Looking back, elementary school and middle school didn’t feel like too much of a problem. After all, all of the basic math, reading, social studies, and history you studied back then are second nature to you now.
Can you get held back in the seventh grade? And if so, what would you need to do (and deal with) to do so?
Can a 7th Grader Be Held Back in School?
Students of virtually any grade, including from elementary school, middle school, high school, and even college and post-secondary education, can be held back, or forced to repeat a grade. As school attendance is required by law in many states and countries, the school board feels indebted to keep their students in school, even if it means they have to keep them in the same grade.
Middle school education is where the curriculum starts to step up: they start to learn algebra, in-depth world and local history, how to do more complex calculations, and the students start to leave the class line to go to the classrooms themselves or participate in homerooms. Some middle schools, unfortunately, tend to remove free recess.
A student is held back when their school believes that they are falling behind of their expected studies, and are meant to repeat the grade. But what are the conditions for a 7th grader to be held back?
Why Do Kids Get Held Back in School?
In the United States, children begin their school life in primary school through kindergarten at age four or five and finish elementary school at grade five at age ten. The prepubescent student then completes middle school up to grade eight at age thirteen, through high school to grade twelve at age seventeen and eighteen. If a student follows this standardized path, they will be done with primary school by the age of eighteen. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, follow a similar trajectory for their students.
Schools generally aim to make sure that all of the students and children involved get the education required of their age in order to prepare them for a lucrative future beyond a counter or a small work cube. For various reasons, however, the student is not given the proper education for their level.
Generally, kids get held back a grade in school because the school has decided that the student has not met the required standard of education for one reason or another. They may be failing in their homework, classwork, and exams. They may have missed too many days to learn the material properly and are then left at the mercy of standardized testing that practically requires regular lectures and studying.
Sometimes, the issue may arise from something outside of the school. If a student cannot keep attending class, missing tests, and exams, or cannot complete and return schoolwork, it may become a significant detriment to their grades.
In a rare number of cases, a student may be held back due to a clerical error, such as a student, or a school, losing the records and transcripts necessary to prove that the student had their due, forcing them to retake their classes. When this happens, they are likely placed into the grade corresponding to their age, especially if it is at the school’s fault.
Holding back a child is not the first or only option a school has to make sure that a student can keep up with the class. Suppose a student has consistently proven not to be able to keep up with their studies–not because of a lack of effort, but because they are unable to do so. The student is placed into a remedial class, made to attend summer school at the cost of their precious summer vacation, or placed into a class that caters to their specific needs, such as those in the special needs program. If a student exhibits violent or rebellious behavior, the school may place the child in a detention class to make up for missing or disrupted class time.
Schools only hold back their students as a last resort, often due to circumstances that become much larger than simply not being able to keep up with homework and school work. In fact, some schools will opt not to hold back the child at all, regardless of their academic performance or behavior.
So what does happen when a student is held back? What sort of trials and tribulations will the student have to go through?
What Happens When a Student is Held Back?
When students are held back, they are forced to repeat their prior grade. The student is then expected to go through the same material they have gone through before. As stated earlier, this can be for a number of intricate reasons, including poor performance, a lack of attendance, or a loss of records and transcripts.
The student’s parents would be notified, which would make a rather foreboding conversation at home. The parents usually do not influence whether their child gets to move on. However, they could consult the teachers, guidance counselor, or anyone on the school board to see what exactly caused or is causing these troubles and discuss how to avoid it.
Some schools offer the failing student additional material in order to stay on track for the curriculum they are expected to have, such as working on material from their intended grade. When this happens, the student may be placed into their proper grade after they complete their remedial year. However, it can be just as likely that the student is made to repeat the material.
A student who has been held back a year will, obviously, have to deal with being older than their peers and possibly leave their friends behind. Being in the wrong year is more impactful for the child in the earlier grades, such as grades one to five (though we hazard a guess a student from any grade who would enjoy falling behind their friends). However, it still affects a student who is forced to repeat the 7th grade, especially as that would mean they would be old enough for high school by the time they hit the 8th grade (at least according to the grade structure in American primary schools).
How Does a Student Avoid Being Held Back?
Simply put, a student can avoid being held back in the 7th grade if they can keep up academically with their studies. Students being held back is relatively rare, and the school will likely allow the student to pursue several other options before they decide to keep the student in the same grade.
In short, the student must keep up with their given workload and behave themselves in school. If any external issues impacted their overall performance, it would be crucial–if not necessary–for the parents and / or guardians to notify the school and the student’s teachers to plan around these circumstances and provide what is best for them that child.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Get Held Back in 7th Grade?
As we have established, a student can get held back in the seventh grade, being forced to repeat the material. A student that is unable to keep up with the workload, or has experienced problems outside of the classroom, may have to repeat their grade and get a delayed curriculum. However, this is not the end of your student’s school life, and they can always bounce back and move on to more outstanding academic achievements.