Acceleration Procedures

  • Grade Level/Subject Acceleration Process

    The Clear Creek Amana School District recognizes that gifted students possess superior abilities and/or potential and they need appropriate instruction to extend and accelerate their learning. The guiding principle of the Extended Learning Program is to provide a variety of program options which are compatible with gifted students’ learning needs and the resources of the district. Course or grade level acceleration may be the best option for some learners. Grade acceleration impacts the student’s future instruction in all subsequent grades and should be proactively planned for to ensure student success. Students new to the district must complete one semester/term before beginning the acceleration process.

    For all math acceleration requests for K-12, specific guidelines and forms are available. These forms can be obtained from the building principal, Extended Learning Program teacher or ELP coordinator.

    GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

    The Clear Creek Amana School District will not discriminate in educational activities on the basis of: race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, marital status, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. (CCA Board Policy 102) In addition, the Extended Learning Program will not discriminate against students with differing English language proficiency.

    DEFINITION OF ACCELERATION

    Any modification of the regular instructional program that enables a student to progress more rapidly and to complete a program in less time or at an earlier age than is traditional.

    Acceleration Options:

    Early Entrance to school (Iowa State Policy 282.3 prohibits students from entering kindergarten before age 5.) Students may be admitted to first grade at age 5 if they have completed a kindergarten program elsewhere or if they demonstrate a need for first grade coursework. Students admitted to first grade before age 6 who have not completed a kindergarten program elsewhere shall be evaluated by a team using the Iowa Acceleration Scale.

    Grade Skipping/Full Grade Acceleration—Students who demonstrate a need for more rigorous and relevant coursework shall be accelerated using the Iowa Acceleration Scale, (available for grades K-8), to be full grade accelerated. Although many parents and teachers have concerns regarding whole grade acceleration practices, extensive research has consistently found that not only do exceptionally gifted students benefit academically and socially through the process of full grade acceleration, but this process is also the most efficient method of meeting their particular academic needs. For further information on this subject, parents/teachers should consult A Nation Deceived which can be obtained online from the Belin Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa.

    Content/Subject Acceleration

    Students who demonstrate a need for more rigorous and relevant coursework in one or more subject areas may be accelerated using an end of course assessment. Students may move up a grade level to work on individual subject matter, or may be accelerated within their classroom with differentiated lessons. For math acceleration, specific guidelines have been outlined and are available from the building principal and Extended Learning Program teacher or ELP coordinator.

    The profile of a student to be considered for acceleration includes:

    • All Standardized Assessments at or above 98% NPR
    • Scores that are consistently well above the class average on daily work and assessments
    • Social and emotional maturity
    • Exemplary work habits
    • Strong interest in learning
    • Motivation to complete challenging work

    If acceleration is being considered, the following procedures must be followed.

    Step 1: Nomination

    The person (e.g. parent, guardian, teacher, student) recommending that a student be accelerated in a specific course or grade level completes a District Acceleration Request Form and gives it to the building ELP teacher or ELP coordinator. The form will specify the reasons for the request. Parents/guardians will be notified and given an opportunity to provide input.

    A portfolio reflecting the student’s abilities and interests will be compiled. Data indicating possible need for either differentiation or acceleration will include:

    • Standardized assessment scores, 98% NPR and above
    • CogAt scores, 96% NPR and above
    • Examples of differentiation opportunities provided
    • Examples of student work
    • Observations about student’s work habits, persistence, motivation, etc.
    • Any other classroom data

    The Iowa Acceleration Scale (for grades K-8) will be completed by the classroom teacher, the ELP teacher or ELP coordinator.

    The principal reviews the data collected by the classroom teacher, ELP teacher, ELP coordinator and/or counselor.

    Other discrete data may also be reviewed, including:

    • Participation by the student in national or state level programs for gifted students
    • Current teacher recommendations, taking into account such factors as overall classroom performance, work habits and social maturity
    • Information and data from previous teachers

    Step 2: Screening-District ELP Screening Team

    A team consisting of the principal, classroom teachers, ELP teacher, ELP coordinator and counselor will review all student performance data. The Iowa Acceleration Scale (for K-8 students) will be used as a guide to help the team determine if acceleration is the best programming option for the student. Areas under consideration will be: academic ability, aptitude and achievement; school and academic factors; developmental factors; interpersonal skills; attitude; and support. This process may take up to four weeks to complete.

    Step 3: Placement

    The principal, classroom teacher, ELP teacher, ELP coordinator, counselor and parents will review the student’s portfolio and the recommendation from the Screening Committee. The student may also be present, if agreeable to parents and staff. A collaborative decision will be made regarding acceleration. If acceleration is recommended, a personalized learning plan may be written collaboratively with parents, the classroom teacher and ELP teacher during parent conferences (PLPs). The Iowa Acceleration Scale and Summary Form will also be used to document the group’s decision and specify follow-up action.

    If parents/guardians disagree with the recommendation, they may appeal the decision to the building principal after one additional semester or term. However, parents/guardians must bring new information for the appeal process to move forward. See School Board Policy, Series 500, Code No. 505.2, Student-Promotion-Retention-Acceleration for the District Policy on Acceleration.

    The deadline for consideration of acceleration in the current school year is September 1. Consideration for the following school year should occur before March 1.

    Step 4: Follow-up

    Acceleration shall be implemented on a trial basis for four weeks after whole grade or content area acceleration is recommended. At any time during the trial period, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) may request in writing that the student be withdrawn from the accelerated placement. Within one month after acceleration has occurred, the Screening Committee will also meet to assess the student’s intellectual, social and emotional progress. This group will determine continuance or discontinuance of the acceleration and parents will be notified. The ELP coordinator will be the case manager for the accelerated student.

    Clear Creek Amana Community Schools

    Grade Level/Subject Acceleration Request Form
    Requests received after March 1 may not be completed by the end of the school year.

    Date:

    Student:
    Current Grade/School:

    Parent/Guardian:

    Teacher:

    Address:

    Phone:

    Email:

    Whole grade accelerationCheck one of the following three options:

    • Single subject acceleration
    • Multiple subject acceleration 

    Subjects:
    For single subject math acceleration requests, follow the district guidelines for math. Forms are available from the building ELP teacher and/or principal.
    Reason(s) for request: Include reference to specific evidence and/or data to support this request. Student must show evidence of meeting grade or subject standards and benchmarks to accelerate. Use additional paper if needed.
    Provide names of your student’s teachers from the past two years and the names and addresses of schools if different from current school.

    Parent/Guardian Signature:

    Submit this form to the ELP teacher or the principal in your student’s building.

Mathematics Acceleration Process

  • The Clear Creek Amana School District recognizes that gifted math students possess superior abilities and/or potential and they need appropriate math instruction to extend and accelerate their learning. Subject level acceleration is one program option which should be considered for the top 2% of our student population. Grade acceleration in math impacts the student’s future math instruction in all subsequent grades and should be proactively planned for to ensure student success.

    The profile of a strong math student to be considered for acceleration includes:

    • All Iowa Assessment NPR math scores at or above 98%
    • CogAt quantitative score at or above 96%
    • Scores that are consistently well above the class average on daily work and

      Assessments

    • Social and emotional maturity
    • Exemplary work and study habits
    • Strong interest in math
    • Motivation to complete challenging work

    If acceleration in mathematics is being considered, the following nomination and screening procedure must be followed.

    Step 1: Nomination

    The student’s math teacher reviews and documents student performance data.

    Data indicating possible need for either differentiation or acceleration will include:

    • Iowa Assessment math scores, NPR , 98% and above
    • CogAt quantitative score, 96% and above
    • Examples of enrichment opportunities provided
    • Examples of student work
    • Observations about student’s work habits, persistence, motivation, etc.
    • Any other classroom data

    The principal reviews the data collected by the classroom teacher. Other discrete data may be reviewed, including:

    • Participation by the student in national or state level programs for gifted students
    • Current teacher recommendation, taking into account such factors as overall classroom performance, work habits and social maturity
    • Information and data from previous teachers

    Step 2: Screening-District Math Assessment

    The principal, teacher, ELP coordinator, and parents will review all student performance data and collaboratively determine if a District Math Assessment should be administered. The student may also be present, if agreeable to parents and staff. If recommended, the ELP coordinator will administer the district assessment. A score of at least 90% is recommended for acceleration.

    Step 3: Placement

    The principal, teacher, ELP coordinator, and parents will review the District Math

    Assessment results and all student performance data. The student may also be present, if agreeable to parents and staff. A collaborative decision will be made regarding math acceleration.

    If necessary, the student’s math placement could be reevaluated after one year. See School Board Policy, Series 500, Code No. 505.2, Student-Promotion-Retention-Acceleration for the District Policy on Acceleration.

    The deadline for consideration of math acceleration in the current school year is November 1. Consideration for the following school year should occur between April 1 and May 1.