GUIDELINES FOR RETENTION IN A GRADE 

No matter how the situation is disguised, the child often still 
sees himself as having failed. The research continues to suggest that 
children who repeat a grade do not necessarily do better work than had 
they gone ahead with their chronological age peers. There are, 
however, many cases in which the retention seems advisable and in the 
best total interest of the child. The following factors should be 
considered. 

1. C.A. - The child whose birth date falls in the last half of the 
calendar year (July through December 1st) would be in the 
younger half of the class, and less likely to be penalized by 
adding a semester or year to his academic life. 

2. I.Q. - The very superior child, (with an IQ of over 130) should 
not usually need to repeat a grade in order to catch up on his 
academic work, as he should be able to do his work with 
relative ease, with proper motivation and assistance. On the 
other hand, the slow learner will probably always achieve 
below his grade placement, and retention will not alleviate 
this discrepancy. In addition, research on school dropouts 
indicates that these pupils often leave school because of 
increased chronological age. It is probably the child in the 
middle ranges of intellectual ability who has the best chance 
of profiting from retention. 

3. PHYSICAL SIZE- Though size is a relatively superficial factor 
among adults, this is not so among children. The early maturing 
child, already larger than his peers, might well suffer 
indignities if he found himself in a group of still smaller 
children. 

4. PRESENT GRADE PLACEMENT - Retention should normally take place 
during the early years. Kindergarten, first, or second grade 
pupils feel far less stigma than those in the third grade or 
above. 

5. SEX - Because of the rate of maturation, and the problems of 
physical size, the retention of a girl usually poses more 
problems than a boy, just as the acceleration of a boy poses 
more difficulties than a girl. 

6. SIBLINGS - If a child has a sibling in the grade for which he is 
being considered, family difficulties could arise. 

7. PEER RELATIONSHIPS - Is the child a part of the community-
neighborhood group with which he closely identifies? Would his 
placement in another grade affect his feelings as far as his peers 
are concerned? 

8. PARENTAL APPROVAL - The parents should be in favor of the proposed 
move (some districts insist on parental approval). If the 
retention serves only to antagonize the parents, it may reflect 
itself in the entire family relationship and affect the child's 
attitude toward school. If the parents approve, the child's 
chances for success are, of course, enhanced.