293.  QUESTION Part 1) What can parents do to intervene if they sense that their child is not doing well in school, and might repeat the school year? Part 2) Once the child has already been made repeat the school year, what can parents do to help him/her to succeed?


Part 1:

The answer to this question depends on the TIMING of the "sense" that a student is not doing well in school.
IDEALLY, the parents SHOULD -- MUST be notified as soon as possible.   If the parents are notified BEFORE December, for example, after only three months into the academic year, then the parent MUST immediately request an ACTION PLAN from THE SCHOOL so that the situation is resolved BEFORE JUNE of the following year, BEFORE the academic year ends in June, when the child is advanced to the next grade.  In addition, the parents MUST request FREQUENT re-testing between December and May, for example, to document that THE SCHOOL is doing THE RIGHT THINGS to meet the needs of the student and successfully advance the student to the next grade.   IT IS ALWAYS THE RESPONSIBILITY AND THE JOB OF THE SCHOOL TO REMEDY THE SITUATION.   The parents MUST ask for that, for a plan to remedy the deficiency BEFORE the end of the school year.
Unfortunately, most parents get a "vague" sense of the lack of progress that the student is experiencing, and, then, TOO LATE, in March or April, they are told the child will be retained.   As Nancy Reagan used to say, Parents: "JUST SAY 'NO'!!!!"  Then, suggest to the school that IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to take appropriate steps to remedy the situation NEXT YEAR -- The school NOW KNOWS what needs to be done, then, LET THE SCHOOL prepare a plan of action to be implemented FIRST THING in August or September when the NEW academic year begins and the STUDENT IS IN the NEXT GRADE.  
Among the plans the school can implement is to place the student in a double grade class -- a class of 2nd & 3rd grades, or 3rd & 4th grades, or whichever combination of grades so that the student can be with the lower grade ONLY for the deficiencies that are being remedied, and with the HIGHER grade for ALL other subject matter.
Parents MUST demand PRE-TESTING and the development of a clear PLAN OF ACTION with FREQUENT re-testing so that AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE in the NEXT grade, the student is helped and overcomes the deficiencies the student has.    


Part 2:

THE PARENTS MUST do whatever it takes for the school to MOVE FORWARD the student to the NEXT grade where s(he) should actually be!!!!!  
REMEMBER, the grade repetition SHOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EFFECTIVE!!!!!!!   THAT is the SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITY, to REMEDY the situation.   SO, the school MUST BE MADE responsible for MOVING the student AHEAD, to where the student SHOULD really be by implementing whichever plan of action PRODUCES THE DESIRABLE results of remedying the deficiencies.  
Possible double or triple grade combinations (which DOES NOT mean dumping ALL the REPEATS into one class!!!!  It means having an UNGRADED situation for ALL types of students so that the student can be AHEAD in the subject matters where s(he) is performing well, on a par with those in subject matters where s(he) can easily learn AT GRADE LEVEL, and with other students at a lower grade level where s(he) needs remediation.)  
At all times IT THE SCHOOL RESPONSIBILITY to do whatever it takes for students to succeed!!!!!    Parents must learn to ASK for that and for very FREQUENT EVIDENCE (re-testing) that the child IS overcoming the deficiencies that were diagnosed!!!!!!!! 
The child that has repeated, in h(is/er) mind, is a FAILURE -- SO, now the SCHOOL MUST make sure that negative self-image and negative self esteem is erased from the child's mind by MAKING SURE THE CHILD MOVES AHEAD!!!!!!  The students MUST SUCCEED at all cost!!!!!!!! 



For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
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Web Site Programs for
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Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


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