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H200 - Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration of Students

Policy H200: Promotion, Retention, and Acceleration of Students

It is the Hancock School Committee’s intent to provide sequential instructional programming that provides equitable opportunity for students to acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to meet the content standards of the system of Learning Results at each grade level.  The School Committee recognizes that at every grade level, there are differences among students in their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development, and that individual students may be more proficient in some content areas of the Learning Results than in others.  Students may also differ in their progress toward achieving the cross-curricular skills identified in the Guiding Principles of the Learning Results.

While most students will advance from one grade to another at the end of the academic year, some students may benefit from retention or acceleration.  Decisions concerning promotion, retention, or acceleration of a student should be consistent with the best educational interest of that student.

A.   Criteria

The following criteria will be used in making decisions concerning promotion, retention and acceleration.  Although all listed criteria may be considered in the decision-making process, because of the relationship between a student’s achievement of the content standards of the system of Learning Results and his/her future success in school, more consideration shall be given to the criterion articulated in item 1 below than to any other factors.

1.     Achievement of the content standards of the Learning Results as demonstrated through classroom assessments, common assessments, standardized tests, portfolios, performances, exhibitions, projects, and other elements of the school unit’s local assessment system;

2.     Achievement of cross-curricular skills associated with the Guiding Principles of the Learning Results.

3.     Participation and success in remedial programs, tutoring, summer school, and/or other opportunities for success;

4.     Potential benefit from repetition of a grade or learning experiences;

5.     Potential for success if accelerated;

6.     Attendance;

7.     Social and emotional maturity;

8.     Health;

9.     Age in relation to grade placement;

10.  Program options;

11.  Student attitude; and

12.  Parental concerns.

B.    Retention

1.     Parents should be notified as early as possible in the event that retention is being considered.  Parents will be informed of the remediation options available to students such as tutoring, online/Internet-based resources, after-school programs, and summer school.  Whenever possible, decisions concerning retention should be made through a conference involving parents, the student’s teacher, the building principal, and, as appropriate, the guidance counselor, other professional staff, and/or consultants.  Advancement to the next grade may be made conditional on successful remediation or demonstrated proficiency within a specified period of time.

2.     The principal shall be responsible for making the final decision regarding retention.  A parent who is dissatisfied with the principal’s decision may appeal to the Superintendent.  The Superintendent’s decision shall be final.

C.    Acceleration

Decisions regarding acceleration shall be made by the principal in consultation with the student’s teacher(s), the Gifted and Talented Education Coordinator, and other professional staff or consultants, as appropriate.  A parent who is dissatisfied with the principal’s decision may appeal to the Superintendent.  The Superintendent’s decision shall be final.

D.   High School Grade Level Assignment

High school grade level assignment will be based on the number of learning experiences/ courses completed prior to the beginning of the school year, as determined by the high school attended.

E.    Transfer Students

For students who transfer into the school system from another state or educational program not required to meet the content standards of the system of Learning Results, the principal will determine the value of the student’s prior educational experience for the purpose of grade placement or the fulfillment of credits.

 

Adopted:  6/10/14

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