Whole Grade Acceleration (grades 1-8)

  • Whole grade acceleration is the practice of assigning a student full-time to a higher grade level than is typical, given the student’s age, in order to meet the high-achieving or gifted student’s unique needs. Whole grade acceleration is rare, and many factors are considered when evaluating whether a child is a good candidate.


    1. Parents/guardians may fill out an interest/application form from the district’s Gifted Office or contact the gifted teacher at their home school. The application window is Aug. 15 to Feb. 1. Note: Parents may also apply for other programs available through the interest/application link on the gifted and magnet web pages. If students apply for both a whole grade acceleration along with another program, the grade placement in the possible offer will depend on the results of the whole grade acceleration placement decision. 
    1. The whole grade acceleration process begins with a collection of work sample evidence that exhibits student’s ability to perform above grade level in math and reading. Specialists and classroom teachers will work together to collect evidence. This evidence is collected using the Instructional Differentiation Log. If students have exhibited above-level performance at a successful level, then an individual standardized general ability assessment will be administered at the student’s districted home school by trained specialists. 
    1. If there are successful pieces of above level sample work collected, then a consent to testing form will be sent home and a standardized general ability assessment will be administered at the student’s districted home school given by specialists. 
    1. Parents will be notified of the assessment results. If the student scores at least one standard deviation above the mean on the general ability test, then the student’s will proceed to take the aptitude and achievement tests outlined in the IOWA Acceleration Scale. Standardized normed referenced tests will be used. 
    1. Anecdotal information will then be collected from parents along with the current school/ preschool to evaluate the student’s interpersonal, and social and emotional development. 
    1. Once all testing and anecdotal evidences are completed, they will be compiled into the IOWA Acceleration Scale. This scale will yield a Grand Total Score to be used in the placement team’s decision. The Accelerated Placement Team will meet to review evidences and make a final decision regarding the whole grade acceleration. Students must score at least a 60 out of 80 for consideration for a whole grade acceleration, per policy. The committee will complete the summary and planning record for the IOWA Acceleration Scale. 
    1. Families will be notified of the committee’s final decision. The committee will decide on the timing of the student’s transition into the next grade level and enter this info into the IOWA Acceleration Scale. This summary sheet should be kept in the student’s cumulative record. Students will be considered for placement at their districted home school. Parents who apply for other programs and are accepted will be placed in the grade they are accelerated. If students are grade accelerated, they will have the opportunity to take subject composite achievement tests normed for their age for possible formal gifted identification.


  • Examples of grade accelerations:

    • After completing the first grade, a student is placed in a third-grade classroom (rather than second grade) on a full-time basis at the beginning of the next school year.
    • After completing the fall semester of the fifth-grade year, a student is placed in the sixth grade at the start of the second semester of the same school year.


    How do I know if my child is a good candidate for acceleration?

    My child says he/she is bored. Does this mean they should be accelerated?

    After talking with my child’s teacher, we believe that after receiving challenging and enriching differentiated instruction, the child’s needs are not best met in their current placement. What should we do?


    Contact: Julie Gann, (859) 381-4727