Academic Acceleration for Advanced Learners

Academic acceleration is when a school or district places a student in a higher grade level than is typical given the student's age for the purpose of providing the student access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities. Public school districts (city, local, and exempted village) are required to have policies for evaluating students referred for academic acceleration.

Types of Acceleration

There are many types of acceleration, including, but not limited to the examples below.

Whole Grade Acceleration: This type of acceleration occurs when a student moves ahead an entire grade level. This is commonly referred to as "skipping a grade." Examples include:
  • A second grade student advancing to the fourth grade the following school year.
  • Admitting a student who is not age-eligible to attend kindergarten a year early to school. This is often referred to as early entrance. To learn more about early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, please visit the Ohio Department of Education's Office for Early Learning and School Readiness webpage for kindergarten.
Subject Acceleration: This type of acceleration occurs when a student moves ahead a grade level in one or more subject areas but retains his or her overall grade level. Examples include:
  • A seventh grade student advancing to ninth grade reading.
  • A student completing third, fourth, and fifth grade math in two school years.
Early Graduation: This type of acceleration occurs when a student meets the requirements for graduation in less than four academic years and graduates high school early in order to pursue post-secondary education.

Referring Students for Acceleration

Parents, educators, and others may refer, in writing, students for evaluation for academic acceleration. Public school districts (city, local, and exempted village) are required to have policies for evaluating students referred for academic acceleration. Referred students will be evaluated per local district acceleration policies. 

Evaluating Students for Acceleration

Public school districts (city, local, and exempted village) are required to have a process for evaluating students for acceleration. To learn more about your district's process, request a copy of your district's acceleration policy for advanced learners. 

Currently, the only acceleration assessment process approved by ODE for evaluating candidates for whole grade acceleration in grades K-8 is the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS), Third Edition.

Written Acceleration Plan

Districts must provide all students recommended for acceleration with a Written Acceleration Plan (WAP). The WAP describes the transition plan and supports for the successful implementation of an acceleration. After the successful completion of the transition period established in the WAP, an acceleration becomes a permanent placement. Sample written acceleration plans may be found on the  Policies for Academic Acceleration for Advanced Learners webpage.

Research on Acceleration

Acceleration may be appropriate for many advanced students, including those not identified as gifted. Research shows, when appropriately implemented, acceleration does not have a negative social-emotional impact on accelerated students. For more information regarding acceleration and research related to acceleration please visit the following national organizations:

Last Modified: 3/29/2019 7:53:03 AM