Having my daughter repeat Kindergarten..repeat with the same teacher or not?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Triplethreatlem, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Triplethreatlem

    Triplethreatlem New Member

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    Hi! I am a parent but am posting in hopes that there are teachers that may be able to shed some light on this.

    My daughter just turned 6 last month. She was in Kindergarten last year at our local (A rated) public school. She struggled all year acedemically but mostly socially due to immaturity. She is having trouble with peer relations, and is maturing but on a very slow pace compared to the others. She did not complete all of her I-Readys, I had to pretty much do some of her homework and the work load was way too much for her to handle (and me!) She is getting better, but is nowhere near her peers this past year. She strives off of confidence, which is the one area she is lacking. I feel that she does not have a solid foundation, but she is so capable, it just takes her longer.

    I struggled this past year having ADHD myself. I am pretty disorginized and have trouble with all of the papers that get sent home/remembering her important dates/permission forms, etc
    ! Kindergarten has really gotten more intense than I remember it being! And we also have a new baby on the way (her first sibling) due in December. My daughter thrives on structure and orginization.


    She has an IEP and gets small group testing through that. They do not give her grades because of the IEP. We have decided to have her repeat the Kindergarten year (we kindof anticipated that she may need to from the start).

    Her teacher has been wonderful. She is older, and has been doing it for as long as anyone can remember, very well known and loved at the school. She is on team repeat and has encouraged it and ultimately helped us with the decision.
    However, the IEP team is against repeating. Their reasoning is that it will not help anything and that she may be bored. So it's really hard. But as a parent and knowing my daughter I do think that giving her an extra year to grow would be best for her specifically.

    The teacher she had this past year was absolutely wonderful, as most of the parents call her, the "best of the best". My daughter is begging to have her again this upcoming year. However, the IEP team (I have also been doing research) suggests repeating with a diffrent teacher to give her a new environment.

    There are 2 other kindergarten teachers. One (who is young and so sweet) is going on maternity leave in January, so we really don't want that. The other teacher has been there for a little longer, is very sweet but kind of all over the place/ disorginized and kindof hard to understand (pretty much me if I were a teacher, though I probably would not be able to keep it together at all lol). She is not as experienced as the one my daughter had this past year, but she is still good. It would def. be a change from what she is used to though...

    I hope it's not too late (I still havent written the principal about repeating because of going back and forth with the teacher decision) but we usually can request who we want to have.

    So my question is...should we repeat with the same teacher, although research and the IEP team suggest a change in class/teacher? Or should we change teachers to a teacher who is sweet but not 'as' experienced or orginized as the other one? I don't want her to be bored, and the teacher that she had this past year was very animated and artsy. However I dont want her to be in a complete shock when she goes to first grade because she was not exposed to a new teaching style.
    I know I may get some negative feedback, but if anyone has any thoughts or experience with the subject I would greatly appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jul 5, 2018

    Normally I'd say not to have the same teacher twice but I agree that it's a tough call in your daughter's case.

    Does her IEP team disagree with repeating kindergarten in general or only repeating with the same teacher?
     
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  4. Triplethreatlem

    Triplethreatlem New Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply!!
    They disagree with repeating Kindergarten in general.
    They are very much against the idea, with any teacher. They fear that she will be bored and that repeating won't solve any of her problems. I'm having to try and outweigh the pros and cons of both scenarios...
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    It sounds like she isn't ready to move to 1st grade, either emotionally or academically. I agree with you that repeating might be the best thing for her. Since she needs her confidence built up, repeating with a teacher she is comfortable with and who knows your child's strengths and weaknesses seems to be the best option. As far as being bored, I'm confident that the teacher you describe can challenge your daughter as the need arises.
    So, based upon my decades of teaching children with special needs, I am going to disagree with your IEP committee.
     
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  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I've been a special education teacher, so I can understand where they are coming from with suggesting that she doesn't repeat a grade. However, in my experience, that sentiment is usually reserved for students in first grade and up. If you are ever going to have a child repeat a grade level, kindergarten is the grade to do it! This is true regardless of a an IEP. If you had said that your daughter was in third grade, for example, I'd side with the IEP team... but not with her only being in kindergarten. I think that you should have your daughter repeat kindergarten, and, based on all that you've shared, I think having the same teacher would be ideal. In my mind, it would be similar to a looping situation, where students have the same teacher for two years in a row. There are so many pros to that, such as the teacher being able to start off the school year already knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a child and the child already knowing what to expect in terms of classroom environment. If you like the teacher and she is supportive of having your daughter back again for another year, it absolutely seems like the way to go. After this one year of repeat, though, I would not ever recommend that you hold your daughter back again. If you are ever going to repeat, this seems like the ideal situation from where I'm sitting.
     
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  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2018

    I would repeat with the same teacher.
     
  8. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

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    My parents held me back in 2nd grade, because of my maturity level. Speaking from experience, having a different teacher my 2nd year was probably the best thing my parents did. I felt that I was getting a fresh start with a new teacher, so it almost didn't even feel like I was being held back.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Research really doesn't support retention, especially for students with disabilities, and has actually shown more negative effects than positive. This is why your IEP team is recommending against it. I am a special ed teacher and there have been a few cases where I've really wanted the child to be retained for specific reasons, such as one of my students who made the Kinder age cut off by 1 day this past year. However, due to the research my school only allows it if parents absolutely insist.

    I think it is important that you understand repeating the grade will not "fix" your child's disability. Presumably, she should gain more skills this school year, but she won't have two years to do every grade level. I have had parents over the years who have insisted their child be retained and they always get very upset when a couple of years down the road (or even the very next school year after retention) the child is back at the bottom of the class/still struggling.

    Your daughter seems like she's okay with being retained for now, which is good, but you do have to consider how that might impact her emotionally as she gets older. Will she be okay with being the oldest in the class/with people likely figuring out that she's been retained? In high school, will she be motivated to finish even though she'll turn 18 and will be able to drop out before her senior year? Depending on the severity of her disability, she could also be eligible for transition services up until age 21, and retaining now would cut off a year of those services.

    Even if you decide to go with the retention, you need to figure out what's going to be different for your child to make her more successful the 2nd time around. This is one of the reasons why retention doesn't tend to work- just doing the same thing twice doesn't usually solve anyone's problem. Does she need more or different IEP services? What will you do differently at home to reinforce the skills she's learning at school? If she also has ADHD, are you willing to try medication?
     
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  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jul 5, 2018

    I'm not a big fan of retention, but you know your kiddo best. Honestly though... it doesn't sound like things will be any better the second time around. You're talking about a new baby coming. Things aren't going to get more structured, organized, and routine-oriented when the new sibling arrives. My thought with retention is that you should have in mind a specific reason to believe the second time around will be different.

    If you do choose to retain, I'd really argue against having the same teacher. Even if the teacher and your daughter have a good relationship, there needs to be a sense of something new and different.
     
  11. Been There

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    Jul 5, 2018

    Ditto.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I’d request the same teacher. Two of the few students I’ve retained repeated with me, and it worked out very well. Those two did well in the remaining years. One recently found me on Facebook and wanted me to know about her college graduation.

    If retention is going to happen, kinder and first are the best options. Some kids just need an extra year to mature.
     
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  13. Aces

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    As you can see you're not the only one that's divided on the subject. Even in a community of educators there's a division. Ultimately it comes down to do you think the extra year will benefit her more than hurt her. And with that, what's going to change both at home and at school to make the extra year worth repeating? If you do repeat I'd go with a different teacher.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I guess I would like to know more about what her disability is... In my state, we have a lot of kindergarteners who qualify for an IEP with the broad identification of “Young Child with a Developmental Delay.” They are identified with that disability in pre-K, but they can’t keep that identification past the age of 6 or 7. So, by the time they are in first grade, many no longer have the IEP or special education services because they don’t qualify for any “school-age” identification category. In these cases, students really do “outgrow” their disability. Some many qualify for another category later on in their school career, but many don’t.

    If this is the situation that your daughter is in - she is developing slower than her peers and just needs more time - then I stand by the advice that I gave earlier in this thread. If your daughter has a disability that is more specifically-identified, one that she won’t likely outgrow (like autism, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, etc.), then I’d change my advice to reflect what Waterfall said. When I gave the advice above, I was working under the assumption that your daughter needed more time for gaining maturity and development. I was assuming that she qualified for her IEP under a category similar to the one I described in the previous paragraph. If that’s not the case, and her disability is unlikely to change, then I’d agree that you might as well just move her on up to first grade now.

    Again, though, if you are ever going to hold a child back, you do it in kindergarten. Don’t move her to first grade now and then decide to hold her back next year. That’s never good for a child’s well-being. In my area, kindergarteners are held back relatively often. Their age later in life really isn’t an issue, and, in most cases, being older than the majority of peers is seen as the preferable option over being one of the youngest. Since your daughter is one of the youngest in her class, having just turned 6, I don’t see her age as an issue here. Holding her back will just mean that she’s now one of the oldest in her grade.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    My experience is that almost every pre-K/K student with an IEP is labeled "Developmental Delay," but it's extremely rare for the child to just "grow out of it." Our preschool prefers to use the DD identification for students that young so that they can get a more accurate label after spending a few years in elementary (we have to change it when the child turns 8). Even in the most severe cases, they refuse to label kids that young with emotional disabilities, and because the academic expectations aren't very high there isn't enough of a "gap" to label the student with a learning disability yet. The only cases where I've seen a student with academic difficulties labeled something different than DD is when there is already a medical issue present (Autism, Downs, severe/profound cognitive disability, etc.)

    In a few cases, the child really just has a speech/language disability, which I've seen a lot of kids "grow out of." However, IME if something like speech/language is the main/only issue, that's evident by the end of K. Since the skills in K are mostly rote, even my students that do end up having learning disabilities tend to do well with intervention in K. It's common for most of my identified students to appear to be "on grade level" at the end of K, and then fall drastically behind when the expectation at the end of K is just to be reading CVC words while the expectation in mid-1st is to be fluently reading non-decodable text. I'm at a very low SES school where kids come in drastically unprepared, and we had 4 kids out of 90 in the grade level that didn't meet end of year K benchmarks this year. 2 of those missed it by 5 points or less. I have to assume that a child who is already receiving IEP services and is struggling so much that retention is suggested and homework is already a huge challenge doesn't just have a delay that they're going to grow out of with maturity.
     
  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I guess it just varies by state. That’s how it was when I worked in another state. But here in this state, students can’t keep the developmental delay eligibility past kindergarten, so we have a lot of kids dismissed from sped in kindergarten. Some go back to sped with a different identification when they are older, but many don’t. And for those kids who don’t, that extra year of kindergarten can be helpful. It certainly doesn’t resolve all of their issues, but it helps with some of the social maturity and independence aspects of being in school.

    I’m concluding that it’s really hard to offer this type of advice without knowing the child and the school.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This is an interesting thread.

    Here in my district (and I’d surmise many districts throughout CA), a student on an IEP for SLD (Specific Learning Disability) would not repeat kindergarten as they’d either be in RSP (Resource Specialist Program) or SDC (Special Day Class).

    However, if the child was on an IEP for Autism, Speech-Language Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, ADHD, or another disability, they’d be eligible to repeat their respective grade.

    If the IEP team felt that retention was necessary, the stakeholders should’ve decided on next year’s teacher at that point.
     
  18. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Do you have kindergarten students who are identified as SLD? We almost never see that until a student is in at least second grade and, often times, not until they are even older than that. The discrepancy model is still very common around here, so we don't usually see that discrepancy until students are older.

    Also, just curious, why does the eligibility category determine whether or not they can repeat a grade? I'm not making the connection...
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    For what it's worth, I sometimes think that we are too quick to make decisions about or for a child simply because they have an IEP and have been identified with a disability. And, I've been as guilty as anyone about thinking this way. We often get very used to just saying "This is what we do for kids with IEPs, so we're gonna do it for this kid, too," without really thinking about the needs of the individual student. At least, this is how it's been in my experience at most of the schools where I've worked. It's almost as if, when the student finally qualifies for an IEP after a lot of struggling and attempts at problem-solving, we stop brainstorming about the individual and start lumping the student in with all other students who have a particular special education identification. Then we just offer the same or similar services and accommodations that we offer to everyone else with that same identification and say "Problem solved." And, on the flip side, we often refuse to offer similar services or accommodations to another student who may need them but doesn't qualify for special education eligibility.

    I think that it's imperative to think about a child as a general ed student first and then decide what extra supports or changes to programming need to be put into place - which is the whole point of an IEP anyway, right? The reason we've gone so systematic about sped programming really comes down to the fact that no public school in the country has the funding to truly support the individual needs of every student on an IEP. So we have to put policies in place that ultimately lump students together and send them on a path that may or may not be best for them. But, the original intent of an IEP was to think about and plan for a specific students' needs rather than making blanket statements about our policies for students receiving special education services.

    Just a thought I was having and have had many times before... It seemed somewhat relevant to this conversation.
     
  20. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I find agreement with the pros and cons above. Based just on your post, I'd lean towards repeating with the same teacher, based primarily on you, being the parent, know your daughter the best. At the same time, as a parent, I'd recommend continued comparison of all data presented from all sources at the school; sometimes observations from school bring insight that isn't normally discovered in a home situation.

    I'd recommend caution in assuming "delayed" development. Age characteristics are generalizations not specific time periods. No two brains are alike. With that in mind, I'd also caution in assuming that your daughter is less capable than other students and I'd caution against predicting how she will succeed in the future. Often this develops into a fixated program hindering the student from advancing in her own manner. Research indicates that retention is not a preferable choice, but in my opinion, when to start Kindergarten is a choice. Some students just aren't ready--again, this does not indicate lack of intelligence or ability.

    You are correct that today's K differs from earlier K. It's like the new first grade. My biggest concern about moving on to grade 1 is, if the school utilizes homogenous grouping (grouping according to current level of ability), will she become trapped in that "lower" group the rest of her time at the school or is there flexibility in the grouping to where she could advance? My biggest concern about retention is how will other parents and their children eventually begin to perceive your daughter. This can emotionally wear on a child and discourage achievement. But at this young age, I'm unsure that will matter. I'm unsure if there are any statistical research on this, but from experience, I've seen both paths occurring. A student might succumb to social pressure and struggle or a student might develop socially stable so that the subject never becomes an issue.

    With all that in mind, the most important assistance in all will come from home. You are your child's most important resource and asset. From my years of observation and from research, parents do more for a child than any school setting or any teacher, and it seems your child is very fortunate to have you for a parent.
    Here are some tips that might help.

    1. Don't assume your child will not advance academically. (At the same time, accept your child's accomplishments). Your child is uniquely who she is. I'm trying to think how to word my thoughts. Sometimes parents (and even teachers) feel overly stressed about differences in academic advancement. Fast forward to the future, however, and these differences are often less meaningful once a person is an adult--unless as a student that child becomes discouraged and gives up. Googling finds adults with various differences who are quite successful. Charles Schwab and Dean Kamen (inventor of Segway) are dyslexic. Other dyslexics are Henry Winkler (Fonzie), Whoopi Goldberg, Anderson Cooper, and George Burns. President Woodrow Wilson didn't learn to read until he was 12. Patricia Polacco, children’s author and illustrator, has dyslexia, dysnumeria and dysgraphia.
    Paul Fisher, CEO of Buyometric and expert computer programmer, has dyscalculia; (interestingly, many mathematicians have differences in arithmetic abilities).

    2. I highly, highly, highly recommend parents reading aloud to their children. The children do not necessarily need to follow along, just listen, and if it's a picture book, take time to explore the pictures. Reading aloud advanced stories is also recommended, such as a book of fairy tales.

    3. Libraries are a parent's best resource. I recommend allowing your child to choose her own books with perhaps 1 or 2 also recommended by you or the librarian. If a chosen book is too hard, that's a good book for a read aloud. If a book is boring, I wouldn't force it on your child. I'm taking a book back today that I thought looked so intriguing--I suffered through 83 pages and finally gave up!

    4. Spending time outdoors in creative play enhances reading and math abilities by strengthening those sections of the brain. Not that the child is reading or doing arithmetic while outside, but the open spaces of outside plus the type of play it induces (swinging on a swing, somersaults, silly games, make believe) are a type of calisthenics for the brain.

    5. Limit TV and especially video games. Too much TV is a brain drain.

    6. Allow (with appropriate safety precautions, of course) creative exploration. Toys that allow for exploration, playing with scissors and paper, coloring, drawing, science experiments (even experiments to answer a child's questions of what would happen if....) all increase brain development.

    7. I highly recommend Signing Time with Leah and Alex, probably available at the library on DVD. Learning some (or all) of a 2nd language is beneficial.

    8. Music is also highly recommend. I might especially recommend a musical diet beyond contemporary rock music, not that that's bad, but there's something to be said about the structure of classical music, the surprises in jazz music (especially from the Swing era), and the cheerful fun in older rock-and-roll. I'd especially recommend adding classical music to the diet. Children might especially enjoy the sense of humor in some of the King's Singers music on You Tube. The Lawrence Welk Show, on You Tube and DVD, presents a variety of music and is especially appropriate for children in that the singers are often in creative sets and costumes; each program also usually has humorous songs included. In fact, You Tube is an excellent resource for music exploration (with adult guidance).
     
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  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It’s rare for a kindergartener to be identified as having a SLD, but I’ve definitely seen it.

    As far as the eligibility category, we’ve been given the directive (from the district office) that no student on an IEP for SLD will ever be retained because they are receiving “just right” instruction via the RSP or SDC program.
     

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