AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Because of the COVID disruptions this past school year, the Texas Legislature passed a bill allowing parents to decide if their child repeats a course or grade.
“This is another way to prevent a public health crisis from becoming a generational education crisis. This is another way for parents to say ‘hey, I want to make sure my student is on the best footing educational that’s possible before progressing them onto the next grade,” said Jake Kobersky, a spokesman with the TEA.
For students in the fourth grade and above, this option exists only for this next school year. But for Pre-K through grade 3 the option is permanent.
Here’s how it works:
- 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.
- 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.
- Ask your school what additional supports such as tutoring and after school or out-of-school academic opportunities will be available to your student.
President of the Amarillo Education Association and teacher Aaron Phillips said this is another tool to help with retention.
“I think students over the course of the next year will have access to the interventions that they need to be considered on track and from there we might have more situations of families that might want to retain their child,” said Phillips.
Phillips said anytime you have a bill that allows parents and teachers to come together to discuss what’s best for students is always good.
Both Kobersky and Phillips said students who have to repeat a grade shouldn’t be ashamed.
“So when students are facing retention, I think you have to consider factors beyond academic as in terms of support for that student so that they can continue their career and have that academic success.,” said Phillips.
The TEA said it’s important to talk to your child about how they feel about repeating a grade or course, before making a decision.