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505.2 Student Promotion - Retention - Acceleration

Code No. 505.2


Students will be promoted to the next grade level at the end of each school year based on factors including the student’s achievement, age, emotional stability, and social adjustment.

Reading retention/promotion - grades kindergarten through three.

In accordance with law, students in grades kindergarten through three will be assessed for their level of reading or reading readiness. Those student who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading will be provided intensive reading instruction, and their parents/guardians will be provided written notice at least annually of the deficiency and the services that will be provided which are designed to remediate the deficiency.

Beginning May 1, 2017, unless the school district is granted a waiver, if a student’s reading deficiency in not remedied by the end of grade three, the student’s parent/guardian will be informed that the student may enroll in an intensive summer reading program. If the student does not enroll in the intensive summer reading program, the student will be retained in grade three unless the student is exempt for good cause as provided by law. If the student is exempt from participating in an intensive summer reading program, or if the student completes the intensive summer reading program but is not reading proficient upon completion of the program, the student may be promoted to grade four; provided, however that the student will continue to be provided intensive reading instruction until the student is proficient in reading.

In determining whether to promote a student in grade three to grade four, the school district will place significant weight on any reading deficiency identified that is not yet remediated. The school district will also weigh the student’s progress in other subject areas as well as the student’s overall intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development. A decision to retain a student in grade three will be made only after direct personal consultation with the student’s parent/guardian and after the formulation of a specific plan of action to remedy the student’s reading deficiency.

Retention/Promotion other than reading retention in grades kindergarten through three:

The district shall adhere to the following:

  • Retention/Promotion in kindergarten - eighth grade: The retention of a student will be determined based upon the judgement of the licensed employee and the principal. When it becomes evident a student in grades kindergarten through eighth may be retained in a grade level for an additional year, the parents will be informed. It is within the sole discretion of the district to retain students in their current grade level and to deny promotion to a student.
  • Retention/Promotion in ninth-twelfth grade: Students in grades nine through twelve will be informed of the required course work necessary to be promoted each year. When it becomes evident a student in these grades will be unable to meet the minimum credit requirements for the year, the students and parents will be informed. It is within the sole discretion of the district to retain students in their current grade level and to deny promotion to a student.
  • Acceleration in kindergarten - twelfth grade: Students in grades kindergarten through twelve with exceptional talents may, with the permission of the principal and parents, take classes beyond their current grade level. Enrichment opportunities outside the school district may be allowed when they do not conflict with the school district’s graduation requirements.

NOTE: School districts that use specific steps or processes for determining retention or acceleration should reference the applicable criteria or where to locate the criteria in the bulleted information above.

Legal Reference:     
Iowa Code §§ 256.11, 279.8; 280.3 (2015).

281 I.A.C. 12.5(16).

Cross Reference:     
501 Student Attendance
505 Student Scholastic Achievement
603.2 Summer School Instruction

Approved 2/24/16

Reviewed: 2/6/22

Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA