Student Acceleration

ACADEMIC ACCELERATION, EARLY ENTRANCE TO KINDERGARTEN, AND EARLY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION

In accordance with the belief that all children are entitled to an education commensurate with their particular
needs, students who can exceed the grade-level indicators and benchmarks set forth in the standards must be
afforded the opportunity and be encouraged to do so. The Toronto City School District Board of Education
believes that such students often require access to advanced curriculum in order to realize their potential
contribution to themselves and society.
All children learn and experience success given time and opportunity, but the degree to which academic content
standards are met and the time it takes to reach the standards will vary from student to student. The Toronto City
School District Board of Education believes that all students, including advanced learners, should be challenged
and supported to reach their full potential. For many advanced learners, this can best be achieved by affording
them access to curriculum, learning environments, and instructional interventions more commonly provided to older
peers. This policy describes the process that shall be used for evaluating students for possible accelerated
placement and identifying students who should be granted early admission to kindergarten, accelerated in one
or more individual subject areas, promoted to a higher grade level than their same-age peers, and granted
early graduation from high school. No child shall be admitted to kindergarten or first grade unless the child is
five or six years of age, respectively, by the thirtieth day of September of the year of admittance except as
otherwise set forth in this policy. Parents of children, who become six years of age between October 1 and
January 1, may request testing for early entrance into first grade. Parents of children, who will become five
years of age between October 1 and before January 1, may request testing for early entrance into
kindergarten. Pursuant to O.R.C. §3301.60, children of military families who transfer from a public school district
in another state (the “sending state”) shall be enrolled in the grade level commensurate with their grade level in
the prior district regardless of age. However, a student who has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade
level in the public school district in another state shall be eligible for enrollment in the next highest grade,
regardless of age. Kindergarten Early Entrance
The Ohio Revised Code establishes minimum age requirements for admission to kindergarten and first grade and
sets forth requirements for a standardized testing program to evaluate those children deemed ready by parents
for early admission, and a board of education must evaluate those children, who reach five years of age after
September 30, but prior to January 1, if early admission is requested by parents. Toronto City School District
Board of Education 6.031.
Referrals and Evaluation
A. 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 of his or her
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.
B. 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. 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 all staff he or she
supervises are aware of procedures for referring students for evaluation for possible accelerated placement.
C. 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.
D. Children who are referred for evaluation for possible accelerated placement sixty 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 in the accelerated placement on the first day of school. Children who are referred for possible
accelerated placement sixty 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 student’s 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. Pursuant to O.R.C. §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. Children who will not yet 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 also be evaluated for possible early admittance if referred by an educator within the district, a
pre-school educator who knows the child, or pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child. Children who will
not yet 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 may also be evaluated for possible early admittance at the discretion of
the principal of the school to which the student may be admitted.
E. A parent or legal guardian of the evaluated student shall be notified in writing of the outcome of the
evaluation process within forty-five days of the submission of the referral to the referred student’s principal. This
notification shall include instructions for appealing the outcome of the evaluation process.
F. A parent or legal guardian of the referred student may appeal in writing the decision of the evaluation
committee to the local Superintendent within thirty days of being notified of the committee’s decision. 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 be final.
However, the student may be referred and evaluated again at the next available opportunity if he or she is
again referred for evaluation by an individual eligible to make referrals as described in this policy.
Acceleration Evaluation Committee
A. 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:
(a) A principal or assistant principal from the child’s current school;
(b) A current teacher of the referred student (with the exception of students referred for possible early admission
to kindergarten);
(c) 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);
(d) A parent or legal guardian of the referred student or a representative designated by a parent or legal
guardian of the referred student; and
(e) A gifted education coordinator or gifted intervention specialist. If a gifted coordinator or gifted intervention
specialist is not available in the district, 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:
(a) The acceleration evaluation committee shall conduct a fair and thorough evaluation of the student.
(i) Students considered for whole-grade acceleration and early entrance to kindergarten shall be evaluated
using an acceleration assessment process approved by the Ohio Department of Education. The committee shall
consider the student’s own thoughts on possible accelerated placement in its deliberations.
(ii) 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 has
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. (iii) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) The acceleration evaluation committee shall develop a written acceleration plan for 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:
(i) Placement of the student in an accelerated setting;
(ii) Strategies to support a successful transition to the accelerated setting;
(iii) Requirements and procedures for earning high school credit prior to entering high school (if applicable); and,
(iv) An appropriate transition period for accelerated placement for early entrants to kindergarten, grade-level
accelerated students, and students accelerated in individual content areas.
(d) 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 in accordance with
O.A.C. 3301-35-06(G), waiving district prerequisite requirements for enrolling in advanced courses, waiving
district graduation requirements that exceed those required by the state, and early promotion to sophomore (or
higher) status to allow the student to take the Ohio Graduation Test.
(e) 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.
Accelerated Placement
A. The acceleration evaluation committee shall specify an appropriate transition period for accelerated
placement for early entrants to kindergarten, grade-level accelerated students, and students accelerated in
individual subject areas.
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 thirty 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.
B. 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.
Revised: , 2009
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