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  • Writer's pictureMarguerite Gaspar

Repeat a Grade with Talega Preparatory Academy and See your Student Soar to Success!

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Today, many families want to retain one or more of their students in order to meet several different goals. This is especially true for 8th-grade students who may not be ready to make the transition to high school. Benefits of repeating a grade include:

  • Improved academic skills before entering the next grade level or high school

  • Gained maturity before moving on to the next grade level or entering high school

  • Opportunities for student-athletes to grow physically and train extensively in preparation for high school

  • Any combination of the above

Most Public Schools will not Retain your Student

There are NO laws that prohibit students from repeating any grade in school. Each school district is required to establish a process for determining retention. That said, many California public schools have established “guidelines” for retention that basically move every student into the next grade despite academic struggles, grade level maturity, and the family and student’s desire to repeat the grade.

Very few students will actually be retained. None were retained at the middle school at which I worked for over 30 years. Students who earned straight F’s for every class in grades 6-8 were moved on to high school.

Homeschooling with Talega Preparatory Academy gives families the freedom to choose the grade level placement that is best for each student.

Homeschooling offers families the utmost opportunity to take charge of each child's learning.

The Talega Preparatory Academy, a California Private School, works closely with parents and students to determine the best placement for each individual student. Students may repeat any grade K-8.

Our Gap Year is designed to give students an extra year in 8th-grade to prepare for high school success. Whether your student is behind in one or all courses, seeks to accelerate their learning, is young and hopes to gain maturity, or wishes to develop academic and athletic skills for high school, we are with you and will work to accommodate your needs.

How the Gap Year Works

Current grade 8 students who desire an extra year to prepare for high school, submit applications to Talega Prep in May for the following school year. This gives us time to request records from your current middle school before they automatically move on to your local high school.

We work with you to create a Course of Study that will meet your student’s academic needs and any athletic training schedule. You will be amazed at how much schooling can be accomplished efficiently and in a timely manner when you are educating your child at home.

A 6-7 hour school day includes 35 minutes of lunch, 20 minutes of nutrition break, 4-5 passing periods in addition to time spent getting each class started, managing 35+ students with behavior issues and other distractions, and additional time wrapping up each class. When we remove these lost minutes of instruction from the school day, you will see that your child can easily complete their basic assignments in 4 hours or less each day. This leaves a great amount of time to spend on remediating and developing skills, exploring and pursuing areas of high interest, music or other enrichment lessons, independent reading, and training for sports.

CIF Eligibility

CIF Blue Book (eligibility rules begin on p.49)

Gap Year students are enrolled in the 8th-grade with Talega Preparatory Academy. Even students who take high school-level courses, do so as 8th graders. In order to maintain eligibility for 8 full semesters of high school athletics, students may not participate in any high school sports, training, contact with coaches, or other high school activities. Students must complete their 8th-grade gap year course of study and withdraw from Talega Prep before becoming eligible for CIF sports at their high school.

Families are encouraged to read the eligibility sections of the CIF Blue Book carefully.

Planning a Course of Study

The State of California requires that private school students be offered instruction in the core instructional areas of math, science, English, social studies, and pe. As a high school prep student, we recommend a foreign language as your elective, although you may explore any activity or interest as your elective.

Beyond providing instruction in these curricular areas, the State does not require specific topics or curricula for private school students. This allows us to custom tailor a curriculum that may remediate areas of difficulty, continue at grade level to fill any holes in the academic learning, and provide accelerated instruction in areas of strength.

Further, your student may choose to investigate topics of interest and build those topics into an integrated project-based curriculum.

For example, a student with an interest in flight may create a course of study in which physics of flight is the science course, researching the history of avionics is the social studies course, and English includes reading books about flight in both fiction and non-fiction. Writing about what is being learned blends the subject area learning with English Language Arts while reinforcing what has been learned.

Independent homeschooling allows families the utmost personal freedom to choose an instructional program that is custom-tailored to their students.

Basic/All in One Curriculum

Popular with Gap year students are online All-in-One programs that cover all subjects with one provider. Programs like Time 4 Learning or IXL provide instruction, practice, and grading in all subjects at various grade levels. An advanced 8th-grade student may pursue high school-level courses. Because these courses are taken as an 8th-grade student, high school credit is NOT earned, and the CIF time clock is not triggered.

We can help you find additional vendors, activities, and classes that may supplement your basic course and help make this homeschool year one that brings your family together while giving your students the opportunity to reach their goals.

Talega Prep is here to help you begin or continue your independent homeschooling program. We look forward to serving you.

Marguerite Gaspar is the Director of the Talega Preparatory Academy, a California Private School offering Satellite independent study programs to families seeking the utmost in educational freedom. Marguerite has homeschooled her three children, taught middle school science and math for over thirty years in California public schools, and has supported homeschooling families throughout the state since 2002.

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