Third Grade Retention Law Enters Second Year

Two students smile
  • Published December 5, 2023

    A Tennessee law that took effect last year will once again determine if a third-grade 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 do not 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 fourth grade.

    “We want all third-grade students to achieve proficiency in ELA and move on to fourth grade without attending summer school, but this law takes that decision out of our hands,” said Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Schools Dr. Juli Oyer. "There are numerous provisions that accompany this law, so parents can expect ongoing communication from principals and teachers."

    Although the exact date has not yet been scheduled, summer school will take place for four weeks in June and/or July of 2024. Students who attend summer school must have a 90 percent attendance rate at summer school according to the law.

    Even though WCS is recognized as a top-performing district in the State in grades three through eight on the 2022-2023 TCAP, 29 percent of WCS third-grade students were impacted last year when this law went into effect.

    The WCS administration continues to have conversations with their State representatives about this law and its ongoing implications at the building level.