Academic Acceleration, Early Entrance To Kindergarten,
and Early High School Graduation
In accordance with the belief that all children are entitled to an education commensurate with their particular needs, students who can exceed the grade-level indicators and benchmarks set forth in the standards must be afforded the opportunity and be encouraged to do so. The Board believes that such students often require access to advanced curriculum in order to realize their potential contribution to themselves and society. All children learn and experience success given time and opportunity, but the degree to which academic content standards are met and the time it takes to reach the standards will vary from student to student. The Board believes that all students, including advanced learners, should be challenged and supported to reach their full potential. For many advanced learners, this can best be achieved by affording them access to curriculum, learning environments, and instructional interventions more commonly provided to older peers. This policy describes the process that is used for evaluating students for possible accelerated placement and identifying students who should be granted early admission to kindergarten, accelerated in one or more individual subject areas, promoted to a higher grade level than their same-age peers, and granted early graduation from high school.
Referrals and Evaluation
1. Any student enrolled in the District may be referred by a teacher, administrator, gifted education specialist, guidance counselor, school psychologist, or a parent or legal guardian of the student to the principal of his/her school for evaluation for possible accelerated placement. A student may refer himself/herself or a peer through a District staff member who has knowledge of the referred child’s abilities.
2. Copies of this board policy (IKEB) and referral forms for evaluation for possible early entrance, whole-grade acceleration, individual subject acceleration, and early high school graduation are made available to District staff and parents at each school building. The principal of each school building or his/her designee solicits referrals of students for evaluation for possible accelerated placement annually, and ensures that all staff he/she supervises are aware of procedures for referring students for evaluation for possible accelerated placement.
3. The principal or his/ her designee of the referred student’s school obtains written permission from the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to evaluate the student for possible accelerated placement. The District evaluates all students who are referred for evaluation and whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have granted permission to evaluate the student for possible accelerated placement.
4. Children who are referred for evaluation for possible accelerated placement 60 or more days prior to the start of the school year are evaluated in advance of the start of the school year so that the child may be placed in the accelerated placement on the first day of school. Children who are referred for possible accelerated placement 60 or more days prior to the start of the second semester are evaluated for possible accelerated placement at the start of the second semester. In all other cases, evaluations of a referred child are scheduled at the student’s principal’s discretion and placed in the accelerated setting(s) at the time recommended by the acceleration evaluation committee – if the committee determines the child should be accelerated. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3321.01, all children who will be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten or first grade by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested are evaluated upon the request of the child’s parent or legal guardian. Children who will not yet be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten or first grade by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested are evaluated for possible early admittance, if referred by an educator within the District, a preschool educator who knows the child, or pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child. Children who will not yet be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten or first grade by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested may also be evaluated for possible early admittance at the discretion of the principal of the school to which the student may be admitted.
5. A parent or legal guardian of the evaluated student is notified, in writing, of the outcome of the evaluation process within 45 days of the submission of the referral to the student’s principal. This notification includes instructions for appealing the outcome of the evaluation process.
6. A parent or legal guardian of the referred student may appeal in writing the decision of the evaluation committee to the Superintendent/designee within 30 days of being notified of the committee’s decision. The Superintendent/designee reviews the appeal and notifies the parent or legal guardian who filed the appeal of his/her final decision within 30 days of receiving the appeal. The Superintendent/designee’s decision is final.
However, the student may be referred and evaluated again at the next available opportunity if he/she is again referred for evaluation by an individual eligible to make referrals as described in this policy.
Acceleration Evaluation Committee
The referred student’s principal or his/her designee convenes an evaluation committee to determine the most appropriate available learning environment for the referred student. This committee is comprised of the following:
A. a principal or assistant principal from the child’s current school;
B. a current teacher of the referred student (with the exception of students referred for possible early admission to kindergarten);
C. a teacher at the grade level to which the student may be accelerated (with the exception of students referred for possible early graduation from high school);
D. a parent or legal guardian of the referred student or a representative designated by a parent of legal guardian of the referred student;
E. a gifted education coordinator or gifted intervention specialist. If a gifted coordinator or gifted intervention specialist is not available in the District, a school psychologist or guidance counselor with expertise in the appropriate use of academic acceleration may be substituted.