3Rd Grade and 4Th Grade

Updated on January 25, 2011
K.B. asks from East Troy, WI
6 answers

i live in wisconsin and my son is having issues in 3rd grade. i had a meeting today with his teacher and the principal and the principal informed me that it is the school decision if my child should be held back. a parent doesn't have the say. does any one know the answer to this question??

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So What Happened?

in wisconsin there is a big test in the th grade that if a student doesn't pass they could be held back....my son has no reason to be held back in the 3rd grade!!

More Answers


answers from New York on

Its the opposite here, research your state



answers from Dallas on

In Texas, the parent has the right to refuse being held back. I would go over the head of the principal and talk to someone in upper administration if you really believe this is a mistake. That being said, his teacher is the one that sees how he is progressing daily. If she really believes it would be beneficial, you might have to go with her on this one. Have more conferences with his teacher and find out what you can do at home to help him be successful at school. You still have several months of school left. Even little changes can make a huge difference


answers from Kansas City on

although i know some parents do choose to hold a child back, in some cases of misbehavior or low grades, i don't think they get a choice. hence the stigma of getting "left back". the school can choose not to advance them.



answers from Honolulu on

What kind of 'issues' is he having?
Not comprehending the school work/academics?
How long, has your Son been having trouble?
Has he been helped, by you/the school or the Teacher, already? And this is the last resort?
AND does the school grade level, have 'practice' testing and showing the kids 'how' to take the tests???
At my daughter's school for example, they do. From 3rd grade on, kids in these grade levels take tests. Statewide. This is per public schools. For example.
Is your son is public or private school?

Is it something for which you can get a Tutor for him???

All I know is, in 3rd grade, the schoolwork is drastically more complex, than 2nd Grade. THEN in 4th Grade... the complexity of school work takes another notch up in complexity and in expectations per the Teacher, and per that grade level. That is how it is, in my Daughter's school.
From 3rd grade onward... they are considered to be in secondary school, not primary. Per my Daughter's Teacher, she said that IF a child cannot comprehend nor do the schoolwork of a 3rd grader and per 'grade level benchmarks' (my daughter is in 3rd grade), then they will start to flounder and also will not be prepared for 4th Grade. Because in 4th grade, a student has to have the 'basics' down pat and under their belt. Another Teacher echoed this same thing, to me. Not per my daughter, but they were just giving me the 'gist' of what 3rd Grade is and why that grade level is SO important, in light of the upcoming 4th grade expectations, academically and individually.

So, how IS your son doing, academically?
And what will be best for him?
Is he late born or early born?
Has the Teacher attempted to give him extra assistance (if she could being she has other students as well and cannot give one-on-one teaching to him, only)?
Has the Teacher, previously given you notice, that your son is not doing well? How about in his previous grades? How was he doing in his previous grades?
Or is this something, that only NOW, in 3rd Grade, he is having a hard time?
Or could it be something as common as him needing glasses? Or needing learning assistance?
Have those avenues, been explored or attempted or trouble-shooted, by you as the parent or by his Teacher?

I don't know, about each State's 'laws' or school particularities about holding a child back, but you might want to check with your States "Dept. of Education" and ask them.

all the best,



answers from San Francisco on

I have taught 4th grade last year and 3rd grade the year before that. The decision for a student to repeat a grade is dependent on state laws. In California, where I teach and live, the law states that starting at 3rd grade, the law allows the TEACHER to ultimately decide. Though, with that said, most schools and teachers would work with the student and student's family prior to the decision. In my school, if a child is struggling (either socially, emotionally or academically), then there are various meetings between school support staff, teacher and parents (sometimes child) to come up with strategies for success. If all of these strategies are exhausted and the child still isn't on par, then usually the parents and teacher decide together. However, if there was a difference in opinion, then the decision resides within the teacher and school starting with third grade and above. Again, this is the law in California. You may want to check with your state board of education laws.

If it is up to the parent and you're in limbo about whether or not to have your child retained for another year, there are several things to think about before making your decision. I have had students, both of whom have been retained (repeat a grade) and those who have NOT, but have struggled and these are the factors you may want to consider:

-If your child repeats the same grade, will it help them academically as well as socially? Some kids start off feeling like they are "little fish in a big pond." and on top of that, struggle academically. IF your child is younger (chronologically and/or developmentally) then it may benefit him/her to repeat the grade. For some kids, though they repeat a grade and may "do better at the curriculum" the fact that they repeated the grade really affects them socially, which in turn carries over into their concept of self and their academics. If the latter is true, then could you possibly have a tutor for your child so he/she can 'catch up' or get extra support while staying in the same peer group (meaning, NOT repeat the grade.)

-Does yoru child have a learning disability that really has nothing to do with the teacher or curriculum. Meaning, even if your child repeated the same grade, does that mean that he/she will "get it" the second time around? Or is there another underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Perhaps it's not only the curriculum, but also how it is presented or delivered that is impeding your child's learning.

-Your child's personality also plays an important role as well in how successful he/she will be "the second time around."

I am also a mother of two and my first born is developmentally "younger" than her peers. She is academically on par with her age group, however she just really enjoys being with people younger than her. She prefers to be a "bigger fish in a smaller pond" than the other way around. When I say "younger" I don't mean "goofing off" or "unfocused."

Hope that helps?



answers from Stockton on

I believe if it is for academic reasons that the school can do that. But I live in CA and the laws may be different here. But think about it. Do you really want your son to advance if he is going to be having trouble learning? You are setting him up for failure in the future. Just let him stay back now without you making a big deal of it. He will be able to get caught up and comprehend what he is supposed to be learning and will do better in the future if he can get the basics down. It is not that big of a deal to be held back. Just curious if they brought this to you at a younger age like in kindergarten where you do have the option to move them along and you did not hold him back then or if this is a problem that is just now presenting itself. If it is just now starting, I think you may need to look at factors outside of the classroom that may be affecting his learning. Like are you and hubby going through a hard time, divorcing, moving, a new sibling has come along, could be millions of things, but you should make try to think about what could be causing this all of a sudden if it is something new and he normally does well. But if he has constantly been struggling I think that it would be best for him to be held back. The longer you wait to address the issue, the harder it is going to be for him to catch up. If you are worried that he will be embarrassed, maybe you could switch schools and then the kids at the new school will have no idea that he is re-taking 3rd grade.

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