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It's not a national or even state regulation I believe.
I know first hand, 4-5 years ago when one of my good friends' kid was transferring from one of the top public schools in the state to one of the, Ah-hum, C.C. schools and the hockey coach (who was also a councillor) was the one that mentioned the kid should repeat 8th grade. Academically C.C. schools would not be confused with a top quartile of public schools in the state so it is pretty insane that the hockey coach would go there when the kid was coming out of one of the top 10-15 publics.
Pope Francis or Prep
When is the last time you took a walk around a public school during school hours vs. walking around a private school? You cant compare the environmnets- 1 is very chaotic and 1 is very structured. School settings have changed dramatically over the past 10-15 years. The private school environment has evolved and is up to date compared to years past. I like the fact that I dont have to ask "was there any trouble today?" and if that means he needs to repeat 1 year, then he repeats. The outstanding sports offerings is a bonus but also played a huge role in the decision.
Seriously people???!!! You are going to keep your kid back in school in 8th grade for HOCKEY???!!! I don't care who you think your kid is, unless you are going into this knowing that your kid will not be drafted by an NHL team and will not be playing D1 hockey in college, you are doing it wrong. If your kid does happen to make a D1 college or gets drafted, then it's a bonus. Keeping a kid out of high school for an extra year because the high school coach suggests it is stupid.