Any of Your Students Have to Be Held Back?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ms. I, May 28, 2011.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    When this happens, do they usually stay in your class for another yr OR do they go to another teacher's class?

    Looking on the other side of it, if I was a parent, I know I wouldn't want this for my child & would do all that's humanly possible for it not to occur (get a tutor, I help him/her myself, find other programs that could help, etc.) Of course, I wouldn't be in the dark until it's too late in the yr, I'd be the type of parent who stays on top of things from day 1.
     
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  3. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I am holding a child back. Mom is clueless but is trying to fight it. Little does she know that if I can show support in the fact that he needs to be held back, it's MY decision.
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I have a parent who wants her child held back but he was already retained in first grade.
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I personally find it pretty scary that a parent wouldn't mind if her child was held back TWICE! It mks me wonder if she's doing her job as a parent w/ helping him. And this is still elem. What happens when the material gets too hard for her to possibly help him w/ in HS?
     
  6. janney

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    I'm not retaining any students this year, but when we do we don't put the child with the same teacher. I feel it can be difficult to know whether a child would truly benefit from a second year of kindergarten or if they will be able to make enough gains in first.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    She doesn't help him at home. She told me she doesn't have time. She has to work two jobs so she probably really does not have the time to help out.
     
  8. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Isn't it illegal to hold a student back twice...? Maybe it's just a district policy at my school but I have one student who has been gone pretty much all of 3rd quarter because of medical reasons however, his parents did NOTHING during that time to make sure he was caught up. He was already held back once and my principal told the parents that he couldn't be held back a 2nd time.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    He will not be held back regardless of mom's wishes.
     
  10. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I am not retaining any students. But why would it not be a good idea for a child who is being retained have the same teacher?
     
  11. ally06

    ally06 Companion

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    I think it depends on the needs of the child. Some children may respond better to a different teacher and a different teaching style and would be better off changing or if they are just in need of 'time' and maturity they are probably fine with the same teacher. I have had 2 children repeat, one stayed with me for a second year and the other child went to a different class. I reccommended this to suit the particular needs of those children.
    The parents have the final say here as to whether their child will repeat and we often ask them if they would like their child to stay with the same teacher.
    I don't think of repeating to be a bad thing, if it is done at the right time for the right reasons it can be a huge benefit to a child and give them greater success throughout the rest of their schooling and life.
     
  12. ally06

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    We are only allowed to hold children back once. However, I know it has been done twice in a couple of very special circumstances.
     
  13. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    This year I'd like to hold back one or two. In both cases, the parents are supportive.

    Both students were still 4 years old when they started kindergarten. They weren't ready then, and they weren't ready for first grade when they were 5.

    I would never hold back a student if the parent was not on board 100%. Also, I would never hold back a student if it meant they would turn 18 before the first day of their senior year of high school.

    The problem with holding back a student is that there is no mechanism to move them back up to an age appropriate class. There is also usually next to zero motivation on the part most school systems to move them as well.

    Personally, I think that every state should have a law that says no student shall attend the 8th grade if they are older than 14 years of age or that no student shall force to begin the 9th grade after their 15th birthday. That means that if a student is held back and has not caught up to his or her peers by the end of 7th grade, they get to skip 8th grade and go to the high school.
     
  14. waterfall

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    In general, putting a child back in the exact same environment to do the exact same things again isn't going to get them anywhere. The instruction needs to change. Personally, most of the time I'm not for retention. If the child is behind they need interventions, not another year of the exact same instruction/lessons that didn't work for them last time. I'm not saying it's the teacher's fault that the child didn't progress, that child just needs intensive interventions that the classroom teacher can't provide.

    I will support retention in the very young grades. I am getting two new kinders next year who are turning 5 in September just before the cut off date. They have pretty serious special needs and just barely missed the mark to qualify for our severe needs/cog needs program. I think another year of preschool would be great for them- especially given that they're really young already. However, the district would have to pay for that so they're not doing it. These students will most likely have to go to an extra four years of high school (since special ed. students can attend until age 21) because our district is saying it's not fair to keep them in another year of preschool when they're so young already. It's very frustrating. I went to kindergarten when I was turning 6 that fall and I did just fine.

    In my state we legally have to retain students that miss a certain amount of days. I think that's a good practice, because if parents aren't brining them to school, that's generally the one thing that will scare them into doing so.
     
  15. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    There seriuosly need to be an intervention plan set in place for older students in middle school and above who are at risk of failing.

    I'm torn about retention because by 8th grade some students have figured out the rules and I've had some real behavior problems because students knew that no matter what, they couldn't be retained. I believe that if a student doesn't do any work or can't catch up, there needs to be a system in place.

    I had a student retained once and she stayed in my room for another year. She was retained because of her math scores and the next year she did a little bit better but not enough.

    We do have a law that a student can't be in 8th grade if he/she is 15 and older so she eventually was sent to high school regardless if she was ready academically or not.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I have a problem with that.

    My 12 year old son has had a miserable year. For some reason, every stomach bug on Long Island has found him. He has missed TWELVE days of school, including 3 last week. (He was sent home from school on Wednesday after throwing up in the nurse's office-- that's the second time it's happened to him this year.) This, from the kid who received the perfect attendance award a few times in elementary school. ( I hate that award, but if my kids are well, I send them in. He had a couple of years where he was well a lot.)

    I don't need to be scared into sending my kids to school. And, as the one who cleans the bathrooms and does the laundry, let me assure you: he was sick.

    And, yes, of course I know he has to make up the work he's missed.
    And that he would learn more if he had been in class.

    And if only he could have been able to stay out of the bathroom for long enough to get through the school day, he would have been there.

    Sorry, I think automatic retention is ridiculous.

    As to my own students, I have 4 or 5 who may need a minor miracle on the Final Exam to avoid summer school.
     
  17. SunnyGal

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    We do if their absences are unexcused. When kids go over on their limit, they meet with an appellate committee at the end of the year about their absences. If it's a case of truancy, then yes, the kid will be held back. If he/she has been out a lot due to illness or something, then they're generally moved up.


    I have no failures in my English classes, which is rare. I usually have 1 or 2 who end up in summer school. I also teach a Freshmen 101 class that is an easy, easy class and I have 3 kids who failed it just because they refused to do any work. I have offered extra help, begged, pleaded, bribed and anything else I could think of to get those kids to do SOMETHING in class, but nothing worked, so they have an F in what is probably the easiest class they'll ever take in high school.
     
  18. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I agree... one of my brightest students has family in India, and so he took a whole month to go visit them. In June, he will be going off to Toronto. Add those two long trips to his sick days, and some regulation would have this grade two student who is working at a grade three/four level repeating grade TWO?

     
  19. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Excellent, post.

    I'm happy you pointed out that sometimes the child just needs something different regardless of how hard the first teacher tried.
     
  20. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We do not have retention, nor are we allowed to retain a student in our district. It's hard because students figure this out. They may go to summer school in middle school (beginning 7th grade), but only if they fail the majority of the grading periods (over 50%) in two or more classes. So students rarely need this because they can pull an A or B first grading period and then go downhill the rest of the year.

    Our students have a wide eye-opener in high school when if you don't pass, you don't get credit. Some of them are so shocked that there are actually consequences.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Monsieur teacher...the kid who went away for a month...did he stay on the attendance rolls? We dis-enroll students who go on vacation for 10 or more consecutive schooldays...we don't leave kids back for vacations, but the extended absences affects school ratings.
     
  22. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We keep kids who go on a long vacation on our attendance, they are just marked absent each day.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm high school but if a student fails a course they can: take it next year, take it at summer school if it's offered, take it at night school (I really wish they'd get rid of this option for various reasons) or take it by correspondence.
     
  24. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Thank goodness, no. All my students have made amazing progress and are ready for second grade.
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I taught in a HS once that did the same thing.
     
  26. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    I don't have any this year, but last year I so wanted to hold 1 back.

    I agree....retained kids need a different teacher for the sake of having a fresh start with a different person who's willing to give them a new chance--providing that the teacher doesn't listen or talk to the previous teacher. It's defeating for a kid who's with a different teacher and then have both teachers know EVERYTHING about the why's and how comes. If you need to know something, get the basics--other wise, get to know the kid like you do with all the others.

    I'm a little uber sensitive to this one, can you tell? It happened this year with a student I know, and even though they passed, they had it rough because the teachers talked and the kid's fresh start got taken from him right off the bat.
     
  27. JustMe

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    We can't retain students...unwritten policy. As I've said before, I've had students fail my class and other classes with year-end averages in the teens.
     
  28. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    OK. Here I go.

    I think that the decision to retain a student is one that should be made by the TEACHER and the PARENTS of that child. And if you ask me, the child should have some say as well.

    Retention is a serious thing. You are basically taking a year from out of a person's life. Sure, we think it's OK that little Johnny doesn't start fourth grade until he's almost 11, but that also means he doesn't have a chance to finish high school until he's 19 or 20.

    Policies that require or prohibit retention are as idiotic as saying that if your cholesterol is over a certain point, you must have coronary bypass surgery whether you need it or not and that if it's not above a certain point, you can't have it at all regardless of your chest pains, shortness of breath.

    Once again, we have an example of one of the biggest problems in education - that you have politicians making decisions that should be made by educators. "No more social promotion!" sounds real good in a newspaper editorial when people are debating educational budgets. Wouldn't it be great if all of your third graders read at third grade level even if some of them were 11 years old. Just think of the money we'd save by not needing to have special ed! Never mind that those 11 year olds will never have the chance to earn a traditional high school diploma unless they can do it in 2 years.

    The sole purpose of retention should be as intervention for students who stand little chance of being successful in the next grade level due to a deficit in academic skills but who cannot, for whatever reason, qualify for an IEP. Age, size, maturity, and family support should all be considered. NEVER, under any circumstances, should a child be retained as a punitive measure when they have the skills to make it in the next grade level. Also, it is unconscionable to put anyone in a position where they are basically doomed to drop out of high school because they will turn 18 long before they have a chance to finish.
     
  29. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Czacza, no he stayed on the rolls. I've never heard of anything like that in Canada. Attendance is not used as a measure of rating schools here, at least to the best of my knowledge.
     
  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    In my school district, we do need to un-enroll students after an absence of a certain length (I think it's 14 days, but I'm not sure), and then re-enroll them on their return. This has no impact on any ratings, although schools aren't rated or ranked here like they are in many places south of the border.
     
  31. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Our limit is 39 days. It's not just kids that happen to get sick a lot- it's kids whose parents just won't bring them to school. If someone has a serious medical emergency where they actually can't come to school for that ammount of time, than we set them up with a home tutor and those days don't count.

    We have two first graders being retained under this policy this year. One has missed 76 days and been tardy 20 times. When she's tardy, she comes in at about noon. She says her mom is "so nice" and lets her stay home. The other student has missed over 80 days. I'm sorry, but if you miss that much school, you didn't really go to 1st grade. We also do have free bussing, so no excuses on transportation from the part of the parents.
     
  32. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Thank you!
     
  33. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Wow, I apologize. I totally misunderstood the numbers you were talking about.

    None of my kids, none of my siblings have ever missed anywhere near Brian's 12 days. And it probably maxes out any of my students as well. (Then again, they're paying almost $8000 a year to attend the school, so if attendance weren't a high priority, they would be absent from public school for free.)

    Yeah, 80 out of 180, minus any sort of incredible illness, is a horse of a different color.
     
  34. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Last year I retained 2 and kept them both in my class. I also wound up with the 3rd retainee from the grade level. They all did very well. We changed reading series so it's not like they knew the material. This year I have 3 that I am retaining. I know,I know that is a big number. The principal and I had several long conversations about each student. One of them I was willing to place in the next grade level. He had been in my room at the beginning of the year but them moved. He then came back with 6 weeks left. Mom wanted him retained. The one girl that I am retaining, has a 50/50 chance at qualifying for spec ed for next year. I just couldn't bring myself to sending her on because of the what if's she doesn't qualify? She would flounder in 2nd grade and be that much more behind. The third child, well he should have never been sent to first grade. He is just now getting all the letters and sounds down. Will I keep any of them? I am leaning toward keeping the girl.
     
  35. TeacherApr

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    There are parents who are responsible. They call the office in advance or the day of when their student is sick. They ask for homework to make up or try to work with the teacher to see if their student can make up any tests. I think we can all agree that this is the right thing to do and if the student was gone for 30 days because of a health concern and did all these things then there wouldn't be a problem.

    Instead, I believe some of us are talking about the parents who don't call AT ALL. Who NEVER ask for work so their student can catch up and not ONE word to the teacher as to why they were gone and how we can all help to make sure their student succeeds. THOSE are the kids that need to possibly be retained. Missing all those days and never asking for homework means they now have a severe gap in their learning! How can they expect to be successful through the rest of the year when they more than likely missed multiple chapters in math and very important reading and writing skills.

    OR how about the student who sits at their desk and does nothing but whine and complain because they don't want to copy the word "frog" off the board as well as disrespect me, the teacher, by saying stuff under his breath when I tell him the directions that need to be followed. The student who is allowed to use a calculator at home to do math (8 yrs old) when they can't even add 3+2 and DON'T practice at home OR do homework.

    I have both of these students. The first scenerio, the student was already held back once. I even straight out said to the parents "you never asked for homework and when I found out through the grapevine about his health issue, I received no feedback as to how to help him in class and what to expect and what red flags I should be looking for so it doesn't happen again" Did I receive an explanation or apology? NO

    With the second scenario, sorry but this kid learned NOTHING in my grade and needs to be held back because he will not see success in the next grade. He needs to understand there are serious consequences for that type of behavior.
     
  36. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Right now I have 21 freshman failing for the year. Maybe 5 of them could squeak by if they ace the final. That's out of about 80-85 students. It's a little different in that situation, though - they won't necessarily be retained gradewise - it depends on how many other classes they bombed this year. 2 of them have failed 9th grade English for the second time - they should be labeled as juniors next year. And trust me, I have done everything short of wipe these kids tushies and I have documented everything - this year's class is just notorious for not doing their work. And they can take summer school if they have a 55% but most of them won't, so then they get put back in 9th grade English and also in 10th grade English, which I think is ridiculous. And there are only 2 of us that teach 9th grade so I will likely have many of them again.

    I also have 8 seniors who are in the same boat. Maybe 2 of them can pull it out by the end of the year. I already had 2 more drop out. They, of course, will be retained, although I think they can come back for part day next year just to finish the classes they need.
     
  37. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I don't get the No Attendance/No Credit policies.

    If a student can show that they know the course material and have mastered the curriculum, why should they be held back automatically? If not, they would fail gradewise, anyway.
     
  38. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I think in elementary it's very different than in secondary. Students with excessive absences will miss many very important concepts and the opportunities to practice skills that don't necessarily show up on a test. And some grades, especially primary, don't necessarily give grades in the traditional sense. But I agree with what you're saying about the ones being absent often being in trouble grade-wise as well.
     
  39. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    If those two students went to second grade next year, how would they do academically? Do they have the math and reading skills to handle what is normally taught in second grade at your school?

    And if they do have the skills, then how does it help them to hold them back?
     
  40. princessbloom

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    I had 2 that didn't pass the state test (we had 13 in my entire grade level!) but one of mine was ESOL and the other ESE. The ESOL student was already retained last year so she has a good cause exemption and will go on to 4th grade.
     
  41. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Considering they literally missed half of the year, they wouldn't do well. Both of their teachers tried to refer them to special education since they've shown no growth, but frequent absences is a disqualifier since we can't prove they've gotten appropriate instruction in the first place. I think a kid would have to be gifted to just be able to pick up all those skills that they were never taught. Like someone else mentioned, it's different in elementary. It's not like the kid can go home and study or teach themselves, or read the chapter once and understand the material. They need to be explicitly taught this stuff and they have no background for it, especially since Kindergarten isn't a requirement in my state. Our P met with both sets of parents numerous times to explain to them that they would be held back if they didn't start coming. Both parents said "oh I would never do that to my child" assuming that it was their decision even though the P explained it wasn't. Now the parents know we're serious...I'd bet anything the kids actually show up next year. They had a similar situation with a 1st grader who had to be retained last year because she never came. Same story- parents wouldn't believe it, didn't care, etc. Once the student was actually retained, she's missed less than 10 days this year.
     

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