We’re not promoting any degenerate behaviour that early on in their lives through likes of something like skipping school to have a punt on the new casino that came online, but if you want to start a conversation about grades for young students, and how our schools work, then start talking about grade skipping. But don’t make this the focus of your education.
I am so sure that it doesn’t work. But after watching this fabulous presentation (see it here), I can’t help but wonder.
Here is how the education system works for grades 5-6: Students are moved ahead by the amount of work they have done that has led to passing grades.
But does it always have to be about grades? For example, if my daughter is afraid of failing an algebra class and failing all the other grades before that, and so she does her homework, and does her classes at home and then does the homework after school that will lead to passing grades, she would have skipped all the work she did to get a passing grade in fifth grade. That would mean she had already skipped grades 1-3 when she was in third grade.
What if she skipped grades 3-6, when she is in sixth grade and doesn’t have to start at all? I can’t say that is a good choice, but it’s worth looking into.
If it looks like there are gaps and one or two credits are missing, then she is likely on the hook to repeat grades for math. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
School for Parents
A parent who misses a lot of school can raise a lot of questions and cause problems for a school that wants their students to succeed. I would want to see the gap report and ask what is it about this student that makes it important to go back to fifth grade. I think the school would look at the student as well, asking, “Why is it important for her to go back to fifth grade?”
If it looks like she has enough credits to get back into fifth grade, and the student can get some of the credits in fifth grade (for example, repeating fifth grade math because it looks like she can skip a lot of math work that she didn’t do in first grade and do some of it in fourth grade that is necessary for fifth grade math) then she should be able to get back into fifth grade.
They can do that to make sure that she has enough time to get through fifth grade and so she doesn’t fall further behind and so she can graduate on time.
School for the Students
I want to make sure that my child is ready to be in fifth grade. It’s a year of transition and they won’t have any work to do, so I would look at the gap report and make sure that there aren’t any credits that are missing. I would want to know if there are any gaps that would require her to repeat fifth grade math. That’s what we do when she skips first and fourth grade math.
If there are no holes in her work or in her work that she got credit for, she should be able to skip fifth grade math. If there are holes in her work, then she has to finish her work and pass it before she can go back to fifth grade.