Acceleration Guidelines

RSU #22 is committed to maximizing learning for all students through rigor, relevancy, and relationships. This commitment includes providing education with high academic standards, which will promote the maximum academic, social, emotional, and physical development of each student.

For the majority of academically advanced or gifted students, in-class differentiation combined with services offered through RSU 22's Gifted and Talented Program (Explorers) provides the learning opportunities needed for advanced students to be challenged. The District also makes whole-grade acceleration available for appropriately selected students. Participation in acceleration is based on individually identified needs and is considered on a case-by-case basis. Acceleration is an intervention that moves academically advanced or gifted students through an educational program at rates faster, or at younger ages, than typical. The goal is to tailor the level, complexity, and pace of the curriculum to the readiness and motivation of the student. All of the following criteria will be considered:

K-2 3-5 6-8
Identified as academically talented Identified as academically talented
Significantly above grade level on academic work MAP Scores consecutively 98%ile+ MAP Scores consecutively 98%ile+
Significantly above grade level scores in district academic assessments Significantly above grade level scores in district academic assessments and classroom work Significantly above grade level scores in district academic assessments and classroom work
Displays fill mastery of current grade level material Displays fill mastery of current grade level material Displays fill mastery of current grade level material
CogAT cognitive scores of 135+ composite CogAT cognitive scores of 135+ composite
Minimum of DRA 24 (Kinder) Mature and self-motivated Mature and self-motivated
Socially and emotionally mature Socially and emotional mature Socially and emotional mature

* Grade Acceleration for Kindergarten is not typically initiated before third quarter *

This section describes the process for identifying and serving the small percentage of academically advanced or gifted students for whom more intense forms of intervention are necessary. The district uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), NWEA scores, and teacher recommendations for selecting students. Students must score in the 99th percentile on the CogAT to be recommended for whole-grade acceleration.

WHOLE-GRADE ACCELERATION PROCEDURES

A student, parents/guardian, teacher, or administrator may initiate whole-grade acceleration procedures by submitting a Request for Whole-Grade Accelerationform.

The acceleration process is one that is very individualized; therefore this process can take up to twelve weeks.

Step 1: Complete the Request for Whole-Grade Acceleration form and submit to the Gifted and Talented Coordinator.

Step 2: The Gifted and Talented Director reviews the Request for Whole-Grade Acceleration for, which includes critical items and student achievement data.

If any of the following critical items apply, whole grade acceleration is not recommended. However, the request should still be processed in order to use the information to consider alternatives for accelerating the student's academic experiences.

  • The student's CogAT score is less than 99th percentile
  • Student would be accelerated into the same grade as an older sibling.
  • Student presently has a sibling in the same grade as he or she.
  • Student indicates that s/he does not want to be whole grade accelerated.
  • Student would be skipping a grade that is considered a transition year.

Step 3: The Gifted and Talented Director will notify the school principal and parents if the student qualifies for acceleration consideration. For students who do not qualify, proceed to Step 5.

Step 4: For students who qualify for consideration of whole grade acceleration, the GT Advisory Committee will meet for the purpose of assessing the student's suitability for acceleration and make a recommendation.

  • If the recommendation is for whole-grade acceleration, the team completes the Whole Grade Recommendation and Implementation Plan. This form should be signed by the parent(s) and placed in the student's cumulative file.
  • If the grade acceleration request is denied, notification will be sent to the parent(s)/guardian and proceed to Step 5.

Within 6 to 8 weeks following grade acceleration, the GT Director will review the student's progress. If the student is making adequate academic and social progress, the current plan continues. If there is concern, a meeting will take place to make the necessary modifications to the plan.

Step 5: For Students NOT being considered for whole-grade acceleration, the GT Advisory Committee will develop a plan that will challenge the child.