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Administrative Procedure 201: Student Program/Grade Placement/Retention

Children are more successful learners when educators and parents/guardians agree on their program placement. Decisions should be based on current research knowledge and the long-term impacts on student attitude and learning. A body of research exists on the subject of retention and it must guide our practice. In most cases, retention harms an at-risk student cognitively and affectively. Therefore, rather than grade retention, our efforts should be focused on flexible programming around time, resources, instructional approaches, assessment and organization for instruction.

Ultimately, decisions regarding student program placement will be a professional responsibility, but the parent/guardian must participate in the decision, including contributing information that is critical to student programming.

  1. Prior to considering retention or acceleration, professional staff will document implementation of the Multi-Tiered Response to Intervention including accessing appropriate assessments. This information will be forwarded to the Director of Learning (Inclusive Education) or Coordinating Principal of Early Learning if the child is younger than grade one age. A meeting of the student’s learning team will be scheduled prior to May 15th.
  2. Inter-school or inter-system program placements will be approved by the Superintendent.
  3. For the purpose of ensuring adherence to the principles of fundamental justice, an appeal structure will be provided for parents/guardians who dispute system-initiated placement decisions affecting students (see Policy 8 – Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters).
  4. All appeals regarding student program or grade placement shall be in writing stating reasons for the appeal. This shall be submitted to the principal of the school with a copy to the Superintendent for information.
  5. Where the student involved has special needs, the specific mechanism for lodging an appeal as outlined in the Education Act.

Education Act
Guide to Education, ECS to Grade 12
The Learning Team, A handbook for parents of children with special needs
Cross-Reference: Policy 8– Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters