The School believes that students should only be promoted when they have demonstrated mastery of specific academic standards. The School is founded upon the understanding that promoting students to the next grade because of their age, not their readiness to do the work, is not beneficial to students. Thus, one of the most critical and distinctive aspects of the School’s academic program is its promotion policy. To build a culture of learning and achievement, and to ensure students demonstrate readiness for the next grade level, we have developed this Promotion, Placement, and Retention Policy.
We expect that with our multiple layers of student supports that are part of our extended day, week, and year, the majority of students will successfully meet our academic expectations. Students who do not demonstrate readiness will not be promoted.
The Board of Trustees (hereinafter “Board”) recognizes that the personal, social, physical, and educational growth of children will vary and that they should be placed in the educational setting most appropriate to their needs at various stages of their growth.
It shall be policy of the Board that each student be moved forward in a continuous pattern of achievement and growth that is in harmony with their own development. Such pattern should coincide with the system of grade levels established by the Board and the instructional objectives established for each child. Thus, a student will be promoted to the succeeding grade level when they have:
- completed the course and State-mandated requirements at the presently assigned grade,
- in the opinion of the professional staff, achieved the instructional objectives set forth for the present grade,
- demonstrated sufficient proficiency to permit him/her to move ahead in the educational program of the next grade,
- demonstrated the degree of social, emotional, and physical maturation necessary for a successful learning experience in the next grade, and
- complied with all attendance policies of the School.
A student may be retained at their current grade level when they have:
- in the opinion of the professional staff, failed to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics and reading the core subjects of language arts,
- in the opinion of the professional staff, failed to achieve the instructional objectives set forth at the current grade level that are requisite for success at the succeeding grade level,
- scored at the below basic level on any State-mandated proficiency test, or
- failed to comply with the attendance policies of the School.
A student may be placed at the next grade level when retention would no longer serve any good purpose.
The Director shall develop administrative guidelines for promotion, placement, and retention of students that:
- requires the recommendation of relevant staff members,
- requires that parents are informed in advance of the possibility of retention,
- assures efforts will be made to remediate the student’s difficulties before they are retained, and
- assigns to the Director the final responsibility for determining the promotion, acceleration, placement, or retention of each student.
Third Grade Guarantee
Beginning with students who enter 3rd Grade during the 2013-2014 school year, the School will not promote any student to the 4th grade who attains a score in the range designated by the Ohio Board of Education unless:
- The student is a limited English proficient student who has been enrolled in U.S. schools for less than two full school years and has had less than two years instruction in an English as a second language program;
- The student is a student with a disability entitled to special education and related services and the student’s IEP exempts the student from retention;
- The student demonstrated an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading assessment as determined by the Ohio Department of Education;
- The student received intensive remediation for reading for two school years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in any grades K through 3; or
- All of the following apply: The student is a student with a disability; The student has taken the 3rd grade English language arts achievement assessment; The student’s IEP or 504 plan shows that the student has received intensive remediation in reading for two school years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading; and The student previously was retained in grades K-3.If a student is promoted despite not attaining the Ohio Board of Education specified score (which score may change yearly), the student will continue to receive intensive reading instruction in the 4th grade, including an altered instructional day, and specialized diagnostic information and specific research-based reading strategies for the student that have been successful in improving reading among low performing readers.If the student is retained, the School shall:
- Provide intensive remediation until the student is able to read at grade-level, including intensive interventions in reading, and a minimum of 90 minutes of daily reading, that address the deficient areas; and
- Provide each student with a high-performing teacher, as determined by the teacher’s student performance data when available, and performance reviews.
If a student who has been retained demonstrates that he or she is reading at or above grade level, the student may be promoted mid-year to the 4th grade at the Director of Instruction’s discretion.
Mandatory diagnostic assessments will be conducted every year using the NWEA MAP for Primary Grades (MPG) which is on the Ohio Department of Education approved list. The reading component will receive priority so it can be completed by the September 30th deadline. For Kindergarten students, the KRA-L will serve as an added measure to determine whether students are “On-Track” or “Not-On-Track”.
NWEA has determined the “On-Track” thresholds as follows:
KG – 136
1st – 150
2nd – 168
3rd – 180