26 answers

Retaining a Child Back in School

Does anyone know who makes the final choice when holding your child back in school? The school or the parent? Is there any law?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for taking time to respond. I didn't talk to the school until my son made the choice to be held back. He isn't worried people will think he is a dummy as one person stated. He just plans to tell them, "I got great grades and commended on the TAKS but my parents wanted me to be in the grade with kids who are the same age." There are still kids in the grade below who are older than him. There parents just knew better than I did back in kindergarten. As for getting him interested in thing outside of school. That would be sports and most of those go by grade and not age so he is on teams with kids who have facial hair! I think my son will be a late bloomer even for his age. My husband and my brothers are all 6' and over but it didn't happen until after high school. My husband will be going to talk to the school one more time next week. If they don't allow us to hold our child back we will just have to homeschool for a year and put him back in public school the following year as a 7th grader. They seem to only care about the grades and TAKS. The maturity level, organization, and self confidence doesn't seem to matter to them. As a parent, I am looking to the future, not just today.

Well, I guess I should have explained a little more. My son is in the sixth grade. He is one of the younger kids. I didn't know I should have waited to start school. I have been asking since he was little. Every year they say his maturity will catch up. His grades are A's and B's but he should have all A's. He forgets to turn in work and is very unorganized. He gets picked on and isn't always happy to go to school. His self confidence is low at school. The school has said to find his passion. He likes sports. When he plays with his grade he mostly plays the bench. There are kids who are 5'7", 150 pounds, size 13 shoe, and starting to grow a mustache! he just made it to 5', not even 100 pounds. If he plays with his age, he gets to pitch or be a leader on the team. Next year if he moves on he will be in school with 7th -12th grades.
I am the one who would like to hold him back. The school goes only by his grades and TAKS scores (commended) I feel it is just as important to be confident and organized. If he moves on he definitely won't be getting any help with organization from his teachers. His confidence will not be any better. I feel I know my son and holding him back he will have the chance to be a leader. If he stays where he is I feel there is a chance for him to be a follower into the wrong crowd.
It made me angry when the principle was telling me that his 12 year old needs to have them on him to get his work done, it is normal for boys at that age to be immature. Then he says his son is in the 5th grade! My son turned 12 2 weeks ago, so my 6th grader is probably younger than his 5th grader!

Featured Answers

C.-

It is ultimately the decision of the student's teacher. After the teacher decides to hold a student back, a meeting is held between the teacher, parent, principal and anybody else who may need to be involved. In the long run, it is the best for the student. It's not an easy decision for a teacher to make. The reason a teacher would decide to take such action is only because the student would not make it in the next grade and would benefit repeating whatever grade is in question.

I believe it's the school. They are regulated by the state. There may be summer school options that you can pay for if you don't want them to be held back. It depends on the age of the child if that is available.

Hi! I terach 4th grade so I will help you out :)
The parent has the final say unless the child is in grades three five or eight. In those grades the law states you have to pass reading and math TAKS in order to move on.

More Answers

I was held back a grade in second grdae. I am an August birthday and was the youngest in my class. I guess my parents did it more to help me from a maturity standpoint. My grades were ok, but they felt I would do better going back to 1st grade. I made the move in Feb and finished out the year as a 1st grader. I was a little upset at first but made some really good friends--long lasting friends. As I got in to middle school and high school I was always the oldest among my friends. 1st to be able to drive, 1st to turn 18. That was fun to be the leader. It was a good desicion. I don't remember it ever being an issue with the state but rather my parents, teacher and principal. It was however a private school.

1 mom found this helpful

to hold your child back in school, in kindergarten it is the parent's choice (as Kindergarten is not a compulsory grade), but in the grades past that, there is no choice to be made if your child does not pass all the subjects with a grade of 70 or above. Now, if your child is passing and you choose to have them repeat a grade, that can be your choice.
If your child has been previously retained, and he/she doesnot make the grades, they cannot be held back again. They can 'place' the student in the next grade. This gives the next year's teacher a 'heads up' to know that they did not quite meet the requirements to move on.

Since I just read your further explanation . . . yes, you can hold your child back in a grade. We did that with our son this year for that very reason! It was a wonderful experience for him. His maturity has come along. He is with a better group of children, as well as his self-confidence has really come along with the retention.
For us to do it, we contacted the school principal and explained the situation. She told me that I would have to put something in writing stating our wishes and she could make that happen. I also know of several other families that did that same thing. Their boys had the same accomplishments as your son. It has been a very positive experience for each of them as well.

1 mom found this helpful

The parent of course,

C.-

It is ultimately the decision of the student's teacher. After the teacher decides to hold a student back, a meeting is held between the teacher, parent, principal and anybody else who may need to be involved. In the long run, it is the best for the student. It's not an easy decision for a teacher to make. The reason a teacher would decide to take such action is only because the student would not make it in the next grade and would benefit repeating whatever grade is in question.

Hi C.,
When i first read your post, the first thing that came to mind was the school makes that decision. And then I read your insert.
You need to speak to the school's principal since school is over. Explain your situation. Tell them that you need a change. Require them to keep him another year and then take it to the superintendent. It will be a fight but if you are adamant then you can do it. If a parent screams enough it will be done.
Also, Is this what your son wants? It might not work for him, he might dig himself a deeper hole because he is embarrased. Discuss it with him and then take action after both of you have made a decision.

Either the parent or the school depending on circumstances.

I'm not sure there is a law. When my friend made the decision she had a meeting with the conselor, principal and teacher. Her daughter could have gone on but was struggling. If they are failing then the school has to hold them back I think unless they can make it up in summer school.

Unless your child falls under 504 or special education, I believe the school has the right to hold back based on testing and observation in agreement with the counselor and curriculum superintendent. If you have a complaint, your always allowed to take it up with the school board. That said, it takes an act of congress to get an audience with the school boards in TX! If you truly believe a wrong is being done the cheapest recourse is to send her/him somewhere else. Charter schools are free if you can get in. I agree with one of your responses that you need to take in the entire picture first. Then persue it beyond that if you see discrepancies.

I taught 10th grade English for 7 years. Nothing is more sad than seeing a child that does not have the skills trying to struggle their way through a 5 page research paper. If your child is still young, you will regret pushing too fast. But from the experience of other parents that have shared with me, they never regretted taking it slower for the sake of skills and readiness.

We will be holding back our son until 6 yrs old for kindergarten (august birthday) whether or not he is ready. Personally, my hubby was moved back to middle of 1st from 2nd and thrived beautifully through HS and college (sports was just the added bonus of that!)

Good luck
If you need to talk more, call me or write back,
L.
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