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.
In grades 1–6, 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 three of the following areas: reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.
In grades 7–8, 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 three of the following areas: ELAR (English language arts and reading), mathematics, science, and social studies.
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 an appeal is initiated by a parent or guardian, the GPC may decide in favor of promotion only if, upon review of all facts and circumstances and in accordance with standards adopted by the Board, it is determined that the student is likely to perform on grade level given additional accelerated instruction during the next school year. A student may be promoted only if the GPC's decision is unanimous. The review and final decision of the GPC must be appropriately documented as meeting the standards adopted by the Board as follows:
- Evidence of satisfactory student performance, including grades, portfolios, work samples, local assessments, previous state assessments, and individual reading and mathematics diagnostic tests or inventories;
- Improvement in student test performance over the three testing opportunities;
- Attendance rate of at least 90 percent during summer school;
- A demonstrated year's growth, based on vertical scale scores;
- Enrollment of the student in a Texas public school for part of the school year;
- Retention during the previous school year; and
- Identification as learning disabled.
Retention shall be automatic if a student in grade 5 or grade 8 fails to meet the passing standard on both the reading and mathematics sections of the state-mandated assessment.
If a student in grade 5 or grade 8 fails to meet the passing standard on both the reading and mathematics sections of the state-mandated assessment tests, the two GPC meetings may be held simultaneously to coordinate efforts for accelerated instruction.
Each case shall be addressed individually. The GPC shall create an instructional plan based on the individual needs of each student.
In grades 5 and 8, 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
A student not promoted to the next grade level shall remain at the same campus or shall be assigned to a similar campus setting.
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. The District shall only retain a student for an academic reason. [See EHBC]