Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daily Assignment #64: Retention

By now, you have probably identified a student who is not yet ready to face the challenges of the next grade level. This is a difficult decision and not to be taken lightly. I have yet to meet a teacher who hasn't agonized over broaching this subject with parents.  As difficult as it is, parents should be given a heads up long before May.  However, if you haven't yet, all is not lost.  Still discuss retention with parents at this point.  I have found most parents are not surprised when the idea of retention is brought up.  They usually have had questions and doubts about promotion also. Whatever the situation parents must be involved in this decision, as well as the administrator.

So, when do you retain a student?   In my opinion, you just don't retain a child because he/she's academics are not on grade level.  Instead look at the whole child.  A friend, and former principal, recommended that I use Light's Retention Scale when I was struggling over retaining a student.  I gave a copy to the student's parents to fill out and I completed one as well.  It was very interesting.  When we did the scoring of both forms, the scores actually came out the same.  The scores indicated that the student would be a "Good Retention Candidate".

Here are the 19 categories that are covered:

  • Knowledge of English Language
  • Physical Size of the student
  • Student's Age
  • Sex of Student
  • Siblings
  • Parents' School Participation
  • Transiency
  • School Attendance
  • Present Level of Academic Achievement
  • Student's Attitude About Possible Retention
  • Present grade Placement
  • Previous grade retention
  • Immature behavior
  • Emotional problems
  • History of delinquency
  • Experiential background
  • Motivation to complete school task
  • History of Learning Disabilities
  • Estimate of Intelligence
Each response has a numeric value.   For example:
 Knowledge of English Language:
-Student has good communication skills using the English language...........................................0
-Student has limited use of the English language but is acquiring new skills quickly...................2
-Student has little or no knowledge of the English language and is not acquiring new skills........5

At the end of the 19 categories, total the numbers and compare to the Interpretation Guidelines Table.
Example:  A total score of 0-9:  Excellent retention candidate.
This is the link to Light's Retention Scale:'s%20Retention%20Scale.pdf

This tool should not be used as the only method of determining a student's retention.  It is another aid to help in that decision..

Please share this blog with colleagues and friends.
If you haven't already, consider becoming a "Follower".
Best Effort,

No comments:

Post a Comment