You may have thought that primary school were easy. Algebra and geometry were pretty basic, reading was run, and your history teacher was you studied back then are second nature to you now.
But not every child can excel in school. Maybe their home life was disruptive, and they couldn’t focus on homework. Some may struggle fractions or exponents or find out that their reading level is below average. When it gets too much, the student may find themselves having to restart their grade again.
A student is held back when their school believes that they are falling behind their expected studies and are meant to repeat the grade. But what are the conditions for an 8th grader to be held back?
What Does it Mean When You Get Held Back?
A student is held back when the school believes they are falling behind in their expected studies. What are the conditions for an eighth grader to be held back?
Students of virtually any grade, up to and including elementary school, middle school, high school, and even college and other 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.
In middle school, the curriculum becomes more difficult: they go more in-depth with how the world and history works, learn more complex calculations, and have to start trying in physical education in order to get a good grade.
Falling behind in your grade makes the transitions between the necessary steps of adolescence slow. The student learns slower and may be discouraged from learning entirely. Being held back may be needed for a student who needs it, but it is rarely ideal for any young and budding student.
What causes a student to be held back? If we can find the answer, perhaps this scenario can be more easily avoided for future students and their parents.
3 Common Reasons Why 8th Grade Students are Held Back
Schools aim to make sure that all of the students and children involved get the education required of their age to prepare for a future in life, typically one behind a counter, in a cube, or among other workers. However, for various reasons, the student is not given the proper education for their assigned level.
Poor Academic Performance
Kids getting held back because their teachers or advisors have decided that they have not yet met the required level of education is one of the most common reasons. The student may have been falling below average in their homework, classwork, and exams. The student may have missed too many days to learn the material properly and are left at the mercy of standardized testing that practically requires regular lectures and studying.
Because this is the most straightforward scenario to tackle, it often becomes the most unforgiving, especially when the student is liable to some disorder that prevents them from learning correctly.
The student could have exhibited disrupting and/or violent behavior that makes them unfit to move on with their peers. This reason could factor in some way to the student’s academic performance. Instead of a student not being able to keep up, it could be that the student refuses to do the work despite being capable, chooses not to pay attention, or makes it harder for other students to do the same.
This reasoning can also apply to students who are discovered to have some disorder or disability that does not allow them to understand the material at the same pace as their peers. They will likely be placed into a specialized class instead of being held back in this case.
Poor behavior makes up the most extreme scenario. Depending on how bad the student’s behavior is, your child can risk being placed into an entirely different class or even suspended from school altogether!
Sometimes, a student may be held back due to circumstances out of their control. Perhaps the issue may arise from something outside of the school. The student may live in an environment unconducive to the learning process or come to class starving and unable to focus. If a student cannot attend class, miss tests, and exams, or cannot complete and return schoolwork, it may become a detriment to their grades.
In some instances, a student being held back can be left to a clerical error, such as a student or a school losing the records and transcripts that prove that the student had passed their grade, forcing them to retake their classes. When these scenarios come up, the students are likely placed into the grade corresponding to their age regardless, especially if the loss of records falls at the school’s feet.
A student being held back can also have nothing to do with their academic performance or behavior. These rare scenarios are left to the instructors’ discretion and whether they act on this perceived infraction.
Schools only hold back their students as a last resort, often due to circumstances that become much larger than simply not keeping up with homework and school work. Some schools will opt not to hold back the child, regardless of their academic performance or behavior. While this may not help the student learn better, it will prevent the problems present when a child is removed from their expected environment.
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 if You Get Held Back in 8th Grade?
Simply put, when you are held back, then you are forced to repeat your grade and its material. You do not get to move onto the next grade with your peers, and you may have to change teachers. In some schools, students who are held back may be put into specialized classrooms to compensate for their age differing from their academic level.
The school will notify the student’s parents of their child’s grade change. The parents usually cannot decide whether their child gets to move on. However, they could appeal to the school’s staff or the board of education if they believe their student has been held back for an unjustified reason, such as the reasons outlined in “Extenuating Circumstances.”
Some schools allow the student to take additional or alternative material in order to stay on track for the overall school path they are expected to have, such as working on material from their intended grade. This usually becomes the case when the student is not too far behind in their curriculum. When this happens, the school will put the student on the proper track when they complete their remedial year. However, it is equally as likely that the student is made to repeat all of the material.
In the end, if a student gets held back, it comes to the parents’ attention, whom I assume would be reading articles like this!
So what are your options, as the parent and/or guardian, when your student is forced to repeat a grade?
What Can You Do If Your Child Repeats a Grade?
When students are held back, they are forced to repeat their grade. The student is then expected to go through the same material that they have gone through before. As stated earlier, this can be for various reasons, including poor performance, a lack of attendance, or a loss of records and transcripts. Keep close attention to your child’s school records to prevent them from missing what is necessary for their education.
A held-back student will be placed into a class with students at least a year younger than them. While this is more or less impactful for children in the earlier grades, the circumstances will still affect the student, as that would mean they would be old enough for high school by the time they hit the eighth grade. Their peers will be less knowledgeable than they are, and their friends will have moved on. As a parent, you can help them keep in touch with their old friends while encouraging them to make new ones.
As stated before, you could consult the teachers, guidance counselor, or anyone on the school board to see what caused or is causing these troubles and discuss how to get your child into their proper grade. Alternatively, you can address the conditions or circumstances that resulted in their demotion and prevent it from happening again.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Get Held Back in 8th Grade?
As we have established, you can get held back in the eighth grade. 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 greater academic achievements.
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