The promotion/retention policy will be carried out according to the following procedures:
1. General Procedures
a. Recommendations for retention should be made by the staff who work directly with the student.
b. A recommendation for retention may be made by parents to the student's teacher and principal.
c. No student shall be retained more than once in any single grade, kindergarten through sixth grade.
d. The principal will be the final determiner for promotion to the next grade except for students with disabilities and students identified for ELL services.
e. The decision to promote or retain a student with disabilities will be based on the recommendation to the principal from the multi-disciplinary team (MDT).
f. The decision to promote or retain a student identified as ELL will be based on the recommendation to the principal from the district ELL department.
g. Students may, on occasion, be promoted because of exceptional circumstances as determined by the building principal.
2. Promotion and Retention for Elementary Students
a. In the primary grades (K - 3) promotion is based on academic readiness and social maturity, with special emphasis placed on specific learning skills.
b. In the intermediate grades (4 - 6) promotion is based primarily on academic achievement.
c. When pupils are considered for retention, a committee composed of the counselor, the classroom teacher(s), the principal, and any additional support personnel, including a school psychologist, if needed, will:
i. Assess those pupils in each building who might be retained and propose a specific corrective program to the parents as early in the year as possible but no later than March 1 (unless exceptional circumstances prevail).
ii. Develop and review with parent(s) an appropriate plan to avoid retention for each child. Such a plan will identify two check points for assessment prior to May 20 of the school year.
iii. Reevaluate and decide before June 1 whether the student will be promoted.
d. Elementary and middle school counselors will confer in the spring to identify pupils who may need specific help and guidance in middle school.
3. Promotion and Retention for Middle School Students
a. Promotion from grades seven to eight and eight to nine is dependent upon a student earning four and one-half (4.5) approved credits each school year.
b. Parents of pupils who are in trouble academically or deficient in credits will be notified in writing following first semester and third quarter grading periods and a parent conference will be requested to devise a plan of action for success.
c. If at the end of the school year a student has not earned the required four and one half credits as stated in 3.a. above, a recommendation will be made by the principal to the parent(s) from the following options:
i. Summer School
ii. Individualized Study Program
iv. Promotion because of exceptional circumstances
d. At the end of the school year (June), a list of eighth-grade pupils with credit deficiencies and a list of options that each student has been offered will be sent to the high school. The secretary will update the VAX student file to show the deficiencies.
e. Pupils referred to summer school must present sufficient evidence of their successful completion of summer course work to the middle school principal by the end of August if promotion to the next higher grade level is to be granted.
f. Retained students may be promoted to the next higher grade level at the end of the first quarter or at the end of the first semester if they are passing or have passed all of their classes.
i. The principal and building counselor will put in writing and review with each retained student what criteria must be met in order to be promoted during the school year.
ii. If the student is promoted during the year, he/she will be credited with the earned credits at the higher grade level provided he/she successfully completes the remainder of the school year as determined by the building principal.
4. Promotion and Retention for High School Students
a. To facilitate appropriate testing and advisory coursework, students in high school shall progress chronologically. Students in their first year of high school are considered freshmen; second year are sophomores; third year are juniors; and fourth year are seniors. Students may not graduate until they have achieved the correct number of credits, as well as the correct credit distribution, along with all other graduation requirements, such as state testing and the high school and beyond plan. This may mean that students are “seniors” for multiple years until they meet all graduation requirements.
b. Any exceptions to the above must be handled on a student by student basis and the principal shall follow the provisions in the “General Procedures” listed above.
c. All students who begin high school in Highline must retain their original year of expected graduation, per state law. Students who transfer into the Highline School District must be assigned an expected year of graduation upon enrollment in a Highline high school, which then may not be changed. Exceptions may be granted for Special Education students as allowed for in state law.
5. Parent Request for Review
a. If a request for a review of the retention is contemplated by a parent/guardian, such a request should be instituted through the building principal.
b. The principal will inform the superintendent if the issue is unresolved and the parent/guardian indicates the intent of pursuing it with the superintendent.
c. The superintendent will review the principal's and/or teacher's data leading to the retention decision.
d. If requested, the superintendent or designee will schedule a conference with the parent/guardian and may invite the principal/teacher/counselor to attend if determined to be appropriate.
e. In the event an appealed decision is overturned by the superintendent, the principal and/or teacher involved will be invited to provide a statement for the record in which they address the matter of accountability as provided in RCW 28A.58.760.
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: August 1984
Revised by the Superintendent: 03.93, 01.08, 05.16