Acceleration

  • The District has a process to determine if students are eligible for acceleration. Your child may be considered for subject area acceleration or whole grade acceleration. Students who are accelerated in a subject area, are accelerated in one or more content areas, such as Mathematics or English Language Arts, but continue to attend grade level courses in all other subject areas. Students who are accelerated by a whole grade take all of their courses at a grade level above their age determined grade level. If you would like your child considered for acceleration, please submit the attached form to your building principal who will forward it to the Coordinator of Gifted Education. There are several different levels to the process of determining whether a student should be accelerated:

    Step One: We review existing data which includes looking at the student’s current level of performance on district and state assessments, grades, teacher and counselor checklists and anecdotal information that we gain from you and your child. All of this is scored on an Acceleration Matrix. If there is significant evidence that your child would benefit from acceleration by a score of 85 percent or above of the total points on a matrix, we will notify you by letter, and we will ask permission to administer some assessments individually at your child’s school.

    Step Two: We look at your child’s ability, aptitude and achievement. We also gather data on school history, development, and school and academic factors using an evidence-based scale. The scale was developed in partnership with the National Association of Gifted Children and the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa. The score on this broad assessment will determine which path we will take: subject-area or whole-grade assessment.

    Step Three: We determine whether subject area or whole grade acceleration is appropriate for your child. If acceleration is not appropriate, then differentiation strategies in the student's current grade level may be appropriate.

    • Subject area acceleration: To be considered for subject-area acceleration, the student needs a score of advanced on the district and state (if applicable) assessments. The student must be performing at or above a grade of 90 percent for the content area on the progress report and have a recommendation from the teacher for that content area. If the student meets the criteria for the proficiency test, the student would be eligible for subject-area acceleration in that subject.

    • Whole-grade acceleration: To be considered for whole-grade acceleration, a team is convened of school staff, administrators, gifted staff and administrator. The Iowa Acceleration Scale is what we are using to make the determination. Your child would need a score of 60 or higher (out of 80) on the Iowa Acceleration Scale. Tests that are required as data for this instrument include a measure of achievement, cognitive ability and aptitude. Data is also gathered on school history, development and school and academic factors. The team will either recommend whole-grade acceleration or recommend screening for subject-area acceleration. If whole-grade acceleration is recommended, an individualized acceleration plan will be developed.

    • Same grade level differentiation: Students who are not eligible for subject-area or whole-grade acceleration may be eligible for other types of differentiation at the school site, including curriculum compacting, virtual learning opportunities, or self-paced instruction. Information about differentiation options that are available and recommended will be available at the school site. The gifted specialist will be the point of contact. Information about the appeal process will be provided if the team determines that your child is not eligible for acceleration.

    If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Ms. Melanie Bloom, Coordinator of Gifted Education, at mbloom@hazelwoodschools.org or 314-953-4952.