How much power do parents have to request/refuse retention in your district?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by EdEd, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Apr 30, 2015

    In districts I've worked, parents can pretty much make the final call to NOT allow retention to occur, but a situation came up and I was curious if parents in your districts can request retention (guessing they can at least request it), and if so what avenues parents can pursue if they strongly disagree with a school's decision to not retain?

    Disclaimer - I generally don't support retention as the research (and my personal experience) don't tend to support it, but a situation came up with a friend who took in some foster kids who basically did not attend school the previous year, but the deadline for retention has past and now the school isn't able to process a retention.

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Apr 30, 2015

    Retention

    Parents have no say so. If a student is retained and report card states it that is the end. Teacher recommend students to summer school, but students have to meet certain criteria. They must be "Bubble students". If they are really behind and most likely wont make enough gains to pass the end of year test in summer school, they will be retained.
     
  4. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    May 1, 2015

    Parents have final say in my district as well, but we don't really retain anymore. There's still a retention list made up midyear, every year, but that's as far as it goes.

    We also had a parent request retention one year for an older elementary child with an IEP. The district argued against it, but ultimately did retain the child. I'm not a retention advocate either, but I have to say the parent was right. Though the child still struggled mightily in academics, her behavior and attitude toward school changed that year. Contrary to what I've read, she actually gained self confidence that grew throughout her remaining years in the district.

    Regarding your friends, have they talked with an attorney?
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Retention is almost unheard of here, but parents would have the final say.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    We recommended retention for a student, and his mom just took him to the charter high school to get out of it, and now he's failing all of his classes again. (Our retention is different than just retaking the same classes again though; we have a special district program which they actually complete at the High Schools)

    We've also had parents recommend retention and we said no. There was no need. The child was doing just fine.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Parents have the power, but if we request it they have to sign a contract stating why they disagree with us.
     
  8. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    By the way, my class is all retention students. All but three parents out of 120 plus students would tell you it was the best thing they ever did for their child. We also track them so I could show that highest performance students in all classes in 1st through 8th were my former students.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Thanks for your responses everyone - does seem like there is more variability than I thought. Comaba they haven't sought advice of an attorney - I'm not sure they're even convinced retention is the best thing, they're just exploring options, asked me, and I wasn't entirely sure how things worked in reverse (parent wanting, not rejecting, retention).

    mrachelle87 I've often said that it's best not to consider retention as a singular concept, but as a set of strategies that will or won't happen if retention occurs. In other words, if a child is retained, what will change for that child? It sounds like, in your school (in K), the child would get you as a teacher, which sounds like it's a pretty effective intervention/change! In this case, I wouldn't say that retention is the cause of their success, but you as a teacher. The next logical conclusion would be to just put them in your class the first time around :)
     
  10. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    I know parents who requested retention for their son. He was young when he started Kindergarten, and they thought first grade would be too much for him, maturity wise, even though his academics weren't super low (though they were below average). The district didn't want to do it, but the child ended up being very successful.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I'm at a charter school, and I believe the parents have the final say. I'm largely against retention as the research doesn't back it up, but the few times I've seen it deemed necessary, it really seemed to work! I suppose it's one of those things that has its tiny place.

    But, wow, it's such a rare thing.

    Peregrin's retention program sounds the way to go!

    As for parents requesting retention... I almost think of the "red shirting" crowd.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    High school so parents have no say.
     
  13. kellzy

    kellzy Comrade

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    100% on both.
    But it's not the district, it's state law.
     
  14. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Excellent point. Too often the fix is centered around the quantity of instruction versus the quality.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    My admin does not believe in retention in any scenario, so we don't even discuss or offer it. I have had several parents request that their child be retained. My P tells them about the research that says it doesn't work and basically simply tells them we don't offer it. Most accept it and move on- parents at my school don't really have the resources to take things to court or anything like that. My state has open enrollment/school choice, so if they were 100% for it they would be more likely to simply enroll their child in a nearby school/district that offers it rather than trying to go through the court system or something like that. I did have one parent last year who put her daughter into a nearby district so that she could be retained when my principal refused. I also got a new student from another district who came to my school specifically because his last school planned to retain and his mom didn't want that (he's doing great btw- would have been a horrible decision!)

    One district in my city started a "super K" program to years ago for students who needed another year of K. I was actually offered a position as one of the "super K" teachers and turned it down- I think having an entire class of Kindergarten students ALL with academic and social/behavior needs sounds like a nightmare (the class was not that small either- they said they would "try" to keep it around 18-20 students, no para or other support). I would love to know how that program is working out for them.
     
  16. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Personally, I don't believe in retention past 2nd grade (if a child is going to be retained, it should be between grades K-2).

    Generally, parents agree to retention once the team (RSP teacher, SDC teacher, gen ed teacher, P/VP, psychologist, and counselor) present our case.

    As a teacher and administrator, I've never had a parent approach me about retention.
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Again, thanks everyone for your comments. Definitely more variability across districts than I was expecting.
     
  18. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Our program is for kindergartens that are younger and have skills. They can't be special needs. I have major freedom to do whatever I want. Parents are very supportive. In fact our secretary got a phone call last week from a kindergarten parent wanting their child in my class next year. My principal caps my class at 15.
     
  19. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    May 3, 2015

    After months of meetings with my principal, speech therapist, counselor, and school psychologist we've decided to retain one of my students. This student has missed about 30 days throughout the year, parents never show up for conferences (even the ones they schedule) and didn't bother to tell us she came in from pre-school with an IEP so we had to go digging to find out in December.

    I was told it is ultimately my decision to retain her if the data supported it and that the parents could either agree or try to petition the school board. Thankfully I was able to finally sit down with the parents and discuss all the interventions we had tried and what my plan would be next year (I'm the only Kinder teacher at the school) and they agreed it was the best choice.
     
  20. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    May 4, 2015

    Always good when there is consensus.
     

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