Grrrgh! I have worked ALL year with one of my 2nd grade students who has ADHD. It took until March to get Mom to consider asking the doctor to evaluate her. Of course, medication was recommended. At first Mom didn't want her on Ritalin, but eventually gave it a try. Since then, we have been working on adjusting the dosage, changing to a different med, etc. etc. It is now a week before school ends and she still can not complete a task, or stay in her seat for any length of time. I have wondered if she really even is on any medication. I have heard excuses from the mother all year....from car problems, to cancelled appts, the dr. wanting her to finish one prescription before starting the new prescription, yada, yada yada.
I have worked very hard with this girl all year. Besides the ADHD, I think she may have a learning disability. She likes reading/language arts and although her reading is not up to "standards" I think if she were able to focus and concentrate more she would be fine. Math, however, appears to be a real weakness. She needs individual help and of course, can not finish it independently.
So......I wrote her up for testing. Hmmmm.....probably late March or early April. I have heard nothing from "the team" so early May I inquired about it and was told she was put on the "student log". After talking to Mom, I decided to retain her. Mom whole-heartedly agreed. We just received student records this past week and I looked at hers and sure enough - this little girl is going to be 9 at the end of June!!! WTH?!? I did some checking to verify her birthdate and yep. It's 2004. She has NOT been retained, but was 6 when she started Kindergarten.
Yes, I realize I should have checked on this sooner than now. (which is why I signed out) But, I can't keep someone in 2nd grade who is 9??? Don't you agree? Since we have already reorganized I am going to have to go to the office and straighten this out. Fortunately, (unbelievably) our retention letters have not yet gone out and are supposed to go out on Monday. That is another story in itself.
I'm hoping this girl will eventually be put on a medication that will help her concentrate and focus. I'm hoping that she will get tested immediately next year and receive services to help her with math. I'm hoping I am doing the right thing now to pass her on. I'm just fed up with all the excuses and foot-dragging from mom and "the team". I am guilty, too, of just figuring this all out.
This student is a touch smaller and seems to fit in well, so far at least. My own DS is 13 and in 7th grade. Couple of thoughts: First, physical size, at least right now--how well does this student "fit" with the rising second-graders? Second, what would retention accomplish vs. promoting to 3rd and doing heavy-duty intervention? There's a lot of research that shows retention by itself doesn't accomplish much; it's the intervention that counts. So maybe promotion is the better option? Just thinking out loud here...
Teacher writer. Push this out further to high school, will child be older and more mature than classmates? In our district a child with a learning disability, including ADHD, cannot be retained. Interventions more important than rehashing same work over again.
I would, instead, make sure that she has interventions in place. Studies show that retention just puts the problem off for a year. She might be caught up or ahead in 2nd grade for a while, but without clearing up her confusions, she'll fall behind again.
We've passed on students who we felt needed to be tested, because then they are tested on the higher grade level. In our state if the parents write a letter requested testing, the team needs to meet to determine if testing is necessary (if they feel testing will show services will be needed.) I read up on retention, as I've retained several children over the years. It helped when they were behind due to immaturity, high absentee rate, or being weak in both their native language and in English. As long as she gets the support she needs in the next grade, I agree with your decision. And don't beat yourself up- you did the best you could.
I teach 3rd grade which in my state is a mandatory retention year. If the student doesn't pass our state testing they are retained, parents have no choice. Unfortunately, this means many students are pushed on to 3rd grade and parents are told they will be retained then which does them no good. We get many students who can't read above a K reading level, have no number sense, etc. (our school has some very poor primary teachers). These particular students would greatly benefit from repeating 1st or 2nd grade but they are instead just pushed on ahead.
There are, of course, special instances. I have a boy in my class this year who will be 10 in July, he was already retained in Kindergarten. However, he did not pass our state testing this year so he will be repeating 3rd next year. He will start 4th grade at 11 years old. Unfortunately, I referred him for testing but bc he showed "adequate" progress through the RTI model he does not qualify. Does retaining him again do him any good? Probably not but unfortunately in his case he will probably never be able to meet grade level standards. Thankfully he is a small boy and pretty immature so he doesn't stick out like a sore thumb or anything.
It happens at my school, too. 13 year olds in 4th grade.....several 11 year olds in 3rd, etc. It is a tough situation,they don't consider the social issues as a child ages. We have 9 year olds in the same classes as teens! We are not meeting their needs-educationally or socially! I am not against retention(though haven't personally seen too many success stories), esp. if it is maturity, age, etc. However, retaining 2 or 3 times in the primary grades will result in more issues later. I don't see it getting much better at this point,with the mandatory retention we also have in our state.
What were you hoping the benefits would be of retaining the student? If the problem is attention then retention is not going to fix that problem so I wouldn't suggest you retain a 9 year old for that. If she is socially younger than her classmates then retention may help her to fit in. It rarely solves learning problems.
Does your school have other ways to help ADHD children like movement breaks, alternative seating (T stools, balls), etc.? As teachers we can't do anything about the meds a child receives or does not. For some children they don't make much difference and for others the difference is huge so we have to provide other supports. I know it's too late for you to try any of those now, but perhaps sit and talk with next years teacher.
I wouldn't retain a child who is that old. But I'm not a fan of retention as a whole and research doesn't offer a lot of support for it. As far as a learning disability, a child who is that inattentive might have had a lot of trouble learning math concepts, and those concepts scaffold on one another, so it's not surprising she'd have such trouble in math, even without a learning disability. Technically, they should have responded to your request for assessment in a timely manner with a meeting. I agree with a PP, maybe suggest to parent that she put in a request for assessment. It's harder to ignore a parent request than a teacher one in some schools. In any case, in most places, with a diagnosis of ADHD and documentation from you that it's significantly impacting her ability to progress (and that she needs specially designed instruction) would allow for qualification and services.
If she is on meds, any decent doctor (imo) would be asking for feedback from the school as to her behaviors so they can adjust the medication as needed. If you're not being asked for any input, I'd wonder if she truly was on meds or if her doctor is one who just does whatever mom thinks.
a couple of years ago and it was a disaster. He hit puberty early so I had this young man in a class with little boys (9 years old). He just had nothing in common with his classmates. I felt sorry for him.
I wouldn't do it. The first thing I do each year is check the ages and birthdates of my students, so I am aware of who is old or young for the grade.
I've had multiple 13 and 14 year olds- in FIRST grade. Parents didn't enroll their kids in school until 13 or 14. There were no attempts at homeschooling, the moms just couldn't be bothered. These moms insisted that, if there were govt services to pay for food and housing, then there should be a service to wake kids up each morning and deliver them to school so mom could sleep in. These teens were always enrolled in first within the last few months of the school year, and the majority did not know the alphabet or letter sounds.
A couple of years ago I had two 11 year old boys in my 3rd grade class with 7-9 year olds! It was not ideal. As a mom I wouldn't want my little girl in the same room as those boys. Just something to think about...
I had a 12 year old (who will be 13 shortly) in my fifth grade class. He was retained earlier in elementary school because he has a lot of varied issues, but the biggest thing that cropped up this year was the fact that puberty hit him smack in the face since he was so much older than the other students. The problem was that he had the maturity level of about a 1st grader, so he didn't know how to handle it at all and unfortunately it turned into some sexual touching (of boys) and a whooooooooole lotta other stuff. Made the year very uncomfortable for every single other student in that room.
I thought I had two this year that were older. I had three who repeated 2nd grade. 1 was a November birthday and it made a lot of sense, she made a lot of gains. The other two were late May/beginning of June birthdays, they were both immature, but they also did very little work all year. It was pointless they will both be going on to third grade (one at our school, one in yet another new city-4th school in the 4 years). Both were told to go to Successmaker, about halfway through the year they got extra guided reading, one went the other didn't, they were also told to do Raz-Kids on their own time.(like that would happen)
I used to think that if they weren't ready for the next grade, they should be retained. Now I don't know what the answer is since the school rarely gives appropriate inverentions nor do they test kids.