kdby3321's picture

Do I have to retain my son?

I have a set of 7-1/2 year old boy-girl twins in 2nd grade. My daughter is doing well, but my son is struggling with reading and writing. The school is proposing to retain my son, however I am strongly opposed - not only because he is a twin. He was recently diagnosed with visual problems and got bifocals, yet we have not had time to see to what extent they will help. He has shown some improvement, but is still not up to grade level. I'm proposing tutoring over the summer and continuing the interventions already in place. I thought the issue was resolved until the principal spoke to me about it again today. Can anybody tell me what options and rights that I, as his parent have?

melonia's picture

The answer depends where you live...but no matter where you live, you do have some rights. In my state if a child does not score adequately on our state exam in 3rd grade (plus 8th and 10th) he or she will be held back, regardless of quarter grades, teacher recommendation, or how well he or she did in the class. I personally don't agree with that, and if I had a child who did very well but scored low I think I would go private or homeschool for a year. I would not be allowed to put him or her in public school 4th grade if that was the case. Of course, maybe if I had a child in that situation retention would truly be the best situation--obviously it has to made on be a case by case basis.
In general, I am not for retention. If I had a student (I am a teacher as well as a parent) who had a motivated parent I would prefer to keep him in his grade level. I do not know your child of course, but I have had students who I have considered holding back but preferred not to because of varying factors. Sometimes I have a child who I feel that could always take 1 1/2 years to learn what most children take 1 year to learn but who does not have specific learning disabilities--maybe that child has other gifts than academic ones. I do not feel it is best for that child to be regularly held back--what would be the benefit? Most likely he would never graduate.
In your case, especially with twins I agree with you--even more as you are motivated to teach during the summer. I think one on one tutoring and a motivated mom who encourages reading and other enriching activities are best. Obviously I do not know your child! And I also do not know your state laws. But I think you have a compelling case.

way2busymom's picture

I'm not sure if they can "make" you retain him. It's such a rarity in our district that I'm surprised to see it come up so often on these boards.

Before you even consider retaining him, you should request he be tested for learning disabilities. You need to know exactly what you are dealing with. Now that you've corrected his vision (which dramatically interferes with reading) a tutor is a great idea and I bet he'll take great strides once he gets comfortable with the bifocals.

On a personal note, my youngest had reading issues until the very end of 2nd grade. He started reading individual words very early but he was close to 8 before he could finish a whole book, even the lowest level easy reader. He had visual tracking issues that resolved themselves about the time his reading took off. At 9, he's an above grade level reader in two languages. He has dysgraphia which makes writing very difficult for him but his school allows him to type essays and bigger projects and this helps him tremendously.

Rentention usually does more harm than good. I wouldn't even consider it until the school does a battery of tests and you give the tutoring a try now that he has corrective lenses!

norajjean's picture

I had notice a problem with my daughter since 2nd grade. I had a conference with teacher in school psychologist and they were helping her so what and then near the school I had a nether one say do to the Goverment requesting to cut down on who qulify she didn't qulifies for assistant, and that she well doing better next year. I refuse it I told them she need it help and she still look to need assistant it was final. This happen in third grade it was so stressful for her one cause her learning and next with meeting new friend and them her constant problem with her teacher all year long . Well the good thing was she placed now she in 4th grade we moved and 2-week we were in new school after I had inform one of her teacher she was have problem with comrphension on reading and math . The home teacher call me in for a concern on the 2nd week to inform me she was considering retaintion . I was so upset they didn't even give her a chance to trough the towel in on 2nd week with out try to help her .I had taken her early in year to a psychologist to test her he said she had ADHD and ODD but was on conclusive need to be ruled out so he said me to a nether doctor she diaginois the same need to be ruled out . My insurance refused testing her. I ask school for help try to seek help to have her tested no help came . So I was dealing with the principle and teacher about this matter. They retained her didn't help the principle said he saw ADHD in my daughter but not ODD , but retained her any way she just next year I could have a doctor diagnosis her so we can get her the help she needs. I found someone who tested her and was now diagnosis with ADHD I wanted her to start 4th grade and place her in 5th cause my daughter was keep in from reese for 5 month by the teacher went to 2 times tutoring and went to summer school and still did pass her I felt she got short change by the school.I don't feel the program no child left behind this is just words to me . With no meaning to it. unpleased parent with the school system .

mayamay's picture

It is good that you are trying to get your daughter the help that she needs.

Has anyone taught you things you can practice at home to help her? With the budget cutbacks, I keep hoping that training will be made available for parents so that we can provide the help our children need.

SYLVIALEE's picture

My son is in the first grade and after being there for just two weeks, they have placed him back in the first grade. He is devistated and I dont know what to do. The school offered no other alturnitive and I am wondering, can they force me to do this? He has always been such a confident little guy and just after two days, i see that spark is gone. He is miserable and I dont know what to do. Any advise.

2xstepmom's picture

Your post states in first grade back to first grade?