Grade Level Retention (K-6)

Procedures for Consideration of Grade Level Retention (K-6)

In the Appleton Area School District, we believe that all students can learn at high levels when we provide high quality instruction. Academic programs, student services, and a Multi-Leveled System of Support create learning environments that maintain and communicate high expectations, foster a sense of belonging, and develop and maintain strong community and home-school connections. These systems ensure every student has the knowledge, skills, and individualized interventions and enrichment opportunities  that they need to make progress in the curriculum. For this reason, retaining a student in the same grade from year to year should be an exceptional occurrence.  

If a parent/guardian wishes to have their student considered for retention, they should submit a letter to the student's building principal no earlier than the end of the 3rd quarter stating the request for consideration of retention and the reasons for it. Requests must be received by the building principal no later than April 15th to be considered for the following school year. 

Before making the decision to retain a student, District staff shall utilize a team-based approach to identify, collect, and evaluate relevant information.  The building principal will assign a team comprised of themself, the student's classroom teacher, school psychologist, school social worker, interventionist, and other staff members deemed appropriate to the needs of the student. A review of multiple data points will be completed, including team member obserservations. 

At a minimum, the following information about the student will be reviewed and considered:

  • Attendance data
  • The student’s academic achievement to date 
     - State assessments
     - Results of available District-provided academic assessments (including standardized tests other than the state assessments)
     - The teacher's common assessments of the student's progress toward completing the board adopted curriculum.
     - Any English language, special education, or health needs that may exist.
  • Interventions that have been implemented to date, the fidelity of implementation practices, and the student's progress
     - Student rate and level of progress with interventions
     - Fidelity with which those interventions have been applied, including student attendance 
  • Current support within the Multi-Leveled System of Support
  • The student’s work habits as observed and measured by the AASD Elementary Career and Life Skills-Learning How to Learn Rubric. 
     - How the student demonstrates respect and regularly contributes to the classroom. 
     - How the student takes ownership of work to be productive and accountable.
  • Possible alternatives to retention 

In order to ensure the student is provided the greatest amount of time to make progress, consideration of retention meetings with the designated team will be held during the final two weeks of the school year. Families should anticipate that the first contact regarding their submitted request will occur in early May when they are contacted by the school office to schedule a meeting time. Decisions regarding retention will be made on an individual basis. 

While the District retains ultimate discretion to make student promotion and retention decisions, school staff are expected to make reasonable efforts to involve the student's parent(s)/guardian(s) in the decision-making process in advance of making any final decision. If a student's parent/guardian disagrees with a District decision regarding the consideration for retention, the parent or guardian may submit a written request for reconsideration to the Superintendent or designee. Except as otherwise required by law, the decision of the Superintendent or designee following such a request shall be final.

Please note:

  • If a parent/guardian request for consideration of retention is received for a student identified as having a disability or impairment, an IEP team meeting will be held to discuss if additional supports or services are needed to address disability related needs. 

  • Parent/guardian requests received over the summer for consideration of retention of a student transferring between school districts shall be considered by the building principal. In cases where the previous district has verified their support of retention, the request will be granted. In cases where the previous school district is not in support of retention, the request will be denied. 

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