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Acceleration

Information on the procedures for Early Entrance to Kindergarten, Subject Acceleration, Whole Grade Acceleration, and Early Graduation From High School

DEFINITION 
“Acceleration” describes the placement of students who should be granted early entrance to kindergarten, accelerated in one or more subject areas, promoted to a higher grade level than their same-age peers and granted early graduation from high school beyond their same-age peers.
 
REFERRALS            
Any student residing in the district may be referred by a teacher, parent or legal guardian, administrator, gifted intervention specialist, school psychologist, or guidance counselor for evaluation for possible accelerated placement.  A student may refer him/her self or a peer through a district staff member who has knowledge of the referred child’s abilities. Referrals are turned into the building principal.  Gifted identification is not a prerequisite for acceleration referral. 
 
PERMISSION FOR TESTING            
Written permission from the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) shall be obtained in order to evaluate the student for possible accelerated placement.  The district shall evaluate 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.
 
Possible data and assessments used in determining acceleration include but are not limited to the IOWA Acceleration Scale, ability and achievement testing, state testing, teacher-designed tests and products, district common assessments, social/emotional data, grades/GPA, guidance recommendations, and attendance. 

EVALUATION TIMELINE 
Children who are referred for evaluation for possible accelerated placement 60 or more days prior to the start of the school year shall be evaluated in advance of the start of the school year so that the child may be placed 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 shall be evaluated for possible accelerated placement at the start of the second semester.  In all other cases, evaluations of a referred child shall be scheduled at the 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.
 
EARLY ENTRANCE TIMELINE            
Pursuant to Ohio Administrative 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 shall be evaluated upon the request of the child’s parent or legal guardian, an educator within the district, a preschool educator, a pediatrician, or psychologist who knows the child, or the principal of the school to which the student may be admitted.
*****If applying for early entrance to kindergarten, make sure you proceed with childcare arrangements as a contingency.  If you are selecting a preschool program, please let the preschool know that your child is being screened for early entrance to kindergarten.  

ACCELERATION COMMITTEE            
The referred student’s principal (or designee) will convene a committee to determine the appropriate available learning environment for the referred student.  Members of the committee may include the principal, a current teacher (except early entrance), a teacher at the grade level to which a student may be accelerated (except early graduation), a parent or legal guardian, a gifted specialist, school psychologist, and/or guidance counselor.   The committee will meet to determine a course of action for assessment and data collection.
 
The acceleration evaluation committee shall conduct a fair and thorough evaluation of the student.  The committee shall consider the student’s own thoughts on possible accelerated placement in its deliberations. 
 
The acceleration committee shall issue a written decision to the principal and student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) based on the outcome of the evaluation process.  The parent(s) or legal guardian(s) shall be notified in writing of the outcome of the process within 45 days of the submission of the referral. 
 
APPEALS TIME LINE            
A parent or legal guardian may appeal the decision in writing to the Superintendent within 30 days from notification. The Superintendent shall review and notify the parent or legal guardian of the final decision within 30 days.  The Superintendent’s decision is final.
 
WRITTEN ACCELERATION PLAN (WAP)            
For students for whom acceleration is recommended, a written acceleration plan shall be developed.  The plan shall specify the placement of the student in an accelerated setting, strategies to support a successful transition to the accelerated setting, requirement, and procedures for earning high school credit prior to high school (if applicable), and an appropriate transition period.
 
TRANSITION PERIOD 
At any time during the transition period, a parent of the student may request in writing the student to be withdrawn from the accelerated placement or request an alternative placement.  At the end of the transition period, the accelerated placement shall become permanent.