Policy 524



    Because the public schools of the District are dedicated to the best total and continuous development of each pupil enrolled, the professional staff is expected to place pupils at the instructional level for which they are best suited academically, socially and emotionally.

    Pupils will normally progress annually from grade to grade through achievement or by meeting the goals set in a special education program and described in the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Retention or acceleration may be considered when, in the judgment of the professional staff, such decisions are in the best educational interest of the pupils involved.  Any consideration for retention or acceleration will involve consultation with the student's parent/guardian and the professional staff, but  the final decision will rest with the school administration.  The Superintendent is directed to establish regulations for retention or acceleration of students to insure the required consultation with parents/guardians and the necessary involvement of various professional staff members leading to such decisions.


    REAFFIRMED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:  December 17, 2001, May 1, 2017

    CROSS REFERENCE:   Board Policy 501 - Initial Entrance into the School          System

524.1 Administrative Guidelines


    Consistent with Board Policy 524, the following student retention and acceleration guidelines are hereby establish by the Superintendent of Schools.

    I.          It is expected that students will progress from grade to grade on an annual basis.

    II.         Student retention or acceleration based on achievement is not encouraged routinely throughout the District.  Research indicates that retention does not lead to increased student achievement unless complete program and instructional material changes can be made for the student.  Acceleration contains inherent potential for social emotional difficulties.

    Retention or acceleration may be appropriate under the following conditions:


    Identifiable                                                         Growth or Development

    Conditions*                                               Indicates in Relation to Group for

                                                                     Retention                          Acceleration


    Academic Progress                            Significantly below                  Significantly above


    Age                                                     Younger                                  Older


    Social Maturity                                    Below                                      Above

                                                             developmental norm                 developmental norm


    Emotional Maturity                              Below                                      Above

                                                            developmental norm                 developmental norm


    Physical Maturity                                Below                                      Above

                                                            developmental norm                 developmental norm


    Parental attitudes                               Positive                                    Positive

    *This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but only suggestive of the several factors to be considered.  The indices describe the conditions generally present in cases involving retention or acceleration decisions.  Such factors as excessive absences or geographical moves resulting in students missing a significant portion of schooling may be also considered.

    III.        The final decision to retain or accelerate a student will be made by the building principal after the following process: 

    A.        Review information concerning the student’s academic performance.

    B.        Review special programs and services already received by the student (e.g. special education, English as a Second Language, high potential, guidance) and instructional strategies and approaches that have already been used (e.g. enrichment or remediation, accommodating learning styles) and their impact on the student’s learning.

    C.        Consult with appropriate district and building administrators and staff in such areas as high potential, basic skills, ESL, Title I, social worker, psychologist, special education, and the regular classroom, including discussion of any new programs, services, and/or instructional strategies that are in the planning or implementation stages.

    D.        Consult with the parents/guardians and, as deemed appropriate, the student.

    Throughout the decision-making process, the principal will be responsible for ensuring that factors described in Part II of these administrative guidelines have been considered and that the final decision is made for the benefit of the student.  Differences of opinion regarding the decision shall be resolved by the building principal in consultation with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

    Dated:            April 7, 1997