The Ottumwa Community School District recognizes that learners have different needs, and the district is committed to meeting the needs of its diverse learners. The guiding principle of acceleration is to provide a variety of program options, which are compatible with the learning characteristics of advanced-ability learners, the unique needs of the identified students, and the resources of the district. Course/grade level acceleration may be the best option for some learners. Such acceleration, paces students through the curriculum at a rate commensurate with their advanced ability. Students new to the district may be required to complete one semester/term before being recommended for acceleration. Approval of the acceleration process includes:
- The person (i.e. parent/guardian, classroom teacher) recommending that a student be accelerated in a specific course/grade level completes a District Acceleration Request Form and gives it to the building TAG facilitator. The form will specify the reasons for the request. The parent/guardian of the student will be notified and given an opportunity to provide input, if a teacher is making the request. Also, the teacher of the student will be notified and given an opportunity to provide input, if a parent is making the request.
- After the request has been received, a portfolio reflecting the student’s academic work including items such as student’s test scores, evidence of student achievement of grade level/course standards, other available assessment information, written TAG facilitator recommendations, and teacher written recommendation for the subject(s) involved will be compiled by the TAG facilitator, CIL (curriculum and instructional leader), and classroom teacher. All data will be forwarded to the Director of Student Supports.
- The Director of Student Supports will consider the request and determine if additional data are required. Data will be gathered as needed. This additional data gathering process may take up to three weeks to complete.
- The team (i.e. current teacher, potential receiving teacher, TAG facilitator, CIL, Director of Student Supports, guidance counselor, and/or principal) will review the request, examine the supporting data, consider the long-term impact and implications on the student’s learning, and make a decision.
- A team meeting with the parents/guardians will follow with the team.
- If the team recommends acceleration, the classroom teacher and receiving teacher with the TAG facilitator’s assistance will prepare a personalized education plan for the student.
- If the team does not recommend acceleration, the requesting party can ask for reevaluation after the student completes at least one additional semester/term.
- Appeal Process: If the parents/guardians disagree with the team recommendation, they may appeal the decision to the Director of Student Supports.