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Jennifer
Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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I live in Rhode Island and have a child in the second grade.

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I live in Rhode Island and have a child in the second grade. I want to keep my child back a year. Who has t he final say? Parents or schools?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 6 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Justanswer.com!

If this is a legal question, please let me know and I'd be happy to forward it to the legal experts.

I don't know what RI law entails regarding who has the final say, but I know in the district I work for it is ultimately a parent's choice. However, we often have several meetings with parents first to determine whether this is an appropriate solution. Know that the school is on your side -- Although it may seem like they are questioning this decision, they truly want what is best for your child (which is why they may be trying to slow this process down). Holding a child back is a fairly uncommon intervention these days for multiple reasons. Not only does it have a detrimental effect socially, there are often other interventions that are more effective than simply repeating the year. There is a rating scale called the Light's Retention Scale (ask the school counselor about administering it) that may help to determine whether holding your child back would be helpful or harmful. If you're wanting to look at retention due to academic difficulties, you may also request an evaluation for support services to see if he/she qualifies for additional academic support (small groups, individualized goals on an IEP, case management by a learning specialist, etc.) I hope all of this is helpful to you!
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