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K-12 Assistant Principal
MRS. RATLIFF


Mavericks HD:private:var:folders:hq:654drdvj58g56294byzzgbgc2wrmjq:T:TemporaryItems:images.jpgGrade Retention
 
It is getting to that time of the year where various concerns are being expressed in regards to individual student progress towards meeting grade level standards.  With this in mind, this may be a good time to take a closer look at the topic of retention (keeping a student in the current grades as opposed to moving him/her on to the next grade), what research tells us, and what the reality of retention is.   
 
Background Information
The idea behind retention is that students who have not met grade-level criteria will fall further and further behind as they move through the grades. Retention might be recommended for various reasons.  It is sometimes recommended to help students that have missed a lot of school, are behind in meeting grade level expectations, have experienced frequent moves, demonstrate social immaturity or have late birthdays.

What Does Research Say?
Published research on retention is vast. Hundreds of studies have been carried out during the last century, most focused on the elementary grades. As with any large body of research, the studies ask different questions, look at different consequences, and are fraught with methodological problems. It's tricky in most cases to determine whether the students in the study would have fared better if they had been promoted instead of retained. However, some commonalities among the research do occur.
  • Most children do not “catch up” when held back.  Although some retained students do better at first, they often fall behind again in later grades, and are often referred for remedial help or special education during elementary school.
  • Some children suffer no ill effects from retention.  However, by the time they enter middle school; many dislike school, feel worse about themselves and are more likely to drop out then those that were retained.
  • Retention might be less harmful to children that feel good about themselves and have strong support networks.  It may be helpful for those that have experienced a lot of moves.  It is often difficult to predict which children will benefit from retention.
What can parents do to help?
For most students struggling to keep up, retention is not a satisfactory solution, nor is simply promoting them to the next grade. Comparing the two as if these are the only options sheds the debate in the wrong light. The challenge is figuring out what it takes to help failing students catch up. Understanding why a particular student has fallen behind points to the best course of action. Something different has to happen!  A few things that you can do are:

Discuss concerns with your child’s teacher.  Ask a lot of questions regarding what your child is expected to do, what works and what they find difficult.  Are there ways that you can help?  Do they suspect a learning disability or attention related disorder?
 
Help your child with schoolwork at home.  Ask about homework each day and help them find a quiet place to work.  Check and see if you can help explain assignments and make sure they know that you find schoolwork important.
 
Make sure your child is ready for school every day!  Make sure they attend school, eat balanced meals, get appropriate health care and get enough sleep.  Children need to be alert and healthy to succeed in school!
 
The Copenhagen community is a special place with an outstanding support network that provides resiliency to students that are retained. Our attention to detail makes us better prepared to determine which children will benefit from retention then most other places.  However, it is not an exact science and without increased attention to difficulties, further difficulties later in a child’s educational career are bound to exist regardless of the final grade placement determination.  If you have any questions about your child specifically, please discuss your concerns with their classroom teachers or feel free to contact me at 688-4411 or pratliff@ccsknights.org.
 
 


 






 
Contacts
+ Ratliff, Pamela
Click on name to see details.

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