MY SON WAS RETAINED AND I DISAGREE WITH THIS, WHAT CAN I DO?

Andrea - posted on 07/14/2009 ( 57 moms have responded )

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HIS GRANDMOTHER NEVER TOLD ME HIS TEACHER CALLED AND WOULD SIGN MY NAME TO NOTES AND RETURN THEM WITHOUT TELLING ME.....YES SHE HATES ME THIS MUCH.....HE KNOWS THE WORK AND IS A BRIGHT CHILD....THEY DO NOT OFFER SUMMER SCHOOL AND I DON'T THINK HE SOULD HAVE TO LOSE A YEAR BECAUSE IT WAS NOT HIS FAULT. PLEASE HELP ME. HE IS IN THE FIRST GRADE IN CALALLEN EAST PRIMARY IN CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS.

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Prissy - posted on 05/22/2014

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My daughters school wants to retain her I disagree here in Amarillo Texas need help where do I start

Leigh - posted on 07/14/2009

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Let him repeat at this age, it's alot better & easier for him at this age than it will be when he gets older. You should know this because he is not the only child you have at school. All of us with school aged children know that a decision to have a child repeat is just not based on one small area of his life, but on his overall development. Maybe this child needs more attention than your others. Teachers do a wonderful job with the little ones, so I would be working on developing more of a rapport with the teacher/proffessionals. Toughen up Andrea & put him first.

Jacqueline - posted on 07/14/2009

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In Texas, both parents and schools have to agree to the retention. Get an advocate and appeal. Also deal with YOUR MOM. Sounds like you have some communication issues or custody issues or something.

Barbara - posted on 07/15/2009

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I'm a homeschool mother. I suggest that you educate yourself on the laws and your rights as a parent in your child's education. Just Goggle " Education laws in Corpus, Christi, TX". You have a right to insist that your child be put into the grade you think he will excel in. If need be, have him tested. You can order the Iowa state test that shows what grade the child can do school at. You can order that at BJU Press.com. You can bring that test result as proof of his abilities. If there is a concern about his reading, I suggest that while he is at home for the summer and even during the regular school year you work with him. I put a lot of stock in the ABEKA reading program. They teach by phonics. I begin my children at the age of 3, and by the time they're 4 they're reading on a 1st grade level. My oldest is now a freshman in highscholl. I just received his Iowa State test back. He is doing college level work now. I hope this helps.

Sandy - posted on 05/05/2014

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I understand both sides. Retaining at a young age wouldn't hurt especially if the child needs it, but it does hurt them in the long run. When a child is the middle or high school, they often feel pressure since they are older than most of their classmates. This can cause some social anxiety. I would push for the next grade and work harder with the child to meet or exceed expectations, since the younger they the easier it is.

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Eve - posted on 09/05/2014

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Randi Davis your rude and stupid this forum isn't for your ignorance incase you haven't notice already you need to get a life instead of reply to peoples question in which do no involved you.

Tito - posted on 07/16/2014

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We are military and have moved three times in the last three years. My middle son (11 year old with a June Bday) has ADHD and struggled immensely with his 5th grade home work. His last school, passed him onto the 6th grade based on his grades and testing. I think that his grades do not reflect his hard work but rather ours as parents by spending on average 3 hours a night helping him. He is immature (but what 11 year old boy isn't). I know that all the studies suggest that it could be detrimental to his self confidence. As a parent I want what is best for him but I am tired of seeing him struggle at every turn. I feel like I know what is in his best interest and I know his capabilities short comings better than anyone. I want to hold him back in the 5th grade at his new school where no one knows him and where he can get a fresh start but his new school is pushing back on us retaining him in the 5th grade. Please let me know your thoughts. Any feedback on this is much appreciated. Thank you.

Uzma - posted on 08/26/2012

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I think you need to find someone else to watch your kid, because that's only gonna get worse. You really don't want your child in the middle of that mess.



You don't have parent teacher conferences? Call the school, and talk to the councilor or someone in charge and set up a meeting.

Your son just might deserve to be held back if he hasn't been doing the work, and has had behavior problems. Get informed about what is going on.



Also in my school district only certain people who are approved by the child's legal guardian can sign forms and all that.

Randi - posted on 08/23/2012

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Well, you can barely write well enough to explain the problem, so maybe he needs to just quietly repeat the grade. He just might not have the intelligent gene, rotfl

Dawn - posted on 07/29/2009

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Wasn't it President G.W.Bush who applied the "No Child Left Behind" act which prevents the children from being held back. Perhaps something to look into. In my area ( Chicagoland, IL) the teachers no longer retain the student. My son for example is getting all the help with studies and emotionally from the school. There was an issue when we relocated from one house to the next and the old school district was falling behind the new school district. But my son is doing much better now and no longer needing all the help he once did. Good luck

Jennifer - posted on 07/27/2009

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I would tell the school that I was not the one who signed the form and ask for a meeting. If the school itself wouldn't oblige, then I would tell them I was going to the district and then follow through. Sorry you have to deal with this. You need to put strict instructions with the school that nobody but you signs any of his forms.

Tracy - posted on 07/22/2009

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A bit late on the issue, but I have to say you probably do know your child the best. Teachers do what they can, yes and it is surely not a punishment. However, teachers and school administrators rely highly on baselines, tests and averages. As the mother, if you have worked with your child even just a little you need to trust yourself. Those posts that seem to trust in the school system so much may not have a child who struggled. I have and I understand the frustration you feel. In my situation, I saw some strange things in my sons reading and writing toward the end of 1st grade. Concerned I contacted his teacher and had a long talk with her to discuss the situation. I was confidently told my son was doing fine and he was in the middle of where he should be for his grade. No concerns at all from the school. The thing was there was a problem; he had a condition with his eyes which eventually needed to be corrected with surgery! So...my advice is to trust yourself. Believe it or not you are actually the one who knows you child best, even if you work full time as I do. There is definitely something to be said for being dilligent. If I did not work hard and see several different eye doctors and do much of my own research my son would be in a much worse position, just skating by in school. Good Luck!

TAMMY - posted on 07/18/2009

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Theres is thing called "no child left behind law" .....therefore you don't have to agree with leaving him behind. My 1st child was left behind because I believed the school system & regretted it. They tried it w/my 2nd child & I plainly said NO. Now she gets A's & B's on her report card.

Jacalyn - posted on 07/17/2009

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I wanted my first grader to repeat, but the school would not do it. If he is significantly behind...let him stay...these primary years are so important in learning to read!

Karen - posted on 07/17/2009

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Unless your mother has a legal educational responsibility for your child, her signature is not sufficient to hold him back. You should meet with the principal and explain this saying you do not give permission to retain him. If this doesn't work, go to the Superintendent. There are studies that say retaining children does not help and that children who have been retained are at a higher risk of dropping out of school. I would never give permission for my children to be retained because of these studies. Look for and print up articles which say retaining doesn't work and bring it to the principal, etc.

Priscilla - posted on 07/17/2009

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You can challegne your childs exams. Inquire at the school or the school board. Many teachrs don't know about this & adminstration often don't know the process. Don't let this discourage you. Before you request anything,go to the www.texasparentsbillofright.com, check the rules for your School district and be ready to stand up and fight.

Wendi - posted on 07/17/2009

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If your son is struggling with just reading and bright in every other area, have you looked into seeing if he has dyslexia? Most people think dyslexia is just reading/writing backwards but some dyslexics never present that problem. Dyslexia in basic terms is someone with a normal to high IQ that struggles to learn to read. According to the National Health Institute about 20% of the population is dyslexic although most go undiagnosed because most schools won't test for it. Not sure if this is the issue with your child but it is worth looking into. The web and the public libarary have lots of resources to help you see if he has dyslexic tendencies. If he has dyslexia, retaining him will not help him read better. Dyslexics can learn to read but must be taught in a different and more multisensory way. Look for an Orton Gillingham based program or tutor.

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Change your signature to a symbol and don't tell anyone but the school. If Mother In Law signs it they will know it's not you. Caught my oldest forging my signature with the school with this method.

Heather - posted on 07/16/2009

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I am not a teacher so I don't know all the ins and outs, but it seems like it is not common place anymore to hold a child back. It is too bad that you are in the situation you are with your MIL. Maybe this needs to be reworked. Teachers want to see children have great sucess in their education, and I would trust the school and the teacher, but I would also want a informative discussion too. Seems to me that your son's progress would be evaluated over the course of the year and his lack of progress of troubles would have been reported so as this not to be a shock. I have heard great things about Sylvan learning centers too. It might hurt your child more to push him through to a grade he isn't read to work at. This can lead to huge self esteme problems and future learning disadvantages. Where as, if your son is held back at the begining of the year and has a chance to be re-evaluated, they might see that he has improved and can move him forward.



Teachers are not our enamies. We need to work together with them to ensure our children have the best possible outcomes in school.

Aroha - posted on 07/16/2009

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Your son is confused right now, hes been told to do so many differnet things his frustrations are beyond comprehension.You tell him one thing and his grandmother tells him something else, so he has no idea who to listen too now."BIG PROBLEM"no point talking to ur mother right now, the issue is with the school.Go and see the teacher, then see the principal , let them know, whats been going on, they can send the school letters out to you..I have 8 children and im a single mum whom ive helped out to advise lots of mummies like u in this situation,and many more info may I add.Then when u have sorted out the school situation, sit with the young lad, and tell him, that mummy loves him that much that she is always going to be there for him no matter what, and that nanas are not allowed to sign any notes from the school with out asking mummy first..and just say to him when he gets a note he is too let u know, so u can put a special picture on it for him to take back to the school(and picture i mean ur signature), talk your childs language, so they will understand u better, ok ...give it a go and see how things turn out.Now as for the grand mother d'Dont Even go There...If she has done this behind your back , then ur going to get her hair standing on end, when u tell her off, and dont tell her what u have done, shell werk it out , either when her grandchild tells her or she notices there is no notes for her to sign.when she approaches you about it , simply say to her, "great "At the end of the day you will always have the last say no matter what..dont feel guilty , i know u prob will....SHE WILL GET OVER IT...

GOOD LUCK

Jane - posted on 07/16/2009

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I am an elementary teacher.....I don't think if your son knew the work they would retain him. It is really hard to retain a child...they have to be really having problems with the work, or just not doing any work, to be able to fail a grade. If you push for him to go to the next grade and he doesn't know the grade he is in, it will make it so hard on him to try to catch up and make up what he's missed that he may lose interest and spend the rest of his school life struggling and behind. It would be easier for him to be retained at an early age than to struggle and fail later on. If you have custody of your son, you should look at his work every day and follow up on helping him get his homework done and help him study for tests. Tell this year's teacher that you want her to email you instead of send notes home. Then encourage him to do his best every day. Good luck!

Helga - posted on 07/16/2009

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I have been working at a private school for several years and I am also the parent of a high school graduate whose on her way to college. Although I am not a teacher I can tell you that there is a definite reason the school/teacher decided to retain your son. It is probably more about his academics/social behavior and less about the fact that the notes were being signed and returned without your knowledge.

At this point, I would take your mother out of the equation. You need to find out why the notes were being sent home and address those issues. Being very honest and blunt, it sounds like you have not been actively involved in your child's education. In addition to the notices that were constantly being sent home, there are usually progress reports, back to school nights, parent/teacher conferences, and report cards, etc., that go home during the school year that would have given you a very early indication that there was a problem, which could have been addressed before the decision to retain him. Your son, as you said, could be very bright, but may not have been applying himself and not doing his school or homework. It that was the case, then that is probably only part of the reason for his retention.

As an example...my daughter is a very bright/smart student and made mostly A's and B's in school and was always, in the top 90 to 95% nationally annual state exams. After my mother passed on 12/27/05, my daughter's grades slipped to 50% D's and 50% F's. She was not applying herself and didn't care anything about passing or graduating from high school. It was a long haul for the both of us but because I am and have always been an active parent, even in her high school years, I was aware very early that there was a problem. With the help of her teachers, school counselors, and some other administrators working with me and my daughter, we were able to come up with a plan that worked. By the end of her junior year, all of her academic requirements had been met with the exception of the two classes she had to take as a senior. She also had 22 more units than what was required. I said all of this to say that there is usually a reason a child, who is considered to be a very smart/bright student, fails to apply himself/herself with school or anything else. If that is the case complaining and having him placed in the next grade level will not solve the problem.

Address the problem, find out whats going on with him and how he's feeling. Before you arm yourself with contacting the school district or the board of education and filing complaints, I would suggest you contact the school administrators/teacher(s) to discuss the reasons why your child is being retained and to go over his school/homework, progress reports, grades, social behavior, etc. If in fact, the administrators/teachers agree that your child is very bright, then maybe you can work together to find a working solution that wouldn't harm the child like maybe taking an exam that could show how well he performs in all the necessary subjects and shows that he is ready for the next grade level. If his academic file shows that is he is ready for the next level and both you and the school administrators/teachers can't come to an agreeable solution/plan, then you could take your concerns to the school district.

These are the important years...these are the years the foundation is laid. From this point on I suggest you stay very active in your child's education/life. It is not just the teacher's responsibility to educate the child, it the parent's responsibility as well. The best education is when teachers and parents are staying involved and working together actively to reach the same goal.

Hope this helps in your decisions regarding your sons education.

Kelli - posted on 07/16/2009

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In MI it is the law that parents can place their child in the next grade if they have been reccommended for retention. Also you should have the teacher call you when she/he needs to communicate with you.

Latonia - posted on 07/16/2009

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did you contact the board of ed in your district, because i had that same problem and was never told my child will be retained at any of the conferences i went to, so i called the board of ed and complained and my child will be in the second grade next year! i was told they dont need our permission but they need to inform us properly and because that was never done they passed her.

Joy - posted on 07/15/2009

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Honestly, you can appeal with the principal and escalate it up the school board chain --- but you need to be prepared to honestly deal with the issues that caused the retention to begin with. Even if you have to hire a tutor or a teacher, or a certified tutoring center. He could still possibly catch up to grade level and avoid the retention.

Nicole - posted on 07/15/2009

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What is the schools basis for retaining him? Have you met with the teacher and principal to find out why they felt retention was best? I would start by setting up a meeting with them.

Julie - posted on 07/15/2009

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It is not a bad thing to be retained. It is more important that he knows the information than keep getting pushed ahead when he's not ready for it. My husband and his brother were both retainded and they did well with another year to catch up. If he's in first grade than he's young enough that it won't be hard for him. I hope this will help you to check all your kids home work and help all your kids and not just the older ones. I am a homeschooling mom myself and I fully understand the difficulty of keeping up with kids in seperate grades BUT it is important for all your kids to recieve the help they need and that is your job.

Christie - posted on 07/15/2009

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It sounds like you need to see where he is at with school and learning; perhaps he does know the work, perhaps he really doesn't. I understand you say that he knows the work, but the school feels he is not ready. Perhaps it is a social maturity? Sometimes kids are held back, especially boys, because of slower development in many areas, not just academics (and it actually helps them). Other times there is a misunderstanding. Did your MIL sign the agreement that he could be held back? Parents do have to agree with the retention or the child is moved up ~ I pray that you can get to the bottom of the story and find out what is best for your son, then also work on communication with your MIL so this would not happen again ~

Bernadette - posted on 07/15/2009

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change schools, talk to the principle, show up on the first day of school and demand he be enrolled, have him tested, whatever you do, don't let him hear you say any of these things, always tell him he is a genius! I also heard that massaging your kids feet makes them smarter, old Chinese women told me this...my daughter is 10 now and is super smarty pants ;) good luck!

Kirsi - posted on 07/15/2009

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To me it sounds weird that you never heard about any of his troubles before hearing that he would be better off left behind. Frankly this sounds like not-so good-school or you missed all the signs. I have 4 children in school right now and there has been some discussions about repeating the grade with two of them but teachers old me that they would catch up with special education. That special education is not available if your child is repeating the grade.

Sometimes I wonder if school would be easier for my oldest if he would have stayed behind earlier, he struggles with some areas and tries so hard. So just MAYBE repeating the class is the best thing that can happen to your child? I agree you should talk to the teacher and set up a meeting right away, after all everyone wants what is best for your child, right?

Julie - posted on 07/15/2009

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Andrea,
Are you living with the grandmother? (Who's mom is she?) I'm a teacher. First thing you need to do is set up a meeting with your son's school. Trust me, we know kids! If there was a reason they felt he needed to be held back, you need to be actively involved, not argumentative. He is your son, you are his first teacher, you know him best! They may have noticed some immaturity, typical with boys, that if not caught, will lead to bigger problems in Middle School. Ask if they think he needs an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or "Accommodations under a 504 plan" Both are mandated by IDEA, which is the law that protects Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Not that you son HAS a disability (but they DO want to retain for some reason) IDEA protects ALL children up to age 22, in ALL areas of school. They may throw ADHD at you, this can only be diagnosed by a psychologist, NOT a school counselor. Ask your Pediatrician for a referal for this. Good luck. I'll keep looking for your posts

Heidi - posted on 07/15/2009

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As far as your sons troubles at school, I would suggest that you have some testing done for learning disabilities, such as dislexia. My older brother, who is very successful in the medical field, actually flunked out of Kindegarden and struggled through elementary and middle school. Because of his frustrations with school, he would have outbursts at home. In the end, he had dislexia. It's important to catch these things early, so that your child does not have to suffer through the frustrations of a learning disability alone.

Diane - posted on 07/15/2009

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As an early childhood educator and the parent of two boys with learning disabilities, the red flag to me is he isn't progressing as expected in reading. I would request an evaluation if they have not done so.

Christina - posted on 07/15/2009

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I don't undersatnd how not signing his work or talking to his teacher would hold a child back. There has to be a better reason why they are wanting to hold him back. My son was held back in the second grade at it was the best thing I ever did. He was the youngest in his class and the maturity was just not there. I thought my kid was bright too. He is but not in his school work. He is as sharp as a tack but needed extra help with reading and math. He hated school. Now he loves it and he didn't even skip a beat. Have you seen his work and talked to his teacher now?

Kappy - posted on 07/15/2009

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Well in your situation I would do several things: 1) Talk to your principal and pledge to get your son up to speed by the beginning of the school year, asking if he can then go on the the next grade, (switch schools if he will not allow it) 2) Enroll him in Sylvan or another similar program to get his schoolwork up to grade level and lastly, 3) Remove Grandma from the picture. She may be convenient to use and cheap, but if she is going to withhold information about academic problems & other school issues, then she cannot be trusted. Find a friend to watch him or an inexpensive daycare.

Karen - posted on 07/15/2009

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I'm a Texan also and have been an educator for 24 years. I was a substitute teacher in all grades for two years, then a Teacher Aide in special ed. for 8 years, then moved to Kindergarten for the next 12 years also as an Aide, retired two years ago, but have kept subbing again in all grades for the last two years. I have 5 grown children, but had my fair share of having to go to a teacher or school counselor on their behalf whenever there was a problem concerning one of my kids. All five are also very bright, but problems arise that you are unaware of and the best way is to fight for your child's rights. I don't mean, go in with a negative attitude or be one of these moms who goes in with an attitude and hollering at the teacher before she can sit down and have a reasonable conversation with her or him. That will get you nowhere and on the bad side of even a very caring teacher. One teacher told me once when I had to talk to her about my twin daughters that she was glad I came in to talk to her about the problem because, "No one is going to fight for your child except for you," and this was a teacher who had a tough reputation, but by the time we sat and talked, things changed and all was okay. I have been on both sides of the fence concerning the matter of parents versus the school and I have seen and heard a lot. The very best thing to do is to ask for a conference between you, your child's teacher, the principal and the counselor. Even write down your thoughts or questions, because believe me, when it comes to our children we get very tearful and having a plan ahead of time helps a lot. Thank them for meeting with you and then tell them you realize there is a problem concerning your child and you want to help in anyway to resolve the issue, but first let them explain the problem to you. That way you get the reasons from them first and then if they don't answer the questions that are concerning to you, then you can discuss the issue calmly and rationally. You can also ask them what you can do as a parent to help your child at home. A lot of times it may come down to the child being a little immature and they are afraid if he is passed to the next grade level he would be lost and fall behind. These days it's not a stigma for a child to repeat a grade. I have worked with children for so many years and more children are now being held back in kindergarten than ever before so they will have a better chance of understanding the basics that they just didn't quite understand the first year. This way they are actually ahead of most children who are coming in the next year and your child's confidence is on the up side, not the down side. I don't know if my advice has helped any and I didn't read the other advice you had received concerning this matter, so I might be repeating what someone has already said. Bottom line is, always ask questions in a patient manner, don't argue with the teacher , talk things out and have a third party from the administration in on the meeting if possible. This goes all the way through his high school years. I'm a mom that believes that if there is a problem, then it is my responsibility to help my child fix it, not to let a bad situation continue by making them handle it themselves. Of course it depends upon the situation, because your child has to also be able to handle some situations on their own for them to grow maturity wise and Mom can't always be there to help them for the rest of their lives. God Bless and I hope I have helped in some way.

Melissa - posted on 07/14/2009

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I agree with the other moms who suggest you find out why the school wants to retain him. It sounds like there may be an academic reason judging by what you have indicated has been happening with your mother-in-law. If he hasn't been submitting good work and getting constant low grades, then that would be enough.

On the other hand, there is a chance that the issue is something else entirely. I don't agree that schools always have a good reason for keeping students from advancing to the next grade level. I almost failed kindergarten because I didn't know how to skip. (It was a lack of interest on my part, not lack of capability. Mom finally convinced me to learn within a week or two of the end of the year.)

Find out, and see if it's something that can be fixed. If it's not, then it really is better that the retention happen at this stage than later in his school career.

Mary - posted on 07/14/2009

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how about a tutor for the summer or Sullivan learning center for the summer. But tell the school you do not want him retained. Also you can get a AR reading list from the Board of Education, start with something small, and work your way up to 3rd grade level, work on this over the summer, and when your home in the evening, have your son read to you a chapter or two every nite. Sometimes it is not that he can't read good, it is a problem with that teacher. hope this helps you.

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Actually, as a parent you also have full access to your child's cumulative file. I would ask to see everything in the file. Test data, progress reports, report cards, and copies of major correspondence. If your MIL was signing important letterson your behalf, something may have ended up in your child's cumulative file. But the most important issue for now is taking the appropriate steps to make sure your child is learning on grade level. If he is not, and no where close to grade level, then you need to work with the school instead of against the shcool. You are your child's greatest advocate, even if it means retaining your son.

Victoria - posted on 07/14/2009

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The first thing you should do is pull out all the report cards and see if your child has been failing or was in danger of failing during the school year. Then you need to set up a meeting with the principal. If you cannot get to the principal, go to the superintendent. They are there during the summer. I agree with the moms who say it is more than just notes being signed by grandmom to get your son retained. His performance in school must have suffered as well. The only way to get to the bottom of this is to have a meeting with the teacher, principal, and if necessary, the superintendent. Bring the report cards with you if there were no warning signs prior to the last report. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.

Lelia - posted on 07/14/2009

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Hi Andrea;
You need to get back into the loop on your son's education. Make an appointment to talk to the counselor, then go to the principal if you need to. (I am a teacher of 26 years.) Without making the school wrong, get some data about why he was held back and what they were thinking at the time. You certainly can fight this if he is in your custody. Let the school know what the grandma did have them only correspond to you. And you make sure to keep in touch with them. After talking to them you may decide it's an okay thing or you may want him promoted. At that age there's usually a good reason, so be sure to check it out. Good luck!

Lisa - posted on 07/14/2009

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It's most important that a child learns to read at least very close to grade level in the correct environment. In the past, many kids have been advanced for the reason you mention, losing a year? I don't understand how repeating first grade makes a kid loose a year, but I do know that my son not only improved his reading and maturity with children at his level, but kept the friends from his first time round the grade level, and made more friends the second time around.

My son had 6 surgeries by the age of six, and learning disabilities due to that and some other issues made my decision to retain him very easy, but any child who's struggling will not magicly catch up if they're continually pushed forward to the next grade. My daughter is three grades ahead of my son, and she was amazed to find out there were 7th graders in her class who only read 2nd grade level.....that must be very hard for the kids to deal with. Life's hard enough. Retaining isn't the end of the world.

Michelle - posted on 07/14/2009

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I agree with the mom's that are saying that you need to find out the real reason why. They don't just hold back a child for small reasons. I would find out the reason that they want to do this and see if there is any other option. Good luck:)

Trisha - posted on 07/14/2009

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I would not think that his homework grade alone would be enough to retain him. My thinking is, if they retained him it is because he wasn't learning the curriculum. You need to sit down with the teacher and the principal and find out precisely why they have retained him and go from there. Just assuming it has anything to do with the homework portion isn't doing anyone any justice.

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Is there an appeal process? How frequently did you personally communicate to the teacher? How often did you meet in person with the teacher, or observe your child in the classroom? How were your child's quarterly assessments? What about report cards and progress reports? Schools take the subject of retention seriously. It's not just, "Oh he's slightly below grade level" versus "This child is significantly below grade level." There has to be tangible documentation to present to the Principal, grade level team, reading/math specialists, parents, etc. What kind of internvetions were provided to your son during 1st grade? At the end of first grade, what proficiencies and skills was your child lacking that the school felt that retention would be a benefit. Yes, a benefit, not a punishment. If the child did not master grade level skills and proficiencies, it will be twice as hard and frustrating the next school year. 8 weeks of summer break + 6 weeks of 'review' the beginning of the year and you are now at a huge learning discrepency. Sometimes retention does make a huge difference in grade K-2 in order to master the basic literary, math, and writing concepts that are required for higher level learning. It's not a punishment or bad thing to be retaught concepts that the child did not fully comprehend. Check out your state's Department of Education web site for a complete list of 1st grade Reading, Writing, and Math skills that are required for mastery before being promoted to the next grade level. Best of luck to all of you.

Erica - posted on 07/14/2009

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If his grades does not reflect what they are saying you can have him assigned to the next grade.



Quoting Andrea:

MY SON WAS RETAINED AND I DISAGREE WITH THIS, WHAT CAN I DO?

HIS GRANDMOTHER NEVER TOLD ME HIS TEACHER CALLED AND WOULD SIGN MY NAME TO NOTES AND RETURN THEM WITHOUT TELLING ME.....YES SHE HATES ME THIS MUCH.....HE KNOWS THE WORK AND IS A BRIGHT CHILD....THEY DO NOT OFFER SUMMER SCHOOL AND I DON'T THINK HE SOULD HAVE TO LOSE A YEAR BECAUSE IT WAS NOT HIS FAULT. PLEASE HELP ME. HE IS IN THE FIRST GRADE IN CALALLEN EAST PRIMARY IN CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS.





 

Carolyn - posted on 07/14/2009

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Hi Andrea, I am being faced with the same issue this year with my daughter. She is 12 and in the sixth grade. Unfortunately, my daughter became a social butterfly this year, only buckling down doing her work when she was in jeapardy of failing. However, she attends a Charter School that holds what they call "high academic expectations" and anything below a 70% is an automatic "F". My daughter received a 69% and a 68% and thus is being retained. I do not feel she should be retained, if she is able to bring her grade up substantially in just two weeks, but the year end averages are what they are. Therefore, seeing as to where she does know the work, I am pulling her out of that school and trying to get her into another good school so she can remain in her correct grade. I have spoke to a few other teachers from different schools, and they agreed that it did not seem so fit to retain her given her scores (also, homework is a MAJOR part of their grade in that school and she was not doing or was receiving "PQ" (poor quality) but this was not brought to my attention until less than two weeks before the last day of school. If your son does know the material, I think you should fight it. What happens to children when they are bored in school? They end up getting into trouble all the time!

Jill - posted on 07/14/2009

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My oldest son repeated gr.1 because he was behind (significantly) with his reading. I was in close contact with the school during the last months of the year when we noticed a problem. When the option of holding him back was presented, I didn't give it a second thought. I would rather see him repeat a year then go through life without being able to read and write properly. He knows why and he knows that doesn't make him a failure. He has always been a very bright child and this had nothing to do with his intelligence. He is now going into middle school with straight A's.
I should also mention (because it can make a huge impact) that he was born late in the year (December). Where I live children can wait a year to start kindergarten if they were born after Sept.1 because it can negatively affect the education of the child in later grades. My brother started a year later.
This was just my choice for my son. It turned out to be for the better. I knew it had nothing to do with how smart he is, he just needed some more time :)
Good luck to you :)

Lisa - posted on 07/14/2009

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I agree with Kelly and the others... Schools don't just retain students without cause. Did the teacher or principal give you a reason? As an elementary teacher, I know that students are retained for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with intelligence, retention in 1st grade is most often because the schools feel the student could use another year to mature before moving on. Children develop at different rates, and trying to force them into an academic situation before they are developmentally ready could actually lead to even more behavior problems.

Ask yourself these questions... (keep in mind they have nothing to do with intelligence)
Can your child sit quietly, listen to instructions and then follow them?
Is he able to put on his own coat, clean up his own space, put away his own toys/materials, eat his own lunch without help?
Can he hold a pencil properly, cut with scissors, and other fine motor skills needed for 1st grade?
Is he curious about books, does he like to tell stories, does he communicate well with other students and adults?
Is he curious and receptive to learning new things?
Does he get along well with other kids, does he know how to share and take turns?
Can he work as part of a group, be able to put others needs before his own?

These are all developmental milestones, and some kids just take longer to reach them.

Andrea - posted on 07/14/2009

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THANKS TO YOU ALL...AS FOR THIS...SHE IS MY MOTHER-IN-LAW, WE LIVE IN SAME HOUSE. HE IS NOT BEING PUNISHED THAT IS NOT WHAT I THINK THE RETAINMENT IS FOR, I ALSO HAVE TWO OLDER CHILDREN(4-5 GRADERS) i HELP THEM WITH THERE HOMEWORK AND SHE WOULD HELP MY LITTLE ONE. HE WAS BRINGING HIS WORK HOME AND SHE WOULD JUST LET HIM PUT WHATEVER AND NOT CHECK IT. I BLAME MYSELF MORE THAN HER, BUT HE SOULD NOT HAVE TO DO THE FIRST GRADE AGAIN JUST BECAUSE HER AND I DISAGREE

Angela - posted on 07/14/2009

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Honestly, what is retention going to hurt? It isn't something they are doing to punish him. Schools hold kids back for good reason, and it isn't something they take lightly. Trust me, if your child was being "punished" by a school they wouldn't retain him they would send him on. I would let it be. Your child may be better off with it. I know tons of kids who were retained that gained a ton of ground and confidence from going from one of the lower students in the class to one of the top. It is pretty snarky of your mom to sign papers for you. I would just work out some system between you and the teacher where you make an inital somewhere on the paper where your mom doesn't know so the teacher knows you signed it not your mom.

Kelly - posted on 07/14/2009

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I agree with Shannon. There is a reason the school is trying to retain him. Don't look at it as a punishment, because it isn't. They are simply doing what they feel is right for your son. You definitely need to work out the situation with grandmother. Does she care for him after school? Do you live with her, or she with you? However this happened as far as the notes and phone calls, that is not why he is being retained. I know it is hard sometimes, but it really is important for you as a mom to be involved in your child's education, first-hand, personally, at the school whenever possible. You may not be able to go on every field trip, or be a room mother, if you work full-time, etc. But if you can get to know the teacher each year, make an appearance in the classroom occasionally, and spend time EVERY night with your son, reading, talking about his day, practicing the skills they are working on in class (he probably brings home a newsletter from class that will fill you on), and just letting him know how important he is, and school is, it will make a world of difference. I would go to the school for a meeting with his teacher and the principal if neccessary right away to get to the bottom of what went wrong this past year, but if he really needs to be retained, its not the end of the world. Don't make him feel like he is being punished, because that will develop a terrible attitude about school from here on out. Just do all you can to make sure that from now on, school goes better for him. Good luck with all this-I hope it works out for you!

Teresa - posted on 07/14/2009

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Hmmmm......tough one. First thing you can do is set up an email dialogue with your child's teacher, thus taking grandma out of the picture. Secondly, like someone else posted, you need to find out why they want to retain your son. Do not look at this as a bad thing, but depending on the reasons they want to retain your son, this you may need to look at as a postive thing. If there are legitimate reasons, you need to ask yourself is it more important to keep moving him through schools and possibly be behind in the learning or is it more important to build a good solid foundation so that he will excel in his education.....and being in the first grade this is the time to consider this rather than when he is 4th or 5th or higher grades and find out he may need to be retained.

Sheila - posted on 07/14/2009

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wow seems like g-mom screwed both you and your son. my son will be going into 2nd grade this september but there was the possibility that he was going to be held back. I told the teacher that it was up to him(the teacher), because if any one should know my son as well as his parents, it would be him. maybe it's best now because your son is so young(to be retained) that it wont have as much effect on him now as it would say....in 5th grade.

Jamie - posted on 07/14/2009

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Wow! I cannot believe she would go that far! To put a child in the middle like that risking his EDUCATION!! Well I would definitely fight this. You're right! There is NO sense in a child missing a year! I'm not experienced in the whole school department seeing how my only child will be starting school this year, but you really should go to the principle and at least try to fight this. Maybe prove it wasn't your signature. Have you talked to your mother (I'm assuming it's YOUR mom, right?) about all of this? & and I definitely agree with Shevaun that keeping him back will only add to any behavior problems. Definitely fight this. I hope I've helped you. Like I said, I do not have a child in school yet so I have very little experience...

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