Grades

    Re: Kindergarten Teachers Retention Practices
    Judy2/CA

    I taught kinder for 6 years in a Title 1 school district. 99.9%
    of our students were ELLs and knew no English when they started
    school. I probably had 2-3 students who'd been to Head Start but
    no other preschool for the others. For most it was their first
    time away from family members. I only retained 2 students during
    my 6 years because they simply could not have made it in 1st
    grade. The main reason we didn't retain is because a child could
    be retained only once during the elem years. Our kinder was just
    1/2 day. If they were going to be retained it was preferred they
    be retained in 1st grade when they would repeat a full day
    program rather than 1/2 day kinder. Also in 1st grade they would
    get a full day of English rather than another year of 1/2 day
    exposure to the language. The teacher in our district makes the
    initial determination on retention but the principal has to sign
    the form and the parent also. If the parent doesn't agree it
    would be rare for the principal to let the child be retained.
    The feeling is if the parent doesn't support it, it will not be
    successful. Retentions at every grade level in my district are
    now rare. They seldom seemed to be successful and the students
    often seemed to have discipline issues as they reached the upper
    grades.

    On 4/10/16, DonnaR/CA wrote:
    > Before I answer your questions, I should add a caveat: I
    > have only been in my current Kinder assignment for two
    > years. Before that, I was in Music and in 5th grade.
    > However, as a music teacher, I usually knew what was going
    > on in the school when it came to retentions.
    >
    >> 1. How often have you retained children in kindergarten
    >> during your career?
    >
    > None of my students were retained last year. This year, I
    > took in 2 students who had been retained *by their parent*.
    > They were simply not ready for kindergarten in the first
    > place.
    >
    >> 2. Has there been change in their philosophy/practice of
    >> retaining children in kindergarten since starting
    >> teaching?
    >
    > No, not really. We still don't retain in kinder unless the
    > parent requests it, or if the child is very, very immature.
    > (The latter problem has been somewhat solved by the
    > "transitional kindergarten" in CA these days, where a child
    > who turns 5 between September 1st and December 2nd is
    > enrolled in Pre-K then in regular K the following year.)
    >
    >
    >> 3. What criteria do you use in making the decision to
    >> retain a child in kindergarten?
    >
    > See above.
    >
    >> 4. Who else is involved in the decision making?
    >
    > Parents and principal, and to a degree, the special ed
    > department chair and psychologist.
    >
    >> 5. What is done to ensure that children do not suffer a
    >> loss of self-esteem or stigmatization by other children?
    >
    > Since we haven't done it in so long except by parent
    > demand, I'd say it was up to the parent.
    >
    >
    >
    > Donna