PROMOTION AND RETENTION

ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION - 5123

We believe children are best served when their school experience provides a balance of both challenge and success. Most frequently, this occurs in a setting with other children of their same chronological age. The following guidelines and procedures apply as special promotion or retention is considered.

Retention Cautions: Whenever possible, necessary adjustments in grade level placement should be accomplished in the early elementary years; however, grade placement at all levels shall be flexible, with the child’s optimum academic, social and emotional growth being the guiding criteria. Caution should be exercised in recommending retention of students at any grade, with particular attention given to the current research on long-range effects, as well as the academic, social/emotional and self-esteem impact. Multiple retentions for the same student are to be avoided.

Screening for At Risk of Retention: Using multiple indicators of academic achievement, and appropriate observations of social and physical development, all students in grades K-8, will be screened for being at risk of retention. As soon as possible after screening data is generated, an Individual Retention Plan (IRP) will be developed for each student identified as being at risk of retention.

Referrals for Possible Retention or for Special Promotion: At a minimum, students in grades 2,3,4,6, and 8 who have been screened as being at risk of retention, will be reviewed by the teacher or counselor for possible retention. Based on that review, any student deemed to potentially benefit from retention shall be referred to the Student Study Team (SST consists of the parents, principal, teacher, psychologist and other appropriate personnel) for recommendation. Students referred by the parent for retention or special promotion shall also be referred to the SST for recommendation. The final recommendation as to retention or special promotion should be the joint conclusion of the SST.

Appeal Process: If the Student Study Team recommendation is for retention or special promotion, implementation shall proceed, unless the student’s regular classroom teacher determines in writing that retention is not the appropriate intervention. This determination shall specify the reasons that retention is not appropriate for the student, and shall include recommendations for interventions other than retention that, in the opinion of the teacher, are necessary to assist the student in attaining acceptable levels of academic growth.

Whatever the Student Study Team recommendation, the parent may request a review of the recommendation by the Executive Director of Elementary or Secondary Education.

Multiple Criteria: On an annual basis, established, published criteria will be used to identify students who will be considered as being at risk of retention. The criteria shall consist of multiple indicators of achievement, and may include, but not be limited to, Stanford 9, Running Record, Grades, Performance Assessments, Phonemic Awareness, Informal Reading Inventories, and district tests of basic skills. An Individual Retention Plan (IRP) shall be developed for each student identified as being at risk of retention. A Student/Parent/School Contract describing prescribed activities shall be an integral part of the IRP.

Modified Instructional Program: A student who has been recommended for retention, or identified as being at risk of retention may be required to participate in a modified or supplemental instructional program. Modifications to the student’s instructional program may include curtailment of programs that are not part of the core curriculum, and/or regrouping across grade levels for reading or math. Supplemental programs may occur outside the normal school day or calendar.
Parents shall be responsible for assuring student participation in modified or supplemental instructional programs. Parents may appeal this requirement by presenting a written request for non-participation to the Director of Elementary or Secondary Education or the Assistant Superintendent.

A decision for retention should be made only after careful consideration of the following factors:

  1. Other Options
  • within classroom
  • within school
  • split room or school assignment
  • special education
  • Personal Assessment
  1. social emotional behavior
  • self-esteem
  • language deficits
  • physical maturity
  • chronological age
  • physical size
  • general health coordination

Learners who are least likely to benefit from retention include:

  • students who speak and act in ways that are chronologically older than their grade-level peers
  • students with problems beyond those that can be addressed with an extra year of learning time
  • students whose parents oppose the retention
  • students with low self-esteem
  • transient and high absentee students
  • emotionally disturbed students low-ability students
  • unmotivated students

Retention is more likely to be a successful experience when all the following conditions met:

  1. the school has a specific plan to maintain and promote self-esteem and success
  2. there is a specific academic plan including school time and outside school time
  3. the parent assumes full responsibility for the decision, and has a specific plan to maintain and promote self-esteem and success
  4. there is a contract with parents describing prescribed activities
  5. The teacher has a specific plan to:
  • promote academic success
  • avoid a repeat of last year's educational activities/experiences
  • promote self-esteem
  1. there are no serious social, emotional, or behavioral deficits
  2. the student has positive self-esteem and good social skills
  3. there were serious academic deficits that manifested in the year prior to the retention
  4. difficulty in school resulted from the lack of opportunity for instruction
  5. the student can be characterized as capable, but small for his/her age, emotionally immature, or among the youngest in grade

Tentative Multiple Indicators of Academic Achievement
The following criteria shall be used to identify students deemed to be at risk of retention:

Kindergarten:

Language Arts: Phonemic Awareness 35% or below on all subtests

Grade 1:

  1. Language Arts Primary Criterion: Mid-year Oral Text Reading level 2 or below
  2. Language Arts Secondary Criterion: Mid-year Basic Phonics Skills Test score 35 or below
  3. Math: Mid-year Assessment 35% or below on all subtests

Grade 2:

  1. Language Arts Primary Criterion: Oral Text Reading level 6 or below
  2. Language Arts Secondary Criterion: Basic Phonics Skills Test score 60 or below
  3. Math: Mid-year Assessment 35% or below on all subtests

Grades 3-6:

Language Arts Primary Criterion: California Standards Test ELA or Math Proficiency Level Below Basic or Far Below Basic

  1. Language Arts Secondary Criterion: Informal Reading Inventory
  2. Grade 3 Mid-year Math Assessment 35% or below on all subtests
  3. Grade 4 and 5: Below Basic or Far Below Basic on prior year's Math CST and 35% or below on 2nd trimester post-test
  4. Grade 6: Below Basic or Far Below Basic on 5th Grade Math CST and 35% or below on Middle School Math Placement Test

Grade 7-8:

  1. Language Arts: California Standards Test ELA Proficiency Level Below Basic or Far Below Basic
  2. Math: Proficiency Level Below Basic or Far Below Basic on prior year's grade level Math CST and 35% or below on Algebra Placement Test
  3. Secondary Criterion: Failing either English and mathematics (except first trimester Grade 7)
  4. Teacher observations, report card information, grades, and assessment of academic achievement relative to content standards are considered critical elements of each of criteria.

PROMOTION AND RETENTION LINE

School days prior to

 

80

The Student Study Team (SST includes parents) meets to discuss student.

The teacher completes Retention/Special Promotion Recommendation form.

40

The SST Team meets again to discuss the results of any additional observations and/or information, and makes recommendation.

20

The principal and teacher and/or SST Team conference with the parents.

The Parent Consent form is completed and signed by parent.