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Hold me back?

It is that time of year! The light at the end of the tunnel is right ahead, with the sun shining bright for summer break! Now is the time for teachers to review students’ progress to determine the mastery of the grade-level skills required!

“Hold me back? You can’t hold me back; my friends will make fun of me!”

The interruptions to student learning had a direct impact on each child. Anytime a child experiences a change or disruption to their routine, an effect is felt. The answer has never been to have a child remain in the same grade level. Professor John Hattie has identified retention as one of the negative educational practices impacting student achievement.

The reaction stated above is similar to many I have heard. Transitioning to the middle school level as an administrator, I found a grade span from 6th-8th grade with students up to 17 years old. What? How can I have 15, 16, and 17-year-old students? Investigating, I discovered multiple times that these students had been retained and were still not mastering skills.

Finding Solutions

Providing students with what they need is a priority. In place was a summer school program that was conditional on repeating course work from the school year in the same manner, which looked like a punishment to students instead of a way to improve.

Additional ways to support students in a continuous process include clear communication and sharing information between transitions. Losing time by not communicating intervention plans and taking time for teams to have transition meetings hurt the progression of student achievement. Collaboration and understanding the student’s needs is the key to closing the gaps by addressing these with an implementation plan of interventions that work.

Additional Ways

We can dig deeper into the areas to get specifics, models, templates, and ways to work to continue to improve. When discovering solutions, the best part is you always find more! More and more, we can do together to make it better for everyone involved.

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