Parents: Should Your Child Repeat a Grade or Course?

If you believe your child needs to repeat a grade or course, you as a parent have the right to make this decision but you must act quickly. You can find the steps you must take here.

Given the disruptions of the 2020-2021 school year, the Texas Legislature has given parents new rights to make this decision for the upcoming school year. The decision as to whether your child needs to repeat a grade or course in the upcoming school year is your decision to make as a parent.

  • For children in grades 1-8:
    • Repeating may be right for your child if he/she struggled learning while remaining virtual most of the year
  • For students who took high school courses:
    • Repeating one or more courses may be right for your child if he/she struggled in a foundational course (e.g. Algebra I or computer science) and is worried about being successful in higher level courses

This page offers resources to help you make this decision.

For information on repeating or restarting pre-kindergarten or kindergarten, see Restart Kindergarten.

When Making the Decision, Consider:

 

  • Your child’s academic results, including grades, test scores, and other evidence of their learning. Does your child’s work and performance lead you to believe they are ready for the next grade?
  • Research shows that students who are repeating a grade should have access to additional academic supports (such as tutoring, summer school, and differentiated learning opportunities) to improve their learning.  Just repeating the school year without a plan to better cover material doesn’t necessarily improve results. Students will have access to additional tutoring supports in the upcoming year if they did not meet standards on STAAR or didn’t take the exam. For more information, see…X”
  • Talk to your child about the decision – how do they feel about repeating a grade or course?

Parents of High School Students Should Also Consider:

  • For children interested in varsity sports, review eligibility rules based on student age.
  • Ask your school about their grading policy: if a high school student received a passing grade for the course they will repeat, they will keep their original grade on their transcript unless the school has a different policy.
  • Review your student’s progress towards graduation: will repeating a course delay when they will be ready to graduate?

Research on repeating a grade is mixed; different studies have found positive and negative results for students’ academic learning and social development. When making decisions, parents should keep in mind both the general research AND the specifics of their student’s situation.

View Research

If you decide your student will repeat a grade/course, it is important to act quickly!

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You must tell your school in writing before the start of the school year:

  • Check your school’s calendar (often available on the school’s website) to make sure you know when school starts for the 2021-22 school year.
  • Make your request in writing is to the school principal, or to whomever the district otherwise directs you to address your request. Unless your school gives you different instructions, you can use this form to submit your request.
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If your school does not agree with your decision, they may bring together a committee to meet with you to talk about your decision. After you meet with the committee, you will make the final decision whether to your student will repeat a grade or course, and the school must honor your decision.
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Ask your school what additional supports such as tutoring and after school or out-of-school academic opportunities will be available to your student.