Third Grade Retention Law Now in Effect

From WCS inFocus

Third Grade Retention Law
Photo by WCS

A Tennessee law taking effect this school year will impact all third-grade students and determine if a student will move on to fourth grade; need to attend summer school to move on to fourth grade; or must repeat third grade.

Based on Tennessee law, T.C.A. 49-6-3115, passed in 2021, third-grade students who don’t show proficiency on the English Language Arts (ELA) section of the Tennessee Comprehensive Program (TCAP) may have requirements related to summer school and/or tutoring to be promoted to fourth grade. That means current WCS third-grade students who score Below Expectations or Approaching Expectations on TCAP this school year may be required to participate in summer school to move to the next grade.

“Our goal is to see all third-grade students achieve proficiency in ELA and move on to fourth grade without attending summer school,” said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Dr. Juli Oyer. “However, this law takes the decision out of our hands.”

Oyer said there are numerous provisions that accompany this law, and parents can expect ongoing communication from principals and teachers as new information is available.

“Parents need to know that summer school will take place in June and/or July of 2023,” said Oyer. “And students attending summer school must have a 90 percent attendance rate at summer school according to the new law.”

Families can expect a third-grade meeting at their child’s school to learn more about the law.

Even though WCS is recognized as the top performing district in the State in grades three through eight on the 2021-22 TCAP, 34 percent of WCS third grade students would have been impacted last year if this law had been in place.

The WCS administration is asking the Williamson County School Board to support a resolution asking the Tennessee Legislature to return retention decisions back to the school district. The resolution will be discussed at the Board’s work session on Thursday, August 11, 2022. It is anticipated that it will be on the Board’s agenda at its regular monthly meeting on Monday, August 15, 2022.

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