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District considers new policy on holding back students


The school board will hold a public hearing, beginning at 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, on a new policy to deal with holding students back a grade.

The district, in effect, has been operating without a formal retention policy.

The board had its first reading of the new policy at its meeting, May 21, and the final reading is scheduled June 6.

The public will have an opportunity to examine the policy and comment on it during the public hearing aspect of the board meeting.

The policy deals with the retention issue in all 12 grades.

For grades K-4, the building principal will form a Retention Decision Team, which will include the principal, the child’s parents, the counselor, the child’s teachers, specialists, the school psychologists and the child. The group will meet two weeks before school is out to determine if a child is to be retained. If the committee can’t come to an agreement, the principal will make the decision, which is not appealable.

For grades 5-8, students must pass six of 10 semester core classes (language arts, history, reading, science, math) in order to be promoted. In addition, Washington State History must be passed before the student can move to ninth grade (freshman). Decisions are appealable, with the principal’s decision final.

In grades 9-12 (high school), students will be assigned to a grade level by the school counselor based on the number of credits a student has earned, and not by age or number of years in attendance.

Grade placement/promotion of special education students will be based on the special education team’s decision, which will consider the student’s Individual Eduction Plan, the student’s progress toward meeting the goals listed in the student’s IEP, and recommendations by the state.

The retention policy must have two readings before it can be voted into effect, and the public hearing is designed to take input before the second reading.

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