Now they do, now they don’t………

Last year I had a little boy who turned 5 less than 10 days before the annual cut off. So yes, he could come to kindergarten. Legally.  But he was young, and tiny, and immature and had never been to preschool, or been read to, or done much of anything else with his life to that point other than get anything he wanted because everybody thought he was so “cute”.  At the end of the year he was about ready for kindergarten.  Did I mention that he was legally blind,  but didn’t get his glasses until first grade?  Apparently it wasn’t until he got to kindergarten that he was mature enough for the eye doctor to interpret his reactions to the eye exam to be able to fit him with a prescription…….  We talked early about retaining him.  If anyone was a candidate he was.  Young, small, delayed development…..   At the end of the year the parents wanted him to repeat kindergarten.  The principal said, “No.”  She even made the statement to me and the parents that, she had final say, and she wasn’t retaining him.  (He is currently dying in first grade)

Fast forward to today.  I have a little girl who has been in my class for 24 days, she has missed  six of them.  I pulled her file from the other school, and she was enrolled there for 84 days and had missed 24 of them.  That makes a total of 30 days out of 108.  State law around here mandates consideration for retention after 20 absences.  The principal made the comment to me while we were discussing the situation, that there really wasn’t anything we could do and, “If the mother wants to retain the girl, we can’t stop her.”


I KNOW the law hasn’t changed.  So what has?  Her reasoning was that since kindergarten isn’t mandatory, parents could do what they wanted, and we have no recourse.

Situational, arbitrary and inconsistent.

Why am I not surprised?


3 thoughts on “Now they do, now they don’t………

  1. Hmmm…do you think last year’s little darling’s parents rubbed the principal the wrong way or something? Ridiculous! We are NEVER allowed to retain any kindergartners. It makes me want to scream!!!!

    • At 4 years old, they should have a screening for up coming kindergartners, ALL of them. It should be a readiness screening and those that aren’t ready should be dealt with. If the parents need to work with them, they need to be told. If they aren’t developmentally ready, they should have to wait. Other services should be provided to help get kids ready for kindergarten, like pre-school. Some of our Title One schools have it, but even there it’s kind of exclusive, only a handful of those that need the extra help get it. It’s “supposed” to be for the neediest kids, but the preK teacher picks and chooses, at least at my last school she did.

  2. Parents always have the final word in any situation, including retention. After all they can always move, have their child transfered, home school them, or put them in private school. Or they can face up to the principal and say “If you don’t let my child stay in kindergarten I’m calling my attorney. Let’s find out how much money the district has.” 🙂

    I’ve told a few parents that I thought retention was appropriate for their child, but that the decision was theirs because they would have to deal with the consequences. I’ve also passed a few students who were barely qualified because I knew it was the only way for them to get special ed services.

    A few years ago I taught at a school that did early screening in April before kindergarten. It included cognitive and motor skills. Also hearing and vision screening. It was great! They repeated the process in July for any who were new to the district or had missed earlier for some reason.

    It is rare for one of our kindergarten students to NOT have one or even two years of pre-k. I only had two this year.

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