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How is a 9th Grade Repeat perceived

IntTravellerIntTraveller 24 replies2 threads Junior Member
We are considering our DC to repeat 9th grade. While DC is doing well academically and probably won't have any issues we do wonder if its better to repeat. This is especially because DC is a year younger than average (13 yrs now). Will be 14 next year in 9th grade as a repeat. How is this perceived by the schools. During interviews most said that would not be considered as a negative (nor a positive). Thoughts?
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Replies to: How is a 9th Grade Repeat perceived

  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 542 replies6 threads Member
    One of mine repeated 9th grade. It's a total nonissue. It's extremely common, you can probably dig up statistics, but it wouldn't surprise me if as many as 20 - 30% of boys have done this. No idea about girls.
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  • GoatMamaGoatMama 1267 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited October 27
    No one would care one way or the other. Nearly half of my D's BS class have repeated.
    edited October 27
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  • Sue22Sue22 6347 replies114 threads Senior Member
    I agree. It's totally normal, so common at the local boy's school which ends in 9th that people will ask, "Is he doing a 9-to-10 or a 9-to-9?"
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1545 replies13 threads Senior Member
    It's "normal" at BS and in high income areas. Never heard of it growing up in low SES area. It's not looked down on by those who do it. Though I have heard kids going up against a kid who is a year older in varsity sports. Or, if a kid is repeating the same class in an honors level course, there may be students who are a bit resentful.

    For boys, it seems to be more common. With girls, it is usually done due to sports. More rarely for social reasons ( we have heard about girls doing it because they started high school and then decided BS would be a better option).
    It does seem like the kids who repeat are often much weaker academically.

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  • IntTravellerIntTraveller 24 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the notes. We are doing it more so to keep DC in the age appropriate class in BS and to have a full 4 year experience.

    So if DC repeats, do they consider the high school freshman grades (for first term) along with the middle school grades, 7th and 8th grades. Or just focus on middle school grades given the child will repeat 9th grade anyway. Curious.
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  • IntTravellerIntTraveller 24 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Happytimes2001 That is an interesting view on the social dynamics within a class where classmates may be 'resentful' as you say. I was looking at it from an AO perspective but yes wonder how the repeat thing is considered by your peers. if 20-30% are repeats its probably not a big deal but gotto ask - are you 'labeled' as a repeater and does that have any social implications?
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  • TemperantiaTemperantia 273 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Little to no social implications at my kids' schools. Sometimes the older kids chafe a bit more at the rules come senior year.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5983 replies10 threads Senior Member
    Your current year grades will definitely be considered. They are the best reflection of who you are now.

    Some schools have lots of repeats, others fewer. I think it's a fair question to raise with the AO when you visit and explain why you are considering it. How many, why, what's the social dynamic around it, etc. They are equally invested in having you get it right.

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  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 1150 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Very common....actually feel at some schools being a student with a late birthday and NOT a repeat is less common.
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1545 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @IntTraveller Yes, it's very common about 20-30%. I don't think it hurts kids socially. The kids make friends based on lots of factors. But I do think kids who are excellent students and working hard look around at kids who have taken the class before and pause. Same on the playing fields. An extra year at a sport (boy or girl) can make a huge difference. Usually helps the kid a lot with recruiting if they are going in that direction.
    Also, many repeats are BS recruits for sports. And often they are recruited for specific positions.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 301 replies9 threads Member
    Firstly, I totally disagree that repeat kids are considered weaker academically. There are a lot of repeats at both my kids' schools. I've never heard people saying that the repeats are less academically capable. Everyone knows, including the kids, that there are many reasons for repeats. Secondly because of placement kids are placed into appropriate classes and therefor not resented. If anything, kids who are "good" at a subject are favored by their peers because those kids can help a kid who is struggling.

    My son has a 100 in math at midterm grades. No one in his class resents him, he is helping two kids keep up who are having a hard time.

    Third point, and I think I said this somewhere else, kids who are younger either age wise or just emotionally are going to have a harder time. BS kids are not on lockdown. There is a lot of age appropriate and maybe less than appropriate contact going on. I have seen the kids who are young feel that they are slightly on the outside because they just aren't interested in the same things as the older kids.

    Fourth point - no matter how smart your son is and how good he is in school, an elite boarding school will be a step up. Just came back from parents weekend and heard this across the board from EVERY SINGLE parent I spoke to. The work kicks the kids' butts. Some kids are still doing well, getting A's, but they are still getting their butts kicked with work. I think this is easier to adjust to as a 9th grader. Mistakes made in 9th grade are easier to come back from.

    I would encourage you to have your son repeat so that he can 1) get four years and 2) be socially age appropriate.
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  • CTMom21CTMom21 479 replies2 threads Member
    It’s a non-issue though more common at some schools than others, and speaking personally I would not view repeats as weaker academically by any means. As a “true” junior and pretty serious athlete, DS is a bit envious of the repeats. Especially for a kid who would otherwise be very young in his grade, I think repeating is a wise decision.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 301 replies9 threads Member
    Any AO will gladly tell you the average class age spread. No AO is going to look askance at you for asking about this. You can be very frank and say that you don't think your son will have an academic issue and he is a mature young man but you are hoping for him to have the full 4 year experience and be socially age appropriate to his peers.

    What's important to remember is that if he ends up at a school with a significant # of repeats he will not only be one year younger for his grade as he is now, he will be a full two years younger than a portion of the class. When my daughter was a freshman she had friends who were driving. That is a big age difference!
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  • IntTravellerIntTraveller 24 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the notes all. Most AOs we interviewed with were positive/neutral about it. One even said, "the only downside I see is that you will have to pay for an extra year but if you are ok with that, you should repeat."

    Except for one AO from a non HADES school who actually said that sometimes they have more spots in 10th grade relative to applicants and how would we feel if they offered us 10th instead of 9th if he made the cut. I personally found it an interesting question as I always thought that statistically there was a better shot at 9th grade (more spots relative to applicants). Anyway we declined as DS is younger by a year so we are inclined to repeat for BS.
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  • 417WHB417WHB 93 replies4 threads Junior Member
    I am sure it is fine is your son is willing to do this odds are it will work out. IME repeating is a lot more common for boys, especially athletic boys who have aspirations to play in college. It is not a problem for the schools, and generally not for the kids either. Though I have to say my older kid had a few friends who went to BS and repeated and so now they are HS seniors while everyone else in freshman in college and when we had get together the couple moms said the kids wish they were off to college too that they are very done with BS. There are a lot more rules in HS and BS in particular (some more than others as well) and when you are 19 you may well be over it. So I think if there is regret it is more at the end, especially if the college sports plans do not pan out.

    From what I see at our school, there is some truth that the strongest academic students do not repeat, they start out advanced and end up having to take college classes before graduating anyway, so repeating would not benefit them in any way, they are looking for highest level of academic challenge. And while some do play sports they are not looking to be recruited for sports so there is no need to be more mature for that reason. Even among kids who do repeat, some repeat the same level classes they took the year before, while others push ahead to the next level. I am not sure if you get to make that decision or the BS does (presumably they take placement tests like everyone else), but at our school we definitely see both.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 301 replies9 threads Member
    OP's son is currently 13 in 9th grade. So repeating would make him 14 in 9th grade which is the norm. He wouldn't be one of the kids turning 19 senior year.
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  • CaliPopsCaliPops 365 replies3 threads Member
    DC has a friend in a similar situation--repeated 9th because they had skipped a grade earlier and preferred being part of a class comprised primarily of kids of the same vintage--and I'm not aware of any downside in them doing so.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6347 replies114 threads Senior Member
    Despite the fact that many boarding school kids are older due to grade repeating, it can sometimes be easier to be a young for the grade student at a boarding school than a private day school or local public school, the reason being that boarding schools organize activities to fit the ages of all their kids and at the vast majority boarders aren't allowed to have cars. If you have a 16 year old senior in a non-boarding school most of their peers are going to be doing things your kid can't like going to R rated movies and driving to parties or each other's houses. In some places they'll be going to 18 and over dance or comedy clubs.

    At BS the school provides transportation to events and most of the social life takes place on campus so your kid is never going to be left out because of their age.

    (This isn't a rebuttal of the comments about the advantages of letting a young-for-grade student repeat, just an additional observation.)
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39829 replies7267 threads Super Moderator
    If you have a 16 year old senior in a non-boarding school most of their peers are going to be doing things your kid can't like going to R rated movies and driving to parties or each other's houses. In some places they'll be going to 18 and over dance or comedy clubs.
    While not really related to the OP's question, remember that few BS's are 100% boarding. And while rules about day students using cars will vary by school, 16 y/o students at a BS are going to R rated movies, 18+ (or 21+) clubs, and pretty much anything that their counterparts at the LPS are doing.
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