Frequently Asked Questions About Accelerations

  • What is an acceleration?

    A student may be accelerated when his/her demonstrated achievement, as well as measured ability, significantly exceeds that of his/her grade level peers. Consideration may be given to promoting him/her to a grade other than the next succeeding one (i.e., whole-grade acceleration), or permitting him/her to enroll in a course other than the next one in the academic sequence (i.e., individual subject acceleration).

    What is whole grade acceleration?

    To be accelerated by skipping a grade level (i.e., whole-grade acceleration), the student must not only satisfactorily complete all of the academic subjects of his/her current grade, but also demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills of all of the academic subjects of the succeeding grade(s).

    What is single-subject acceleration?

    To be accelerated by taking a subject at a higher grade level or permitting him/her to enroll in a course other than the next one in the academic sequence (i.e., individual subject acceleration), the student must not only satisfactorily complete the subject at his/her current grade, but also demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge and skills of that subject for the succeeding grade(s) or academic sequence.

    Who should accelerate?

    Acceleration may be an option if students have met all the requirements as outlined by Board Policy.  Please refer to the next question for a list of necessary requirements.

    What requirements will the Acceleration Team use to make its recommendation?

    The recommendation will be based on the following Board Policy requirements:

    A.   Achieved the grade/course objectives and State-mandated requirements, if applicable, for the grade/course in which s/he is presently enrolled as well as for the grade(s)/course(s) that will be skipped;

    B.  In the opinion of the professional staff and administration, achieved the instructional objectives set for the present grade/course as well as the succeeding one(s);

    C.  Demonstrated sufficient proficiency to permit him/her to be accelerated in the educational program;

    D.  Demonstrated the degree of social, emotional, and physical maturation necessary for a successful learning experience in the grade/course to which s/he will be promoted or enrolled.

    Who can request an acceleration?

    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 for evaluation for a possible accelerated placement. A student may refer himself or herself through a district staff member who has knowledge of the referred child’s abilities.

    What is the process for a single-subject acceleration?

    The process begins with your written request for a subject acceleration and then continues with collecting student data.  Your written request can be directed to the Gifted Intervention Specialists through the following link: Acceleration Request.  When collecting data to make a final recommendation for subject accelerations, curriculum based assessments are administered and a Records Review, which is comprised of previous standardized test scores that may be relevant to the acceleration request, is gathered.  Each assessment correlates to the curriculum of the course for which the student wants to demonstrate mastery for.   Once the data is collected, the acceleration team, which is comprised of the gifted team, content area teachers, and a member of the administrative staff, will review the data to make an appropriate placement recommendation. 

    What is the process for a whole-grade acceleration?

    The process begins with your written request for a whole-grade acceleration and then continues with collecting student data.  Your written request can be directed to the Gifted Intervention Specialists.  After your written request is received, the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS) guides the acceleration team through the process.  The data that is collected to make an informed recommendation is aligned with the IAS, and also includes curriculum based assessments. These assessments correlate to the curriculum of the grade-level courses for which the student wants to accelerate through.   Once the data is collected, the acceleration team, which is comprised of the gifted team, content area teachers, and a member of the administrative staff, will review the data to make an appropriate placement recommendation. 

    What is a WAP?

    A WAP is a Written Acceleration Plan.  The acceleration team will create a WAP once a student is recommended for an acceleration. 

    The written acceleration plan shall specify:

    A.  placement of the student in an accelerated setting;
    B.  strategies to support a successful transition to the accelerated setting;
    C.  an appropriate transition period for accelerated placement for grade-level accelerated students and students accelerated in individual content areas.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of an acceleration?

    The advantage of the process includes the option for a student to demonstrate mastery of a course or grade level and then enroll into the next sequential course or grade level.  However, it is also essential that parents and students understand that, if recommended, the student may be sitting in a class comprised of older peers.  For high school courses, the grade earned for the course will be recorded on their high school transcript and calculated into their final high school GPA.  It should also be noted that if a student is recommended for an acceleration, they may be the only student in their class that is at the same age.  Due to scheduling constraints, it cannot be guaranteed that another accelerated student is in the same course.

    What are the important dates to know regarding acceleration requests?

    There are opportunities each year to request an evaluation for gifted acceleration.  Please note the deadlines for submitting a request. 

    1st Opportunity:

    Referral Deadline:  September 15th
    Testing Window:  Octobers 1st - November 15th

    2nd Opportunity:

    Referral Deadline: March 15th
    Testing Window: April 1st - May 30th

    What happens if I miss a deadline?

    You will have the option to submit a request during the next acceleration opportunity that is offered.  Please note: the next opportunity for an acceleration will be in March 2017.