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When a teacher describes a student as being “on the bubble,” they mean that a child is barely meeting the bottom benchmark score on some academic standard.  It could mean that your child correctly answered 1 question above the cutoff score for intervention in Reading, Writing or Math. Being “on the bubble” indicates that a skill is not secure. On the next test of progress monitoring, they could just as easily fall below benchmark by missing the cutoff by one point.

Your student might be in reading intervention for two quarters, then meet Benchmark and be dismissed from intervention. In the Fall the student is tested and they are below Benchmark, then they begin the “in and out” pattern of intervention for another school year. This pattern can be a source of great frustration for everyone. Obviously, the student continues to struggle even if they meet the Benchmark now and then.

What to do? Bottom line – your student cannot go for an extended time without practice in the areas of weakness. But, trying to be your child’s teacher can disrupt the parent- child relationship. Ask at school if there is a retired teacher or a summer tutoring program that can help maintain gains or even improve the areas of concern. Most teachers are happy to partner with you when a parent asks for direction. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. If you have concerns about your child’s ability to sustain concentration and pay attention to details, now may be the time for an assessment.

If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area you might consider “Adventures in Summer Learning” to help solidify skills in reading, writing and math.

Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Mulcahey at mmulcahey@springer-ld.org.

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