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Elementary School Retentions, 1988-89

February 10, 1990|Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich, Susan Davis Greene and Dallas M. Jackson / Los Angeles Times, Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Retentions have changed since the days most parents were elementary school students. It used to be that failing grades were the sole basis for retaining a child, and mitigating factors were either ignored or considered inconsequential.

Now, however, elementary school principals are making major efforts to find out why students do not reach their full academic potential. Factors such as home environment, developmental problems, learning disabilities, etc., are weighed heavily in the decision to hold back a student--a joint decision made in the best interest of the child by the principal, a counselor and the parent(s) or guardian.

In addition, to further reduce the need for retentions, a few schools are experimenting with the concept of a two-year kindergarten in an effort to ensure maximum preparedness for every child entering the primary grades. Countywide, 2% of students were held back during the academic year 1988-'89.

Here's how many students were retained in each school district by grade followed by the total percentage in each district. Figures do not include special education students. An asterisk (*) indicates fewer than 10 students were involved:

GRADES Students K 1 2 3 4 5 6 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICTS Anaheim City 13,188 173 139 32 21 * * * Buena Park 4,050 53 36 * * * * * Centralia 4,206 28 11 * * * * 0 Cypress 3,700 29 20 20 * * * * Fountain Valley 5,860 55 22 17 * * * 0 Fullerton 10,221 45 21 * * 0 * 0 Huntington Beach City 4,133 14 * * * 0 0 0 La Habra City 4,445 77 12 * * * 0 28 Magnolia 4,552 16 12 * 0 0 0 0 Ocean View 8,242 +49 22 * * * 0 0 Savanna 1,833 20 * * 0 * * 0 Westminster 7,487 59 31 15 * * * * UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICTS Brea-Olinda 2,445 18 * * * * 0 * Capistrano 12,803 83 39 10 * * 0 0 Garden Grove 19,946 311 144 50 26 * * * Irvine 10,300 74 25 * * * 0 * Laguna Beach 2,094 19 * 0 0 * 0 0 Los Alamitos 2,590 10 * * * 0 0 * Newport Mesa 8,492 181 45 12 * * * * Orange 13,182 95 44 17 * * * * Placentia 9,231 43 27 * * 0 * * Saddleback Valley 12,451 98 37 14 * * 0 * Santa Ana 25,122 410 329 178 81 70 31 103 Tustin 10,200 65 31 * * * * 0

+ Does not include 75 children enrolled in "pre-retention" classes in which parents already know children will probably repeat kindergarten.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICTS Anaheim City: 2.8% Buena Park: 2.6 Centralia: 1.1 Cypress: 2.1 Fountain Valley: 1.7 Fullerton: 0.8 Huntington Beach City: 0.6 La Habra City: 2.9 Magnolia: 0.7 Ocean View: 0.9 Savanna: 1.7 Westminster: 1.5 UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICTS Brea-Olinda: 1.3% Capistrano: 1.1 Garden Grove: 2.7 Irvine: 1.1 Laguna beach: 1.0 Los Alamitos: 0.6 Newport Mesa: 3.0 Orange: 1.3 Placentia: 0.9 Saddleback Valley: 1.3 Santa Ana: 4.8 Tustin: 1.1 Source: School districts listed and/or individual elementary schools within the districts.

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