Student retention is the practice of “holding students back a grade” and has come up in response to learning loss attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have found that student retention is generally not supported by research as an effective practice to support students. Additionally, the Kansas State Department of Education's “Navigating Next” guidance for school districts discourages broad-based retention strategies (p. 13).
As we look ahead to the 2021-2022 school year, we will not be recommending student retention as a learning loss remediation strategy for our PreK-12 students. We believe that our exciting and engaging summer learning opportunities and classroom-based strategies and interventions will successfully and effectively address any suspected learning losses over time caused by the pandemic. Our school is eagerly preparing to implement these strategies this summer, next school year, and beyond for each student as needed.
As we move forward together, we understand and appreciate that each child is unique. We welcome parent/guardian feedback, thoughts, and questions. Please let your child's teacher and school principal know if you would like to visit further about your child's needs.