In general, students shall be placed at the grade level to which they are best adjusted academically, socially, and emotionally. The educational program shall provide for the continuous progress of students from grade to grade, with students spending one year in each grade. A small number of students, however, may benefit from remaining another year in the same grade.

Most retentions will probably take place in grades K-3 for social and/or academic reasons. In grades K-8, retention may also be appropriate when a student is substantially deficient in expected levels of academic performance. In any case, the decision whether to promote or retain the student shall be based on the academic growth of the student and the determination of which option is in the best interests of the student.

Upon recommendation of the school principal, students who have demonstrated substantial academic deficiencies that may jeopardize their eligibility for promotion will be provided with supplemental services and, in accordance with state law, the school principal may also require that students participate in personal reading programs, after school programs, summer school or other programs offered by the school district that are designed to assist students in remedying such deficiencies.

The Board shall offer supplemental services as an alternative to retention as deemed appropriate by the administration and approved by the Board within Board approved local, state and/or federal appropriations.

When retention is considered, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. Generally, by the close of the second marking period (assuming the problem has manifested itself), the teacher shall confer with the principal and other staff members involved with the student, such as the student's special teachers and counselor, and the parents/legal guardians to discuss specific areas of concern.
  2. Parents/legal guardians shall then be invited to a meeting with the teacher, principal, and other staff members, to the extent possible, by March 15 for an updated discussion of the matter. This discussion shall consist of an explanation to the parents/legal guardians of their children’s current academic standing in relationship to program objectives and individual ability. Goals shall be set for the period through May 1.
  3. During the first two weeks of May, another meeting will be held to review the goals and the student's progress. In June, the final decision of retention shall be made subject to the provisions of paragraph four of this section as appropriate. The final decision shall be made by the principal, as advised by certified staff, and with parental/legal guardian consultation.
  4. In accordance with state law, beginning in the school year 2000-2001 and each school year thereafter, students who have not achieved the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on the fourth grade mastery examination will be required to attend school in the summer following the examination on which they failed to reach such standard, unless such students receive an exemption. Beginning in the school year 2001-2002 and each school year thereafter, students who have not achieved the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on the sixth grade mastery examination will be required to attend school in the summer following the examination on which they failed to reach such standard, unless such students receive exemption. If a student is required by law to attend school in the summer and fails to attend, the student shall not be promoted to the next grade. Upon recommendation of the superintendent, the board of education shall make the final decision of retention for such students who fail to attend compulsory summer school at the end of the summer school term.


Approved 4/28/1981
Revised 1/18/2000
Effective 7/1/2000 

Approved 7/1/2000
Previous Policy Number: HK5.1

Guidelines for Promotion and Retention, Grades K-8

5123.1 (R)

The following guidelines are to be used in conjunction with state law as a reference by staff in considering students for promotion/retention.


Ordinarily, a student who shows sufficient physical, social, emotional, and intellectual maturity to have a successful experience in grade one should be promoted.


Ordinarily, a student who reads fluently and with comprehension on a primer level and has mastered the beginning arithmetic concepts clustered under grade one should be promoted to grade two.


Ordinarily, a student who has reading and skill acquisition which enable the student to obtain an understanding of vocabulary and experiences that are met in the first grade reader and the first part of the second grade reader and has mastered the basic math objectives clustered under grade two should be promoted to grade three.


Ordinarily, a student who has mastered the basic skills assigned to the appropriate grade level in mathematics and integrated language arts will be promoted.


Ordinarily, it is expected that students in these grades will master the assigned skills and concepts in language arts, social studies, math, and science and have demonstrated satisfactory effort in all other subjects. Students who fail to achieve the basic objectives of two or more of the major academic subjects listed above will be considered for retention. The student should pass language arts and mathematics to be promoted.

The major references available to staff in determining the degree to which students possess the listed characteristics for promotion are: (1) assessed performance on criterion-referenced testing as recorded on skills record cards, (2) performance on standardized tests, (3) report card grades, (4) teacher-parent/legal guardian input, and (5) attendance.

Regular class attendance and participation in instructional activities is considered vital to students meeting the school system’s academic standards. It is expected that a student will be in school everyday unless he/she is ill or a serious family situation, such as a funeral requires his/her absence.

The educational program for a retained student for the following school year is to be structured in a way that will offer a greater chance for learning success. The revised program should reflect a comprehensive analysis of those educational factors that might have contributed to the retention. The retained student may be placed with same teacher(s) for the following year if this is deemed appropriate. Guidance staff and other ancillary personnel should be utilized to support retained students as needs and circumstances dictate.

If a student is considered for retention (end of year) but is promoted, the reasons for promotion shall be documented.


Approved 4/28/1981
Amended 1/18/2000
Effective 7/1/2000 

Approved 7/1/2000
Previous Policy Number: HK5.1-R(1)