Repeating a Grade in Elementary School
No parent wants to hear that their child may have to repeat a grade in school. Teachers may recommend grade retention when a child isn't meeting academic or social standards of the grade level. If this happens to you, you need to consider the research on grade retention and advocate appropriately for your child.
Grade retention is thought of as an intervention to help students who are not performing at their grade level academically or socially, but research suggests that this isn't always effective. When retained, most students experience decreased achievement in academics (especially in the two or three years following retention). Additionally, most students have a harder time adjusting socially. Retention also increases the likelihood of those students dropping out of high school.
So, if grade retention is not an effective intervention, what can you do? A lot. Meet with school personnel (teachers, school counselor, principal) to find out what the problems are and what interventions are available at the school or in the community to help support your child. Similarly, ask what more they can do to help support your child?s progress.
You might consider getting a tutor or enrolling your child in an intensive summer enrichment program. If the school is not able to adequately explain what your child's difficulties are, consider requesting a psychoeducational evaluation at school or seek an evaluation from a child psychologist. This should determine learning strengths and weaknesses, as well as any learning disabilities or emotional problems that are affecting your child's school success.