The decision on student retention is one of the most important that a principal, teachers, and parents make.  At Avon Elementary School, the decision on retention rests solely with the school district.  The school encourages families to search the World Wide Web to locate the latest research and information on retention.

Avon Central School Promotion and Retention Procedures

  • The teacher reviews each student's educational development to determine if it is in keeping with his/her assessed potential

  • In areas where concerns may be identified, the teacher consults with parents regarding the student’s educational development.

  • The teacher completes a form designating his/her recommendation regarding retention potential.

  • The teacher supports recommendation for retention through a written statement to the building Principal.

  • The teacher confers with the building principal relative to his/her recommendation prior to parent discussion.

  • The Principal consults with appropriate teachers relative to the promotion of all pupils.

  • The Principal further consults with any teacher having concerns about a student’s possible retention.

  • The Principal reviews all existing data relative to the student’s development.

  • The Principal determines if additional data shall be required.

  • The Principal makes a final determination for retention or promotion.

  • The Principal notifies parents of decisions for retention.

Retention Facts

  • In-grade retention (the practice of requiring students to repeat the same grade a second time to master material) has been a recurrent theme in education during the last 30 years.   Policy-makers favor it one decade only to oppose it the next.

  • Currently in-grade retention is the favored response to addressing poor academic performance and is linked to a call for higher educational standards by politicians.

  • Retention is often seen erroneously as the only alternative to social promotion  (the practice of passing students who have not mastered grade level content to the next grade with their age appropriate cohort). 

  • The research on the ineffectiveness of retention is very clear.  The effects of retention are harmful.  Retention harms students academically and socially. Out of the 66 studies done on retention from 1990 to 1997, 65 found it to be ineffective and/or harmful to students.

  • According to retention research, 50 percent of students who repeat a grade do no better the second time, and 25 percent actually do worse. 

  • The threat of retention is not a motivating force for students to work harder.

  • Retention is strongly associated with dropping out of school in later years.  A second retention makes dropping out a virtual certainty.

  • Retained students suffer lower self-esteem and view retention as a punishment and a stigma, not a positive event designed to help them.

  • African American students and Hispanic students are retained at twice the rate of Caucasian students.

  • Forty percent of repeaters come from the lowest socio-economic quartile as compared to only 8.5 percent from the highest quartile. 

Taken from research done by Intercultural Development Research Association