• IKE: Promotion and Retention of Students


    The promotion of each student is determined individually. Schools decide to promote or retain a student in a grade primarily based on achievement or growth toward grade-level standards. Schools may also consider the age and social/emotional development as part of the determination.  Retention in a grade level should not be a replacement for evidence-based intervention.

    Promotion procedures demand continuous analysis and study of the cumulative student case history records. Guidelines include the following elements:

    • The school promotes a student receiving passing grades in reading, social studies, mathematics, science, and English.
    • A student with failing grades in reading, mathematics, and English has their case evaluated by the teachers, school counselor, and principal for placement at the end of each year.
    • No conditional promotions are permitted.
    • A school may only assign a student with failing grades to the next grade with the principal's approval.
    • A school does not fail a student with passing grades, "D" or above, throughout the year.
    • No student should be retained more than once during grades K-3 and once in grades 4-8.
    • Students enrolled in preschool shall not be retained unless the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team determines that the student shall continue in preschool the following year.
    • Documentary and anecdotal evidence should be available to justify retention.
    • A student with failing grades during any academic term is provided access to evidence-based interventions within a multi-tiered system of supports to assist academic success in those areas.
    • A school develops an individual plan for every student who is not promoted that identifies their learning needs and actions to meet those needs.
    • For special circumstances considering the promotion of students between 8th grade and high school, explicit consultation should occur between the Chief Academic Officer and the PK-8 school and the potential high school to determine the best solution

    A school may retain any student who is truant for more than 10% of the required attendance days of the current school year and has failed two or more of the required courses in the current grade. A school may promote a student to the next grade level if the student's principal and teachers of the failed subject area agree that the student is academically prepared.

    "Academically prepared," as used in the policy, means that the principal, in consultation with the student's teacher(s), has reviewed the student's work and records and has concluded that, in their judgment as a professional educator, the student is capable of progressing through and completing work at the next grade level.

    The District offers intervention services to students who are not making satisfactory progress toward attaining the statewide academic standards for their grade level.

    Students who have been retained and have subsequently demonstrated reading skills at or above grade level shall be eligible for mid-year promotion to the next grade.

    Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee

    Any student, unless excused from taking the third-grade reading assessment under Ohio Revised Code Section 3301.0711, who does not attain at least the equivalent level of achievement as required by Ohio Revised Code Section 3301.0710 on the assessment, is not promoted to fourth grade unless one of the following applies:

    • The student is an English learner who has been enrolled in United States schools for less than three full school years and has had less than three years of instruction in English as a second language programs
    • The student is a child with a disability entitled to special education and related services under Ohio Revised Code Section 3323, and the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) exempts the student from retention under this division
    • The student demonstrates an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading assessment as determined by the Ohio Department of Education
    • All of the following apply:
      • The student is a child with a disability entitled to special education and related services under Ohio Revised Code Section 3323
      • The student has taken the third grade English language arts achievement assessment prescribed under Ohio Revised Code Section 3301.0710
      • The student's IEP or 504 plan shows that the student has received intensive remediation in reading for two school years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading
      • The student previously was retained in any grades kindergarten to three
    • The student received intensive remediation for reading for two school years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in any grades kindergarten to three. Students promoted under this section continue to receive intensive reading instruction in grade four. The instruction includes an altered instructional day that includes specialized diagnostic information and specific research-based reading strategies for the student that have been successful in improving reading among low-performing readers.

    English Learners

    A school may not retain English learner students based solely on a lack of language proficiency in English. (Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 – 1974) and must not be retained if the school did not accommodate and/or modify instructional strategies or materials to meet their linguistic and academic needs as required by state and federal mandates. If considering an English learner student for retention, the following applies in accordance to state and federal mandates:

    • The school must have documented evidence of the accommodations and/or modifications made to the curriculum, materials, and assessments throughout the school year. (Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 20 U.S.C. § 1703(f)). The following documentation should be part of the discussion before consideration of retention:
      • Documentation of accommodations and/or modifications made to the curriculum and assessments (Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 20 U.S.C. § 1703(f))
      • Data and notes from assessments and instructional tools
      • Notes from Student Support Team or grade-level team meetings held during the school year to plan student interventions and results of those interventions
        • English learner instruction by a TESOL/Bilingual endorsed teacher is not an intervention but part of comprehensible instruction required by federal law.
      • Notification to parents throughout the year of student's lack of academic progress documentation of additional academic support such as tutoring, small group instruction, and services by Bilingual Instructional Aide and ESL teacher, etc. These must be provided in the parent's native language as stated by the Ohio Civil Rights action (OCR Docket 15-08-1276).
    • Schools may not retain English learner students who are identified as substantially below grade level in reading in English but are proficient in their native language for English reading deficiencies.
    • Schools must inform parents of the English learner student's lack of academic progress throughout the school year, and there must be documentation of this communication if a student. In addition, the school must conduct written and spoken communication in the parent's native language (Ohio Civil Rights action OCR Docket 15-08- 1276).


    • Adopted: June 28, 2001
    • Amended: September 25, 2012; March 29, 2022

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