holding students back

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jteach89, May 9, 2017.

  1. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    May 9, 2017

    Hey fellow teachers I have a question. When you hold students back what is your evidence and reasons? I have a handful of students who I did inform families that they may be getting held back. They are not severely low however I am concerned about their reading. We do have a policy in my school as to what reading level they should be at the beginning, middle and end of the year. For the most part they are average/approaching standards students but 2nd grade can be a shift from 1st. Especially with their reading levels. If you can read but can't comprehend you will have trouble in math and all other subjects. I have seen a lot of growth in these students and I really think they may be ok if I send them on. I do have at least two from that group who I feel would benefit one more year in first grade. What is your advice? And how have parents felt about it? Thanks
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    May 9, 2017

    I have mixed feelings and zero personal experience on holding kids back.

    I have met a few kids who were retained... and they were successful after repeating a year. Until this year, I used them as my anecdotes.

    This year, my lowest student is a girl who was retained in kindergarten (now in 2nd). She desperately needs to be tested, but as her parents won't allow it yet all we can do is just aim at one day convincing her parents.

    That said, I read a study once that showed there is very little difference in high school between those kids who are retained and those strugglers who advance with their class.

    The current philosophy that I agree with is to not repeat (or just repeat) but change the way things are taught.
     
  4. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    May 9, 2017

    ,
     
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  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    May 9, 2017

    I'm not a huge fan of retention; however, I believe that it really only works in grades K-2. We have 650 students at my site and we are retaining 3 of them (they all happen to be kindergarteners).

    If the student is not making growth the following year, we test them for SpEd.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here, retention is almost unheard of. In the past 16 years, there has been 1 student retained at a school I have worked at (for 13 of those years, I've been at schools with enrollment of over 600 students). The one student who was retained was a little fellow with some learning challenges who repeated kindergarten. A major part of the school decision, however, was not primarily based on academic or social skills, but on the fact that his mom was very over-protective and had kept him at home frequently. We decided that another year to develop "school skills" and to work with mom on the importance of regular attendance was the way to go. There were probably 5 or 6 meetings prior to the decision being made.
     
  7. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    May 9, 2017

    I have no problem with retention in grade K-2. One of the biggest reasons I've had to retain was because of attendance. A student who is not at school won't learn the material. I have a student this year who will be held back for that reason. She struggles with many of the standards, but we can't have her tested for SPED services because her attendance record is so bad. She is checked out early 3 days a week missing math. She receives RTI on paper, but never goes for intervention because her parents drop her off late to school. By the time she comes in intervention is over. She averages 2 day absent per week. The data team decided that she should be held back and the parents are working with the counselor to make sure gets to school on time and stays for the full day.
     
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  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Retention is also pretty much unheard of in my area. I agree with PPs that you have to make sure something is different the second time around. I've always heard that research doesn't really support retention at all and that kids will "look better" the year they're repeating the grade level, but eventually will drop back down to the bottom of their class, and then may also have social/emotional issues due to being retained. My school will allow it only if parents absolutely insist. There was one case last year in my friend's class that really did make sense to me...the child had entered K as a four year old with a September birthday. The parents had gone back and forth about doing another year of preschool vs. enrolling in K right away at age four and determined that they'd start him in K, but retain if he didn't end the year on grade level. He was really far behind at the end of K and parents decided to retain. That made sense to me becuase the kid wouldn't really be any older than his classmates, and the kid absolutely did not care or feel bad about being in K again. His second K year, he looked great and ended the year even slightly above grade level, so it looked like it "worked." The student is in 1st this year and he's already back to the bottom of his class and being really far behind. The thing is, you can't give a kid two years for every grade level. IMO the only way retention should really be considered is if there is some factor that's going to be drastically different the following year. For example, the child is really sick (happened to a coworker's kid) and misses much of the year. Since the attendance issues were caused by something specific, you know it's not just going to keep happening if you retain. The other thing I can think of off the top of my head is if a kid has severe ADHD and parents finally agree to medicate (I know there are different opinions on this, but I have seen absolutely life changing positive impacts for many kids with ADHD meds). The difference the 2nd year is that the kid is actually going to be able to access the instruction the 2nd time around.
     
  9. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 9, 2017

    In my former school, administration decided who would be retained and they also contacted the parents.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    May 12, 2017

    It's not something that I have personal experience with as a teacher, but in the past, I have had students who have been emotionally and academically immature. Often these kids are actually younger than their classmates (they might have a summer birthday that makes them one of the younger kids in the class, for instance). In those cases, it has seemed to me that the child could repeat the grade and benefit greatly, because they seemed to have some developmental differences due to being younger than their classmates. Often, the kids who struggle are the younger ones in a group.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 12, 2017

    Reading IS comprehension. At any level. That said, wondering why you have a 'handful' of such readers? What help gave you sought for these kiddos this year? Were they able to receive any intervention resources? Do you suspect these are just developmental issues or a learning issue? In any case, these kiddos wouldn't be left back in my school.
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 13, 2017

    If they are average/approaching standards, they would not be held back in my school. Retention is very rare here, and if it does happen, it is in kindergarten.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    She's talking about word callers. They can read the words but don't comprehend what they are reading. Unfortunately, too many people don't understand the difference between readers and word callers.

    Anyway... multiple students being retained... in one class? Eek. Especially if they are average or close to average.

    Ultimately, my thought on retention goes back to what a teacher I once observed told me... "What's the point in retaining if nothing is going to change?" Her policy was only to retain students for medical reasons, if there was some valid reason to think that things would be different in the new year, or if there was a specific plan already developed to give the student a new experience (and not just putting them in a different teacher's classroom).
     
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