Policy #513 Student Promotion, Retention, and Program Design

Adopted: 5-13-09 MSBA/MASA Model Policy 513

Orig. 1995

Revised: 12-10-09 Rev. 2007

Reviewed: 1-21-10,12-13-12



The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to professional staff, parents and students regarding student promotion, retention and program design.


The school board expects all students to achieve at an acceptable level of proficiency. Parental assistance, tutorial and remedial programs, counseling and other appropriate services shall be coordinated and utilized to the greatest extent possible to help students succeed in school.

A. Promotion

Students who achieve at levels deemed acceptable by local and state standards shall be promoted to the next grade level at the completion of each school year.

B. Retention

Retention of a student may be considered when professional staff and parents feel that it is in the best interest of the student. Physical development, maturity, and emotional factors shall be considered as well as scholastic achievement. The superintendent’s decision shall be final.


The School Board recognizes that in certain situations it may be desirable to accelerate the placement of a student in instructional programs appropriate to the student’s academic, social and personal development levels.

Acceleration is the placement of a student in an instructional program that is more age and/or academically appropriate. The student may be considered for acceleration only if the following can be demonstrated clearly:

  • A high level of academic achievement in all areas of the curriculum with emphasis on reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • Intellectual ability two (2) standard deviations above the norm.
  • Social and emotional maturity
  • High degree of persistence.

A request for acceleration should be directed to the principal.

An acceleration team comprised of the principal(s), present grade level teacher(s), gifted coordinator, and district psychologist will be convened to review the request; interview the student, parent, and teachers; review test data; and develop recommendation. If the proposed placement may result in a change in school, representation from that school must be included. Evaluation of placement shall occur within 30 days of placement. The administrative team or parent reserves the right to modify the acceleration plan, up to and including previous placement.

D. Program Design

The superintendent, with participation of the professional staff and parents, shall develop and implement programs to challenge students that are consistent with the needs of students at every level. A procedure for screening and identifying students for program assignment shall be developed in coordination with such programs. Opportunities for special programs and placement outside of the school district shall also be developed as additional options.

E. Grade Placement

A procedure for screening and identifying students for grade assignment shall be developed.

  • Request for advanced grade placement must be made by the end of academic year to ensure timely placement for the next academic year.
  • Records for new students will be reviewed to determine grade placement. These records must include information on attendance, health, special education, ELL, gifted and talented, academic performance and documented completion of grade level or credit requirements.
  • After review, if the placement decision is unclear, the principal will assemble an administrative team. The team will consist of the lead elementary/secondary principal or designee, the school psychologist, and others as appropriate.
  • A recommendation from this team will go to the superintendent for final approval. The superintendent’s decision will be final.

Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 120B.15 (Gifted and Talented Program)

Minn. Stat. § 123B.143, Subd. 1 (Superintendents)

Cross References: MSBA/MASA Model Policy 613 (Graduation Requirements)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 614 (School District Testing Plan and Procedure)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 615 (Testing Accommodations, Modifications, and Exemptions for IEPs, Section 504 Plans, and LEP Students)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 617 (School District Ensurance of Preparatory and High School Standards)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 618 (Assessment of Student Achievement)

MSBA/MASA Model Policy 620 (Credit for Learning)