Pattye Benson

Community Matters

T/E Parents Have Option to Have Their Child Repeat a Grade – But Decision Deadline is Thursday, July 15!

As a result of the pandemic, it’s been more than a year of struggles for students, juggling the ups and downs of virtual and hybrid learning, leaving many behind in the process.

A newly passed state law in Pennsylvania (Act 66) allows parents and guardians to decide whether their children will move on the next grade level for the 2021-22 school year. However, if you decide that your child should repeat the grade you must act fast, the deadline to notify is Thursday, July 15.

In response to the pandemic, school districts had to enact many changes in a relatively short period of time. Like so many places, our District had to completely shift how they delivered education, from in-person to virtual school. Certainly, virtual learning posed a challenge for all – students, parents, and teachers – with some fairing better than others.

The possible pandemic-related learning loss means that some parents are weighing whether their children should repeat a grade.  Some parents are worried their children have fallen so far behind because of pandemic-disrupted learning that they should repeat the grade. If I were the parent of a school age child, not sure how I would feel,

During the pandemic closure of schools, many student athletes were unable to play team sports. How does Act 66 and having your child repeat a grade impact his/her eligibility rules for sports programs. What about giving your child some extra time in a sport in they excel by another year in the same grade. Many parents count on athletic scholarships for college – would repeating the grade help with scouts that were unable to see them play during the pandemic.

From the District’s website:

” … Act 66, signed by Governor Wolf last week, permits parents or guardians of students enrolled in TESD schools during the 2020-21 school year to retain their student for the 2021-22 school year in the grade in which they were enrolled last school year due to COVID-19 learning disruptions. Also, students whose special education services would have ended due to reaching the age of 21 may have the option to extend those services for the 2021-22 school year.

Please note that there is a hard deadline of July 15, 2021, in the law for families to exercise these options. For parents who wish to exercise the option to retain a student, please take the following steps:

  1. Complete the Act 66 of 2021 Student Grade Level Retainment Notification Form for the 2021-22 school year. Click here to access the form.
  2. Submit the form to your child’s principal by email or bring the completed form to the main office on or before July 15, 2021.
    1. If a student under the age of 18 plans to repeat a grade, a parent or guardian must submit the form to the school.
    1. If a student 18 years of age or older plans to repeat a grade, the student must submit the form on their own behalf.
    1. Both the parent/guardian and the student must complete this form if a student with a disability was enrolled during the 2020-21 school year, turned 21 during the time periods listed above, and intends to return to school for the 2021-22 school year.…”

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4 Comments

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  1. No surprise that the Administration is not allowing time for parents to make this choice. The last thing the Administration and teachers want is for kids to repeat a grade. Thank-you Governor Wolfe! Something has finally been offered to parents and students that helps them. If you want your child to repeat a grade, stand up for yourself and your child. Do not allow the Administration to gas light you into not doing what you know is right for your child.

    1. All TESD parents were notified about this option on 7/6 giving them ample time to respond by the deadline.

  2. Its not complaining.

    It’s a pattern by the Administration to downplay, ignore, dismiss and throw away services that benefit students and parents.

    7/6 is not ample time to respond to this life altering option, brought about a life altering pandemic.

    Ample time is Sept. 5th.

    1. Unfortunately as Pattye communicated in her blog the date is written into the law. However TE date is nuanced. If a parent opts in to hold the student back by the deadline it looks like they can reverse the decision later on. Seehttps://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/ReopeningPreKto12/Pages/Student-Grade-Level-Retainment-(Act-66).aspx

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