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Do I have a say in the school retaining my child?

Submitted by an LD OnLine user on

My son just turned 9 in Feb. He was doing really well with meeting his goals until recently. He has missed 14 days all excused for therapy and doctors. They told me that even if they are excused that after 21 days they could retain him. After they told me this I of course told them I would not be okay with that, he has special needs. After saying this they went on to tell me they would also take into account his grades. I said okay because his grades had been great. Now all of a sudden he is barely making grade level. Holding him back will hurt his self esteem and I overall think they are setting him up.

Submitted by eoffg on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:11 AM


Hi Tabatha Gray and welcome to the forum.

I just had a look at Wrightslaw, which has a whole section on Retention.
It provides information about the laws, and studies into the effects of retention.
It also provides strategies for fighting against retention.
So that while you do have a say, knowing what to say and what documents to present them with, is the real key.
But his sudden change in from doing great to barely making grade level?
Raises a question about whether they are marking him down, to try and back up their position?
This is a tactic that is quite often used.


Submitted by donna on Mon, 02/10/2014 - 1:31 AM


Hello what grade is your child in? As a rule it is best to retain as early as possible. What was the period of time that he had a significant decline in his grades?
The information about Wright’s Law if very important pertaining to retention. It is in your child’s best interest to be prepared as the other person who posted stated.

Submitted by DEW on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 6:10 PM


Hello. I think you have a lot of say whether your child is to be retained or not. One immediate issue you need to be concerned with is your district’s Attendance Policy. I think the fact that he has had 10 days already was the rationale for the person to say to you that your child would be retained. I suggest you obtain a copy of this policy and understand it. Today is 2/112014 and I don’t think anyone should be discussing retention issues this early in time. If you are concerned then I suggest you request an IEP meeting to discuss your concerns. If your son’s performance has come into question then this is another rationale to have this meeting. Don’t get too concerned about retention just yet.

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