PROMOTION/ACCELERATION/RETENTION AR 5123(a)
Acceleration from Kindergarten to First Grade
A child enrolled in kindergarten may be admitted to the first grade at the discretion of the Superintendent or designee and with the consent of the parent/guardian, upon determination that the child is ready for first grade work. Admission shall be subject to the following minimum criteria:
- the child is at least five (5) years of age;
- the child has attended a public school kindergarten for a long enough time to enable school personnel to evaluate his/her ability;
- the child is in the upper five percent (5%) of his/her age group in terms of general mental ability;
- the physical development and social maturity of the child are consistent with his/her advanced mental ability;
- the parent/guardian of the child has filed a written statement with the school district approving the placement in first grade.
Continuation in Kindergarten
Children five (5) years old or older who have completed one (1) year of kindergarten shall be admitted to first grade unless the parent/guardian and the District agree that the student shall continue in kindergarten for not more than one (1) additional school year. (Education Code 48011)
Whenever a student continues in kindergarten for an additional year, the Superintendent/designee shall secure an agreement, signed by the parent/guardian, stating that the student shall continue in kindergarten for not more than one (1) additional school year. (Education Code 46300)
Acceleration at Other Grade Levels (First through Eighth)
Student placement decisions shall be made by the Superintendent or designee, including but not limited to, any or all of the following indicators:
- Factors related to level of academic achievement: scores on intelligence, achievement, and proficiency tests; teacher evaluations of ability, interest, and motivation; attendance; learning disabilities.
- Factors related to physical maturity; age, size, physical coordination, general health.
- Factors related to the social and emotional maturity; ability to communicate, social adaptability, emotional difficulties, antisocial attitudes.
- Students must have a minimum of six (6) weeks of attendance at the school so teacher(s) have a basis of experience with the student. Acceleration request must be made prior to the first day of the fourth quarter. Acceleration must be prior to, or during the first two weeks, of a new school year.
Acceleration in High School
It is possible for a student to complete the necessary courses and the 220 units required for graduation in less than four years through additional course work. Students interested in acceleration during grades 9-11 should seek special advisement from their Academic Advisor at least a full year before their desired date of graduation. Written permission from the principal is required for early graduation.
Retention at Other Grade Levels
The Superintendent/designee shall identify students who should be retained or who are at risk of being retained at the following grade levels:
- between grades 1 and 2;
- between grades 2 and 3;
- between grades 3 and 4;
- between grades 4 and 5;
- between grades 6 and 7;
- between grades 8 and 9.
Students between grades 1 and 2, grades 2 and 3, and grades 3 and 4 shall be identified primarily on the basis of their level of proficiency in reading and English Language Arts. Proficiency in reading, English Language Arts and mathematics shall be the basis for identifying students between grades 4 and 5, between grades 6 and 7, and between grades 8 and 9. (Education Code 48070.5c)
Students shall be identified on the basis of California STAR results, grades, and other indicators of academic achievement. (Education Code 48070.5b)
When a student is identified as being at risk of retention, the Superintendent/designee shall so notify the student’s parent/guardian as early in the school year as practicable. The student’s parent/guardian shall be provided an opportunity to consult with the teacher(s) responsible for the decision to promote or retain the student.
For students who enter school at the beginning of the school year, and prior to a recommendation for grade level retention in grades 1 through 8, the principal or designee shall do the following:
- By the end of the first quarter, the child’s teacher and parent/guardian will hold a conference to determine differential strategies to assure student success of grade level expectations.
- By the end of the second quarter, the principal/designee will convene a Student Study Team to measure, to the fullest extent possible, the student’s progress toward District grade level standards for expected student achievement. When two schools are involved in the grade placement, both schools shall be represented on the Student Study Team. The student’s parent/guardian shall participate on the Student Study Team unless it is impossible to do so. In collaboration with the student’s parent/guardian and based on the facts generated by the Student Study Team, a Plan of Action will be developed to provide supplemental instruction. Should a child be considered at risk of retention, parent/guardian will be notified in writing and will receive a copy of the District’s promotion/retention policy and administrative regulations.
- By the end of the third quarter, the Student Study Team will meet to discuss the following:
a. review of the Plan of Action;
b. the student’s progress toward achievement of expected grade level standards;
c. grade placement for the next year.
Should a child become a candidate for retention, the parent/guardian will be notified in writing by the end of the third quarter and a conference held with school personnel and the student’s parent/guardian to collaboratively determine grade placement for the next year. The site principal, due to extenuating circumstances, may retain a child after the third quarter and without convening a Student Study Team.
- Following this conference, the principal shall notify the District Office in writing of intent to retain a student and the accompanying rationale. All decisions for grade level retention are subject to review by the Superintendent/designee.
- During the fourth quarter, the parent/guardian will be notified in writing as to grade placement for their child for the next school year.
For students who enter school during the school year, this process will be modified as needed. However, early identification of students at risk and parent/guardian notification will occur as early as possible.
If a student is identified as performing below the minimum standard for promotion, the Student Study Team shall recommend that the student be retained in his/her current grade level unless the student’s regular classroom teacher determines, in writing, that retention is not the appropriate intervention for the student’s academic deficiencies. This determination shall specify the reasons that retention is not appropriate for the student and shall include recommendations for interventions other than retention that, in the opinion of the teacher, are necessary to assist the student in attaining acceptable levels of academic achievement. (Education Code 48070.5d)
If the recommendation of the Student Study Team to promote is contingent on the student’s participation in a summer school (if available) or interim session remediation program, the student’s academic performance shall be reassessed at the end of the remediation program, and the decision to retain or promote the student shall be reevaluated at that time. The teacher’s evaluation shall be provided to the Student Study Team and discussed with the student’s parent/guardian and the principal before any final determination of retention or promotion. (Education Code 48070.5)
If the student does not have a single regular classroom teacher, the principal/designee shall specify the teacher(s) responsible for the decision to promote or retain the student. (Education Code 48070.5c2)
The decision of the Student Study Team to promote or retain a student may be appealed consistent with Board policy, administrative regulations and legal mandates. The burden shall be on the appealing party to show why the teacher’s decision should be overruled. (Education Code 48070.5f)
Appeal Process for Promotion/Acceleration/Retention
- To appeal a decision of the Student Study Team, the appealing party shall submit a written request to the Superintendent/designee specifying the reason why the decision of the Student Study Team should be overruled. The appeal must be initiated within ten (10) school days of the determination of retention or promotion.
- The Student Study Team shall be provided an opportunity to state in writing the criteria on which the decision was based.
- Within thirty (30) days of receiving the request, the Superintendent/designee shall determine whether or not to overrule the decision of the Student Study Team. Prior to making this determination, the Superintendent/designee may meet with the appealing party, the teacher, and the site principal. If the Superintendent/designee determines that the appealing party has overwhelmingly proven that the decision of the Student Study Team should be overruled, he/she shall overrule the decision of the Student Study Team.
- The Superintendent/designee’s determination may be appealed by submitting a written request to the Governing Board within fifteen (15) school days. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of a written appeal, the Board shall meet in closed session to decide the appeal. The Board’s decision may be made on the basis of documentation prepared as part of the appeal process or, at the discretion of the Board, the Board may also meet with the appealing party, the classroom teacher, the site principal, and the Superintendent/designee to decide the appeal. The decision of the Board is final.
- If the decision of the Board is unfavorable to the appealing party, he/she shall have the right to submit a written statement of objection, which shall become part of the student’s record.
With the parent/guardian’s consent, the Superintendent/designee may require a student in grades 1 through 8 who has been retained at grade level to participate in a program of direct, systematic and intensive supplemental instruction that meets the requirements of Education Code 37252.5. If available such programs shall be offered during the summer, after school, on Saturdays and/or during intersessions. Services shall not be provided during the regular instructional day if it would result in the student being removed from classroom instruction in the core curriculum. (Education Code 37252.5) Should a student be required to participate in a supplemental instruction program and the parent/guardian refuses such services, the parent/guardian will provide, in writing, the reason(s) for refusal of services with the signature of the parent/guardian.
In addition, the Superintendent/designee may provide supplemental instruction to students in grades 1 through 3 with low scores in reading and Language Arts, and in grades 4 through 8 with low scores in reading, English Language Arts and Mathematics, in the following priority order:
- students who have been recommended for retention or who have been identified as being at risk of retention pursuant to Education Code 48070.5 or District policy;
- students who have been identified as having a deficiency in mathematics, reading or written expression based on the results of the tests administered under the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program.
37252.5 Retained pupils in grades 2 to 9; supplemental instruction
46300 Method of computing ADA
48011 Admission on completing kindergarten; grade placement of pupils coming from other districts
48070.5 Promotion or retention of pupils; creation of policy
California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 200