted: 1/19/2011 10:16:46 AM
Each state (and possibly district) is different. I only know about Texas.
A child can be held back if they have excessive absences or if they have failed a core subject. In those cases, the parents do not have a choice.

In my own classroom, I have recommended children repeat when they are on the edge of failing and are struggling to keep up with the class. In those cases, the parents have the decision to make.

OP, in your case, I would recommend that your DH (and the ex-I assume she has custody?) meet with the teacher and then go from there. As others have said, it's just going to get harder. If you did retain her, moving to the new district would be helpful socially.


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hop2
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Posted: 1/19/2011 1:48:47 PM
Here in my district the administration is unwilling to hold a student back without parental permission. So the kids who never ever do or hand in assignments get passed from grade to grade because their parents refuse to allow them to be kept back.

You will be promoted even in high school to the next 'grade' however if you have not passed the required credits you will not graduate. No diploma. Nothing. There was one girl taking both senior and freshman english in order to graduate because she had goofed off her freshman year and it took until the end of junior year for her guidance counselor to bring home the message that she will not graduate without that freshman english credit. She seriously had no clue that her parents just could not 'fix' that one for her. talk about denial.

Teachers can recommend the principal can recommend but without that signature from the parents they fear lawsuit too much.

Hoosier2
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Posted: 1/19/2011 2:16:24 PM
are you willing to share what school district? I lived in Indiana my first 37 yrs...just curious.

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Posted: 1/19/2011 4:46:30 PM
I once asked about having dd held back and the school really did not want to do that. I should have insisted as I think it would have helped. She's doing better now but it's still a bit of a struggle.


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AnastasiaBeaverhausn
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Posted: 1/19/2011 4:58:56 PM
In my state, we (the teachers) can recommend repeating a grade but parents can always socially promote over our recommendation. Just another reason "No Child Left Behind" won't work.

JustGottaPea
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Posted: 1/19/2011 5:03:59 PM
I live in Missouri. Here a child is required to be retake 4th grade if they are more than a year behind in reading (i.e., aren't at a 3rd grade reading level by the end of 4th grade). I think it's part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, but I'm not positive. Of course, this doesn't apply to kids with diagnosed reading disabilities that have an IEP accomodation for reading.



mom-2-2beagles
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Posted: 1/19/2011 5:14:45 PM

Our school district makes the recommendation (strongly) but the final decision ultimately lies with the parents.




Amy Alvis
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Posted: 1/19/2011 6:39:54 PM
I teach in Indiana and I can retain a student with the final decision being made by the principal. We have to have lots of supporting evidence for the retention, but we as teachers are the ones to recommend it. I did have a student last year whose parent wanted him retained because of the material he missed while being in Mexico for half the year. He was retained and is doing very well this year.

As an elementary teacher I've never been over ruled about the retention, but as a middle school teacher it happened quite often.



ADD_Housewife
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:06:46 PM
Students cannot be failed in our district. You have to request it as a parent but they will fight it. It's ridiculous.

The teachers are being asked to fix grades so kids pass at the middle school level. The teachers recommend kids be retained. The parents freak and threaten to sue the district. The district comes down on the teachers because even tho little johnny skips class twice a week and only turns in 3 homework assignments a month, it's obviously the teacher's fault. /sarcasm

Last year, my son was at what I refer to as the Stepford School for Academic Overacheivers and Pushy Parents. He made solid Bs in his classes except for math. He ended up with a D. Which meant he couldn't stay at the school. He was working a grade level ahead. So even tho he "passed" the grade, he gets to repeat it this year.

BEST THING EVER for him.

There are crucial skills taught in 3rd and 4th grade that are really building blocks for the rest of math education. If a kid falls behind in third or fourth grade, it is really hard for them to catch up. From what I've observed, without summer school or tutoring, the kids just don't "catch up" when passed along with near failing grades. If they couldn't keep up with the material LAST year what are they suddenly going to get when the pace is faster and the material more difficult?

B is doing great in school this year. He has a phenomenal teacher who is presenting things in such a vastly different way, that B doesn't even seem to notice it's a repeat from last year. and he has a freaking A in math.

His confidence level is up, too. He's an all around happier kid.

I'm ALL for retention if the child needs it. Some kids need an extra year. Heck, dd2 did kindie 1.5 times (I pulled her out the first time because she wasn't ready socially)



foobunnyfoo
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:12:31 PM

I can't speak for all schools, but our district can and does hold kids back for academic reasons and even for attendance.


My district is the same.

Kate-pea
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Posted: 1/19/2011 7:54:36 PM
I would recommend that the child have a complete professional evaluation before retaining her. If she has a specific learning disability, auditory proocessing disorder, ADHD, etc., then that particular issue needs to be addressed - simply repeating the year may not solve her problems.

While some kids do just need a year to grow, I think it's in their best interest to find out what exactly is going on.
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TankTop
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:03:36 PM
State law in your state is about to change.

It will soon be state law that if a student can't pass a reading exam at the end of 3rd grade they will be held back by the state (no parent or school say) for one to two years. Once they pass the test they can go to the next grade.

There are a few exceptions, but not many.



Currently a parent does not have to allow the school to retain a child. The decision is made by the parent.

However, most schools will "assign" the student to the next grade. This is basically a red flag on the students record that lets everyone know the child did not have the basic skills to be "promoted."

I will also tell you, as a long time 4 or 5th grade teacher, that a student entering the upper grades will have a very hard time if they are not up to grade level.

Students need basic math to move onto higher concepts. They need to know how to read. Our standards focus on reading to learn, not learning to read.

If it was my child I would retain if the school felt it was necessary.


"Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome." Hope Floats


TankTop
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:08:12 PM
You mentioned her test scores.

Is she taking NWEA or Acuity?

If it is NWEA would you either post her scores for me, or pmail me. I can give you a general idea of where she is based on those scores.

Also, look on your states website for state standards.

You can find the specific ones for her grade level. This will allow you and your dh to see what skills you feel she is lacking. Compare what she does not know to what she does. Look at the standards for the next year and see if you think she can handle it.


"Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome." Hope Floats


luv2scrapaboutmykids
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:13:43 PM
I don't know about your area but in my city's school district teachers can not hold a child back. The child's parents are the only ones that can. Our son's teacher said that no matter how bad, or behind a child is they must let the kid move on.


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TankTop
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:16:02 PM
I have had 5th graders that I have had to teach the alphabet to, basic addition, and how to write a proper sentence.

I WISH we had the power to hold a student back.



"Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome." Hope Floats


cycworker
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Posted: 1/19/2011 8:54:10 PM
Canadian here so take that fwiw...If your dh isn't custodial parent can he really do much? Here he couldn't - it would be up to the custodial parent.

Here the parent gets the final say in elementary (K-7 in our district).
Grades/percents are province wide, not district to district.

I would focus less on her test scores or her grades and more on her skill set Just because someone is a poor test taker doesn't mean they don't have the skills, and just because someone can fake out a test doesn't mean they really get it - says she who was the queen of focussing on the test and not on actual learning.

If she isn't that far behind there may be better ways to help her get to grade level that don't involve holding her back - tutoring, learning assistance, etc. My instinct is if you can go that route, do so, rather than keeping her back.


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US socialist politician (1884 - 1968)

Human and civil rights should NEVER be subject to the tyranny of the majority. Minorities gain legal equality only when those in power come to understand that their unearned privilege is wrong, and enforce change upon society. - ProfessorZed
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