Date Approved: February 19 2015
Date Reviewed/Amended: June 30 2017
Years of cumulative research has consistently demonstrated that the potential for negative effects consistently outweighs the potential for positive outcomes with respect to grade retention. Accordingly, educational practice has shifted to the almost exclusive use of promotion with intervention for those students who are at academic risk. The new curriculum for Grade K-9, implemented in September 2016 is designed to support the inclusive classroom and the ideal of continuous learning.
In the Prince Rupert School District, promotion practices are expected to be in alignment with research findings: i.e. students will not normally “repeat” a program of studies in the primary or intermediate grades or otherwise be retained in a grade to join a younger age group. Each school is expected to develop appropriate intervention strategies in support of this practice.
In highly unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made. In these exceptional instances, it is imperative that the decision to retain be made by the school-based team in consultation with district and/or Board Office staff. Prior to holding a school-based meeting or entering into any discussion with parents regarding retention, principals are expected to provide the Superintendent of Schools (or designate) with appropriate documentation regarding any student who is being considered for retention.
Where the school-based team does not recommend retention but the parent/guardian still desires this, the district will require informed and signed parental consent indicating that the parent/guardian is aware of current research on student retention. Principals may share “Reporting Student Progress: Policy and Practice,” March 2009, p. 41 for a brief examination of concerns about retention.
Such a record of parental consent would clearly document why retention is desired by the parent.