Acceleration is an intervention that moves students through an educational program at rates faster, or at younger ages, than typical. It means matching the level, complexity, and pace of the curriculum to the readiness and motivation of the student. All acceleration requires high academic ability. The student’s motivation, social-emotional maturity, and interests must be considered when making decisions about acceleration. The student whose level of achievement and ability significantly surpasses same age group peers as well as the student with high ability but who is not performing well in class are examples of who might be considered for subject-matter or whole-grade acceleration. The procedures described in the packet attached to this page are not intended to increase the number of requests for acceleration or to initiate a large number of adjustments to curriculum in most classrooms. Rather, they are for the exceptional situation in which on-going classroom accommodations for students with advanced ability are not sufficiently differentiated to make school a challenging place for the individual student to learn. It should be pointed out that all building principals are familiar with the Board of Education’s policies and regulations on acceleration and expect teachers to differentiate instruction in the classroom based on formal and informal assessments. Therefore, the expectation is that teachers are familiar with their students’ strengths and needs and successfully accommodate learning differences on an on-going basis in their classrooms. It is also expected that parents with concerns about academic challenge have worked with both the classroom teacher and building principal before taking the step of completing an acceleration request form.
Brief Overview of Acceleration Process
The Francis Howell School District adheres to a Board of Education policy that recognizes and supports acceleration as a key intervention for providing challenging educational opportunities for advanced learners. The following steps are recommended when parents believe that more accelerated offerings should be provided for their child:
1. Meet with your child’s classroom teacher to discuss your child’s academic needs and to hear about interventions that might already be taking place in the classroom. Follow-up meetings can be scheduled to get updated on progress and to share additional information with the teacher.
2. If discussions with your child’s classroom teacher have not resolved the issues of concern, make an appointment to talk with the building principal about your concerns.
3. If classroom accommodations are not viewed as adequate after repeated efforts to discuss the situation with building staff members, consider completing either a Subject- Matter Acceleration Request Form or a Whole-Grade Acceleration Request Form. Completion of these forms should not take place before reviewing the information within this packet. If forms are completed, they should be submitted to either the building principal for Subject-Matter Acceleration or the Director of Acceleration for Whole-Grade Acceleration.
4. Building and/or district personnel will gather information about your child and make recommendations.
If you have further questions about acceleration please feel free to contact the Director of Student Learning at 636-851-4036.