Carthage R-IX

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R 2520 Promotion, Retention and Acceleration

Promotion and Retention of Students

The Carthage R-9 School District is committed to the continuous development of students enrolled in the District’s schools, and to student achievement of the skills for the current grade assignment for promotion to a higher grade.  In evaluating student achievement, each teacher will make use of all available information, including results of teacher-made test, other measures of skill and content mastery, standardized test results and teacher observations of student performance.  The principal will direct and aid teachers in student evaluations and will review grade assignments in order to ensure uniformity of evaluation standards.

Retention may be considered when, in the judgment of the professional staff, it is in the best educational interest of the student involved. Parents/ Guardians will receive prior notification and explanation concerning retention.  However, the final decision will rest with the school administration.

READING LEVELS AND STATE-MANDATED INTERVENTION AND RETENTION

Third Grade Students

The reading level of all third grade students will be determined within forty-five (45) days of the end of the school year.

If the student is reading more than one year below grade level, the District will design and implement a reading improvement plan for the student’s fourth grade year.  The reading improvement plan must include a minimum of thirty (30) hours of additional reading instruction or practice outside the regular school day during the fourth grade year.  In addition, the District may require the student to attend summer school for reading instruction as a condition of promotion to the fourth grade.

Fourth Grade Students with Reading Improvement Plans

Within forty-five (45) days of the conclusion of the fourth grade year, the District shall determine the reading level of the fourth grade students for whom reading improvement plans had been designed. 

If the student is reading more than one year below grade level, the student shall be required to attend summer school to receive supplemental reading instruction.  At the conclusion of summer school, the student’s reading level will be determined again.  If the student is reading below third grade level, the student shall not be promoted to fifth grade.

Students shall not be retained more than once on the basis of their inability to satisfy the third grade or fourth grade reading standards.  However, the District may, at its discretion, retain any student with a reading improvement plan who does not complete summer school for supplemental reading instruction.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Students

The process of determining student reading levels shall be repeated on a yearly basis through the end of sixth grade, accompanied by a corresponding increase in the required reading level.

The reading intervention process will also be applied to students who initially enter the District in grades four, five or six and who have been determined to be reading below grade level.

The permanent record of students who are determined to be reading below the fifth grade level at the end of the sixth grade shall carry a notation stating that the student has been unable to meet the minimal reading standards.  That notation will be removed from the student’s record once the District determines that he or she has met the standards.

Exceptions

The following students are exempt from the reading assessments for purposes of promotion and retention:

  1. Students receiving special education services under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) pursuant to §162.670, RSMo.

  2. Students who are receiving special education services pursuant to Section 504 whose service plan includes an element addressing reading.

  3. Students who have limited English proficiency.

  4. Students who have insufficient cognitive ability to meet the reading requirements.  However, a reading improvement plan shall be provided for these students in accordance with law.

Appeal of Retention Decisions

Parents/guardians who wish to appeal a decision regarding a student’s retention must first contact the building principal.  If parents/guardians do not accept the decision at the building level, an appeal may be made in writing to the Superintendent.  All appeals must be requested within two (2) weeks after the close of school.

Accelerated Placement Regulations

Acceleration of a student should occur only if the results of a multi-factored assessment indicate that the student will function successfully and benefit academically, emotionally and socially from such acceleration. The parents are to be involved before acceleration is recommended. A recommendation to approve or not to approve an accelerated placement shall be made to the building principal by an acceleration evaluation committee which is convened by the principal.  The principal will provide written notification of the accelerated placement decision to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may appeal the decision to the Superintendent. A student may be accelerated on a probationary basis. An assessment of the student’s progress shall he completed at the end of the probationary period (typically four to six weeks) to determine the permanent placement.

  1. Referrals and Evaluation
    1. Any student residing 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 (or his or her designee) of the student’s school for evaluation for possible accelerated placement. A student may refer himself or herself or a peer through a district staff member who has knowledge of the referred child’s abilities.

    2. Copies of this policy and referral forms for evaluation for possible early entrance, whole-grade acceleration, individual subject acceleration, and early high school graduation shall be made available to district staff and parents at each school building upon request. The principal of each school building (or his or her designee) shall solicit referrals of students for evaluation for possible accelerated placement annually, and ensure that staff members are aware of procedures for referring students for evaluation for possible accelerated placement.

    3. Upon receipt of a referral, the principal will convene an acceleration evaluation committee which will include the school psychologist of the student’s school to assist in planning the evaluation and developing recommendations following the evaluation. The principal (or his or her designee) of the referred student’s school shall obtain written permission from the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to evaluate the student for possible accelerated placement. The district shall evaluate 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 in a timely manner.

    4. Procedures will be initiated to assure that sufficient and objective information about the student is made available for consideration by the acceleration evaluation committee. Information will include, but not be limited to, test data, progress reports and evidence of advanced ability. The committee shall also consider the student’s own thoughts on possible accelerated placement.  The following will be involved in the decision to accelerate a student, either as members of the acceleration evaluation committee or through consultation with committee members:
      1. Classroom teacher and other teachers who work with the student

      2. Parents

      3. Principal

      4. Speech and hearing therapist (if necessary)

      5. Guidance counselor, elementary intervention teacher or other staff member familiar with appropriate uses of acceleration

      6. School psychologist

      7. Receiving teacher

      8. Gifted services staff member

    5. A recommendation to approve or not to approve an accelerated placement shall be made to the building principal by the acceleration evaluation committee.  The principal will provide written notification of the accelerated placement committee’s decision to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) within 15 days of the committee’s decision. This notification shall include instructions for appealing the outcome of the evaluation process.

    6. If the acceleration evaluation committee concurs the student would benefit from acceleration in either content based or grade based acceleration, then the acceleration evaluation committee will develop a written acceleration plan which specifies the placement of the student, strategies to support a successful transition to the accelerated setting, requirements for earning high school credit prior to entering high school (if applicable), and an appropriate transition period.

    7. If an acceleration plan is developed, a copy of the plan will be provided to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). When a student is accelerated, the principal, current teacher and receiving teacher will determine the classroom assignment that will be most advantageous for the student. The principal (or designee) will appoint a school staff member to monitor the adjustment of the student to the accelerated setting, and, once the placement has been made permanent, to ensure that the student’s permanent record reflects the accelerated placement as needed.

    8. Appeal Process

      Once an accelerated placement decision has been reached, the parents or legal guardian(s) will be notified in writing by the principal. Parents will have 10 days to appeal the decision. Such appeal shall be in writing to the Superintendent. The

      Superintendent shall review the appeal and notify the parent or legal guardian who filed the appeal of his or her final decision within thirty days of receiving the appeal. The Superintendent’s decision shall he final. However, the student may be referred and evaluated again the following school year for consideration of accelerated placement.  This may be a review of testing data and not necessarily further testing.

  1. Acceleration Evaluation Committee

Composition

  1. The referred student’s principal (or his or her designee) shall convene an evaluation committee to determine the most appropriate available learning environment for the referred student. This committee shall be comprised of the following:
    1. A principal or assistant principal from the child’s current school;

    2. A current teacher of the referred student (with the exception of students referred for possible early admission to kindergarten);

    3. 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);

    4. A parent or legal guardian of the referred student or a representative designated by a parent or legal guardian of the referred student;

    5. A gifted education teacher;

    6. A school psychologist or guidance counselor with expertise in the appropriate use of academic acceleration may be substituted. 

  2. The acceleration evaluation committee shall be charged with the following responsibilities:
    1. The acceleration evaluation committee shall conduct a fair and thorough evaluation of the student.
      1. In cases were a student is being considered for whole-grade acceleration or early entrance to kindergarten, the committee shall consider the student’s performance on individualized assessments of achievement and intelligence quotient  as well as classroom performance if applicable.  The testing measures used to determine the standard scores and intelligence quotient reviewed should be the same instruments used in determining placement in the districts enrichment program.  Research demonstrates that whole-grade accelerated students typically score above the mean, and often score well above the mean, in the accelerated grade level, meaning that the accelerated student is outperforming older peers.  The Committee shall consider the student’s own thoughts on possible accelerated placement in its deliberations.

      2. Students considered for individual subject acceleration shall be evaluated using a variety of data sources, including measures of achievement based on state academic content standards (in subjects for which the state had approved content standards) and consideration of the student’s maturity and desire for accelerated placement. The committee shall consider the student’s own thoughts on possible accelerated placement in its deliberations.

      3. Students referred for possible early high school graduation shall be evaluated based on past academic performance, measures of achievement based on state academic content standards, and successful completion of state mandated graduation requirements. The committee shall consider the student’s own thoughts on possible accelerated placement in its deliberations.

    2. The acceleration evaluation committee shall issue a written decision to the principal and the student’s parent or legal guardian based on the outcome of the evaluation process. If a consensus recommendation cannot be reached by the committee, a decision regarding whether or not to accelerate the student will be determined by a majority vote of the committee membership.

    3. The acceleration evaluation committee shall develop a written acceleration plan for students who have been determined to need acceleration.  Written plans will include students who will be admitted early to kindergarten, whole-grade accelerated, or accelerated in one or more individual subject areas. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the student shall be provided with a copy of the written acceleration plan. The written acceleration plan shall specify:
      1. Placement of the student in an accelerated setting;

      2. Strategies to support a successful transition to the accelerated setting;

      3. Requirements and procedures for earning high school credit prior to entering high school (if applicable);

      4. An appropriate transition period for accelerated placement for early entrants to kindergarten, grade-level accelerated students, and students accelerated in individual content areas.

    4. For students the acceleration evaluation committee recommends for early high school graduation, the committee shall develop a written acceleration plan designed to allow the student to complete graduation requirements on an accelerated basis. This may include the provision of educational options such as waiving district prerequisite requirements for enrolling in advanced courses, waiving district graduation requirements that exceed those required by the state.

    5. The acceleration evaluation committee shall designate a school staff member to ensure successful implementation of the written acceleration plan and to monitor the adjustment of the student to the accelerated setting.
  1. Transition and Appeals
    1. Transition
      1. At any time during the transition period, a parent or legal guardian of the student may request in writing that the student be withdrawn from accelerated placement. In such cases, the principal shall remove the student without repercussions from the accelerated placement.

      2. At any time during the transition period, a parent or legal guardian of the student may request in writing an alternative accelerated placement. In such cases, the principal shall direct the acceleration committee to consider other accelerative options and issue a decision within 30 days of receiving the request from the parent or legal guardian. If the student will be placed in an accelerated setting different from that initially recommended by the acceleration evaluation committee, the student’s written acceleration plan shall be revised accordingly, and a new transition period shall be specified.

      3. At the end of the transition period, the accelerated placement shall become permanent. The student’s records shall be modified accordingly, and the acceleration implementation plan shall become part of the student’s permanent record to facilitate continuous progress through the curriculum.

    2. Appeal Process

Once an accelerated placement decision has been reached, the parents or legal guardian(s) will be notified in writing by the principal. Parents will have 20 days to appeal the decision. Such appeal shall be in writing to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall review the appeal and notify the parent or legal guardian who filed the appeal of his or her final decision within thirty days of receiving the appeal. The Superintendent’s decision shall he final. However, the student may be referred and evaluated again the following school year for consideration of accelerated placement.  This may be a review of testing data and not necessarily further testing.


Board Approved Date: December 16, 2013
Last Updated: February 2014