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Accelerations and Retentions

MANUAL - Student acceleration(s) or retention(s) may be considered for students enrolled in Jordan District when requested by the parent(s)/legal guardian(s). Requests for accelerations or retentions are made at the local school. Acceleration or retention requests for students enrolling in Jordan District for the first time may be considered only after the student has been enrolled according to their age and appropriate time has been given for observations (usually about six (6) weeks).

Each acceleration/retention request should follow the same process as a special education referral process.  A team comprised of a school administrator, parent(s)/legal guardian(s), teachers, and guidance personnel will consider and evaluate individual patterns of growth for each requested acceleration/retention. Research indicates that an inappropriate acceleration or retention is more harmful than beneficial. For this reason, decisions regarding student acceleration or retention are made only after the students physical, emotional, intellectual, behavioral and social maturity has been assessed and reviewed by the school team. The data, as outlined below, is collected and considered in the evaluation of each student. Decisions to accelerate or retain a student is the responsibility of the school team under the direction of the school administrator.

English Language Learner (ELL) acceleration or retention should not be initiated prior to consultation with the Bilingual Psychologist in the Alternative Language Services Department. The Bilingual Psychologist will coordinate necessary evaluations after determining the linguistic and cultural appropriateness of the request to retain or accelerate.

Students with learning disabilities (SpEd) should not be considered for acceleration or retention prior to consultation with the student’s case manager and the Department of Special Education.

Data Collection Guidelines

Grades K-6:

  • The student’s physical, emotional, intellectual, behavioral and social maturity should be considered.  The student's parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will be asked to complete a behavioral assessment.  A formal student observation, conducted by the school guidance personnel, will provide data to assist in making this determination.
  • The student’s IQ will be determined by an individually administered intelligence test. It is recommended that a Wechsler Intelligence Test, which is age-appropriate, be administered.  However, the school guidance personnel may elect to administer an alternate intelligence test.  Use of a screening instrument, such as the Slosson Intelligence Test, is not considered to be sufficient.  To consider acceleration, the IQ should fall within the superior or very superior range of intelligence.  A score of 125 is considered minimal.
  • A norm-referenced achievement battery, criterion-referenced test, as well as informal assessment by the classroom teacher should be administered to determine the student’s readiness levels and skills. The student should be performing above the 96th percentile in most of the academic areas in order to be considered for acceleration.
  • The student should be in the top 3% of his/her class (grade at school) academically and intellectually to be considered for acceleration.
  • When acceleration involves moving to another level, there must be approval and involvement from the receiving school administrator, i.e., a sixth grade elementary student promoted to a seventh grade middle school.
  • Children with learning disabilities or intellectual handicaps should not be considered for retention.
  • Evaluation should include the degree of parental support.

Grades 7-9:

  • Retention/acceleration in grades 7-9 may only be considered in extreme cases.
  • If circumstances warrant retention consideration, guidelines listed under Grades K-6 should be followed.

Grades 10-12:

  • Retention/acceleration in grades 10-12 may only be considered in extreme cases.
  • If circumstances warrant retention consideration, guidelines listed under Grades K-6 should be followed.
  • There is no provision for additional years of athletic eligibility after three consecutive years.
  • If a student has not graduated after three years and still desires to graduate, the fourth year will be offered through adult education programs, not the regular high school.

If the decision of the school team is contrary to the requested action, the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) may appeal the decision by submitting a letter of appeal to the Administrator for Planning and Student Services. Appeal letters must include the background, the circumstances, and reasons for the requested action.

Completed accelerations and/or retentions should be submitted to the appropriate Administrator of Schools. The form (“Individual Report of Retention or Acceleration”) is available in the "Resources" section of this manual.


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