I have always been dead set against retaining a student. However, after 8 years of teaching, I think I may have to do so for the first time. Here's the scoop. To make a looooong story short. Boy in my class comes to my 4th grade class and is doing terribly. No homework, reading way below grade level, and unmotivated. Since his parents missed parent night way back in september, a week later I had a "Back to School night" for mom in order to orient her with how my classroom works. Boy cries and doesnt want to come to school...so she keeps him home CONSTANTLY. This pattern continues. Misses school at least twice weekly. I suffocate him with positive reinforcement, use interventions/differentiated instruction. Send an enormous amount of emails to mom. Mom continues to keep him home from school "because he doesn't like it." Parent teacher conferences. Parents skip it. Have to reschedule (and they were 1 and 1/2 hours late to the reschedule.) Mom and dad getting divorced and pointing fingers at each other. I tell them I want to follow up in Jan. She now writes his homework for him (literally pen to paper) Here's January. Principal now has to be involved in our follow up meeting because the parents are uncooperative and the boy is SERIOUSLY falling behind. He's now missed 29 days of school. We've had to reschedule this follow up twice. Only way parents will come is if it's at 7 pm...so we agree. This will be next week. The problem is....this pattern has been this way since Kindergarten. Due to his excessive absences....it's difficult to tell if he has a reading issue or it's just his home life/attendance. Why am I the first teacher bringing this issue to the table??? I may need to retain him. Any thoughts?