Acceleration for high ability and high achieving students

Some students may need further support with a change of class or course placement based upon their high ability and high levels of achievement. Our school district provides acceleration through subject acceleration, whole grade acceleration, or early entrance to Kindergarten or 1st grade. This type of service is for a unique student who needs additional accelerated support as compared to what can be provided within the regular classroom setting; it is considered a Tier 3 support for a qualifying high achieving, high ability student.

Subject Acceleration

Individual Subject Acceleration is the practice of assigning a student, who meets the specified criteria, to content instructed at a higher grade level with the purpose of meeting the high achieving or gifted student’s unique needs.
  • Subject Acceleration is the term used by the Ohio Department of Education for the process of placing a high achieving and/or gifted student in an above grade level academic course.
  • Support for gifted students in the area of mathematics is provided by high quality, differentiated learning experiences in grades KG - 4. In spring of a student's 4th grade school year, multiple data points such as MAP scores, cognitive ability scores and teacher input assist us in recommending students for accelerated math as a 5th grade student. This same process is implemented again at the end of 5th grade and 6th grade for math course placement for the following school year.
  • The district has three pathways for math course progression which meet the needs of the vast majority of students. There are always unique exceptions when an extremely high achieving, high ability student may need earlier or further acceleration. These are addressed through the RtI process at the elementary and middle school level and credit flex or college credit plus at the high school level.

The RtI process for acceleration

  • DCS district brochure on the RtI process
  • A team approach to meeting individual learner's needs
  • Acceleration request is initiated with a referral made by parent, teacher, administrator, and/or student
    • Is the student consistently performing at advanced curricular levels?
    • What strategies have been implemented by the classroom teacher to support the high achieving student?
    • Have these instructional strategies been effective in supporting the student?
    • Have these strategies been documented and shared with the consultation team?

  • Topics for further consideration with subject acceleration placement:
    • Student classroom progress and vertical progression at the elementary, middle, and high school levels
    • Success with enrichment and extension regarding Tier 1 support:
      • Multiple data points are analyzed with respect to achievement, aptitude, and ability
      • What are the student's social-emotional needs?
      • Analysis of whole child and most appropriate placement
      • Is the placement meeting a need or a want?

Whole Grade Acceleration

Whole Grade Acceleration is the practice of assigning a student to a higher grade level than is typical given the student’s age on a full-time basis for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities.
  • Whole Grade Acceleration is also a part of the RtI process
  • In Ohio school districts must use the Iowa Acceleration Scale 3rd edition for recommendation for placement into an above grade level.
  • Teachers, administrators, and parents should give thought to the following questions:
    • Is the student consistently performing at advanced curricular levels in ALL AREAS?
    • What strategies have been utilized by the classroom teacher to support the advanced learner?
    • Have these instructional strategies been effective in supporting the advanced learner and have these strategies been documented?
    • Is the student socially and emotional ready for a grade level acceleration?

Early Entrance to Kindergarten or 1st Grade

This type of acceleration falls under the same guidelines as whole grade acceleration. These requests are typically processed in April and May prior to the start of school year in August. Please visit our district gifted services website for further detailed information and application:

Credit Flex

College Credit Plus

For more information regarding acceleration policy, please visit the ODE Academic Acceleration for Advanced Learners webpage and

DCS Acceleration Policy - enter "5408" in search bar