EIE(LOCAL) - ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: RETENTION AND PROMOTION
Promotion and course credit shall be based on mastery of the curriculum. Expectations and standards for promotion shall be established for each grade level, content area, and course and shall be coordinated with compensatory, intensive, and/or accelerated services. [See EHBC] The District shall comply with applicable state and federal requirements when determining methods for students with disabilities [see FB] or students who are English language learners [see EHBE and EKBA] to demonstrate mastery of the curriculum.
Students Receiving Special Education Services
Any modified promotion standards for a student receiving special education services shall be determined by the student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee and documented in the student's individualized education program (IEP). [See EHBA series and EKB]
Standards for Mastery
In addition to the factors in law that must be considered for promotion, mastery shall be determined as follows:
Course assignments and unit evaluation shall be used to determine student grades in a subject. An average of 70 or higher shall be considered a passing grade.
Mastery of the skills necessary for success at the next level shall be validated by assessments that may either be incorporated into unit or final exams or may be administered separately. Mastery of at least 70 percent of the objectives shall be required.
Prekindergarten and Kindergarten
In prekindergarten and kindergarten, the District may use assessment methods other than numerical scores. In prekindergarten, the program is considered to be a developmental continuum of curriculum and student learning. In kindergarten, promotion to the next grade level shall be considered upon demonstrated proficiency by maintaining an overall average for the year of a score above the Unsatisfactory (U) level in reading, writing, and mathematics. Satisfactory progress shall be evident in the student's reading level, District curriculum assessments, and information from the student's daily work or portfolio, anecdotal records, and checklists. In addition, proficiency in grade-level academic standards shall be required. A written document for retention, including suggestions for assistance for the student shall be signed by the student's teacher, parent/guardian, and principal. A District-approved matrix shall be part of the decision-making process.
In grade 1, the District may use assessment methods other than numerical scores. In grades 1–2, promotion to the next grade level shall be considered upon demonstrated proficiency at or above grade level in core subject areas (reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) and on District-established grade-level standards. Satisfactory progress in reading shall be evident in the student's reading level, District curriculum assessments, and information from the student's daily work or portfolio, anecdotal records, and checklists. A District-approved matrix shall be a part of the decision-making process.
In grades 3–5, promotion to the next grade level shall be based on an overall average of 70 on a scale of 100 based on course-level, grade-level standards (essential knowledge and skills) for all subject areas and a grade of 70 or above in four of the following areas: reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
In grades 6–8, promotion to the next grade shall be based upon attainment of an overall average of 70 or above for the year in all courses taken. In addition, students shall attain a grade of 70 or above in at least three of the four core academic areas: language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science.
If applicable, a test preparation or assistance course may be averaged with its respective core content area. [See FEC]
Grade-level advancement for students in grades 9–12 shall be earned by course credits. [See EI]
If a student fails to demonstrate proficiency on a state-mandated assessment, the student shall be provided accelerated instruction in accordance with state law. Additionally, students in grades 5 and 8 shall be subject to all provisions of GRADE ADVANCEMENT TESTING, below.
Grade Advancement Testing
Except when a student will be assessed in reading or mathematics above his or her enrolled grade level, students in grades 5 and 8 must meet the passing standard on the applicable state-mandated assessments in reading and mathematics to be promoted to the next grade level, in addition to the District's local standards for mastery and promotion.
Definition of 'Parent'
For purposes of this policy and decisions related to grade advancement requirements, a student's "parent" shall be defined to include either of the student's parents or guardians; a person designated by the parent, by means of a power of attorney or an authorization agreement as provided in Chapter 34 of the Family Code, to have responsibility for the student in all school-related matters [see FD]; a surrogate parent acting on behalf of a student with a disability; a person designated by the parent or guardian to serve on the grade placement committee (GPC) for all purposes; or in the event that a parent, guardian, or designee cannot be located, a person designated by the Superintendent or designee to act on behalf of the student. [See EIE(LEGAL)]
Alternate Assessment Instrument
The Superintendent or designee shall select from the state-approved list, if available, for each applicable subject an alternate assessment instrument that may be used for the third testing opportunity. Each student's GPC shall decide whether he or she shall be given the statewide assessment instrument or the applicable alternate instrument for the third testing opportunity. The committee's decision shall be based on a review of the student's performance in the previous testing opportunities, local assessments, and any other circumstances it deems appropriate.
Standards for Promotion Upon Appeal
If a parent initiates an appeal of his or her child's retention following the student's failure to demonstrate proficiency after the third testing opportunity, the GPC shall review all facts and circumstances in accordance with law.
The student shall not be promoted unless:
All members of the GPC agree that the student is likely to per-form on grade level if given additional accelerated instruction during the following school year in accordance with the educational plan developed by the GPC; and
The student has completed required accelerated instruction in the subject area for which the student failed to demonstrate proficiency.
Whether the GPC decides to promote or to retain a student in this manner, the committee shall determine an accelerated instruction plan for the student for the following school year, providing for interim reports to the student's parent and opportunities for the parent to consult with the teacher or principal as needed. The principal or designee shall monitor the student's progress during the following school year to ensure that he or she is progressing in accordance with the plan.
When a student transfers into the District having failed to demonstrate proficiency on applicable assessment instruments after two testing opportunities, a GPC shall convene for that student. The GPC shall review any available records of decisions regarding testing and accelerated instruction from the previous district and determine an accelerated instruction plan for the student.
If a parent initiates an appeal for promotion when a student transfers into the District having failed to demonstrate proficiency after three testing opportunities, the GPC shall review any available records of decisions regarding testing, accelerated instruction, retention, or promotion from the previous district and issue a decision in accordance with the District's standards for promotion.
Assignment of Retained Students
In the event a student is not promoted to the next grade level, the District shall nevertheless assign the student to an age-appropriate campus, unless:
The student's parent requests that the student be assigned to the same or a similar campus setting; or
The student's GPC determines that it would be in the student's best interest to be assigned to the same or a similar campus setting. Criteria to be considered for this decision may include:
Recommendations from the student's teachers.
Observed social and emotional development of the student.
Reducing Student Retention
The District shall establish procedures designed to reduce retaining students at a grade level, with the ultimate goal being elimination of the practice of retaining students. [See EHBC]