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Teachers Network Leadership Institute:
Action Research:
Parent Involvement & Immigrant Engagement: Looping…a Loopy Idea?

Does looping increase student achievement?


Looping is a classroom setting in which a teacher moves with his or her students to the next grade level rather than sending them to another teacher at the end of the school year. I learned about the concept of looping and believed that the long-term relationships provided by looping—not only with my students, but also with their families—might lead to increased parental involvement and improved student achievement.

My study examines the last two of my four years of looping classes. My data, drawn from surveying and interviewing parents and students, and the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) tests in reading, writing, and math, demonstrate how looping positively affects a student’s social, emotional, and academic development. I also discovered that looping did indeed lead to increased family involvement, which therefore led to students who performed better on state tests than their counterparts at the local, district, and state levels.

It has taken several years to fine-tune the way that I loop with my students and their families. I have successfully engaged the families of my students. To illustrate, at the end of my last loop of 2002 through 2004, I had 100% participation at spring conferences.

For students, looping provides long-term relationships with their teachers, a stable environment, increased confidence, and improved student behavior. There is a smooth transition from one year to another, with no fright factor in year two. Looping allows more time for special needs students to learn skills and for all students to develop the confidence to become independent thinkers and problem solvers.

Teachers benefit from looping. It improves job satisfaction and provides extra teaching time (learning can begin on day one of the second year), and its continuity allows for a more coherent instructional plan appropriate to a child’s development. In a two-year period, a teacher is able to know the strengths and weaknesses of her students.

Looping benefits families by providing a sustained joint commitment between teacher, student, and family, creating a familiarity that comes from working together for an extended period of time.


  • Transition to looping because it is easy to implement and does not cost extra.
  • Looping teachers’ success stories like mine need to be shared with others.
  • Looping should move into the mainstream of American educational practice.
  • Studies showing the benefits of looping need to be shared with key policy makers at all levels.
  • Professional development opportunities should be created for teachers at the local and the district levels to explore looping benefits.
  • A pilot looping program should be implemented so that looping classrooms can serve as laboratories for teachers, parents, and policy makers.


Candice Hopkins

1st and 2nd Grade
Pleasantville Elementary
New Castle

TNLI Affiliate:

If you would like to learn more about Teachers Network Leadership Institute--Delaware, please e-mail Michael Rasmussen.



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