Should parents consider holding students back a grade who struggle during the pandemic?

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In late 2020, Alabama state superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey announced more than 5,000 students were not logging on for remote learning and the reality of missing class may be setting in.

Some parents are wondering if you should hold your child back a grade. The specialists at GPS Educational Services in Birmingham said holding your child back a grade is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

“If you hold a kid back there could be some adverse effects such as social, emotional issues, morale, bullying, self-esteem issues,” GPS Educational Services VP Jermayne Richardson said.

Students have endured many changes and unique obstacles during the pandemic and Richardson said holding a child back a grade should be a last resort.

GPS Educational Services helps school districts in many sectors, including preparing families to succeed at remote learning.

Richardson said it’s important to know if your child is learning at grade level.

Check their grades, create a private space dedicated to learning, and actively engage in your child’s daily lessons to stay current on their progress.

“Schools that had high parent engagement prior to COVID-19, they’re doing well through COVID-19. Schools that had low parent engagement, I can guarantee you that those are some of the kids that you’re going to have these conversations with about whether to hold them back or not,” said Richardson.

Richardson said there’s still a time to turn things around and communicating with your child’s teacher is a great place to start.

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