You are a student who, for whatever reason, be it you had to miss out on class, or you can’t get along with your classmates, you want to skip a grade ahead. Or perhaps you are a parent who sees to it that their gifted child is placed into their proper grade. We are here to help you.
Whether you can skip a grade in the state of Missouri is an interesting question whose full scope cannot be quickly answered through Google or Bing. Here, we will teach you if you can skip a grade in Missouri, the requirements of doing such, and the benefits (and consequences) of finishing school early.
Can You Skip a Grade in Missouri?
Yes, you can skip a grade in Missouri. Most US states allow students to skip a grade (“whole grade acceleration”)—or more specifically, no federal law or mandate requires that a student complete a grade sequentially. This lack of policy applies to essentially any school, from elementary/primary school to high school. In theory, it is entirely possible to skip more than a few grades or even skip middle or high school altogether. Similarly, it is also possible to be ‘held back” and take the same grade multiple times, though this result requires abysmal academic progress.
In Missouri, specifically, the decision to allow a student to skip a grade must be determined by a board-approved policy. In this case, any school in accordance with the board may allow its students to skip grades.
Some schools may have a lax policy on grade skipping, allowing students to get ahead with a recommendation and maybe some extra work. Other schools may require exceptional academic success and consistency from their students and other qualifications like attendance. If you happen not to be fortunate enough to be in those schools, well, unfortunately, you are out of luck! Some schools may not let you skip grades at all, no matter how academically inclined or ahead you are.
What are the Requirements to Skip a Grade in Missouri?
If you are a parent with a child or children five years old or younger and you are looking to start them off early, well, unfortunately, the buck stops (or, more accurately, does not begin) here. According to Tennessee state policy and the Tennessee Department of Education, a student cannot enter first grade without completing kindergarten (specifically, a student must have completed a state-approved kindergarten program). A student must be at least five years old by August of the year of their enrollment to enter kindergarten, regardless of their status in pre-school, so getting to elementary school right out of pre-school is not really an option. Consequently, you would want your child to attend kindergarten as early as possible for them to get into the general education programs to skip them.
After kindergarten, however, the sky is the limit. You can skip any grade in Missouri with minor qualifications besides academic achievement and the support of your teachers and advisors.
When is the Best Time to Skip a Grade?
Skipping a grade in Missouri is a matter of effort, connections, and will. By most accounts, it is a matter of convincing your peers and your seniors that you can handle the work before you.
The optimal time to skip a grade depends heavily on your academic level, the opportunities left at your school, and other external, unknown factors. In our opinion, we recommend that if you skip a grade, you do it later rather than sooner (such as during high school), but also before you complete your current grade, to avoid confusion and culture shock.
All of these statements beg one last question: why, in fact, should you skip your grade?
3 Pros and Cons of Skipping a Grade
Well, let’s say that you have achieved your goal. You are on the warpath from the first grade to the third grade or the ninth grade to the twelfth grade. Why would you want to skip grades in the first place? You would have to take up additional schoolwork and homework in a shorter amount of time. Your schedule will become more congested and busier, and you’ll wake up from nightmares of chimera hybrids of Calculus, English Composition, and the free market. But let’s say you do. What are some of the benefits and consequences of skipping a grade?
There are some immediate and long-term benefits to skipping grades, least of all in Missouri.
1. Graduating Early
The most apparent benefit of skipping your grade is that you are closer and closer to graduating from school and heading towards high school or college.
2. On the Same Level
If you (or your child) has been held back or put into their improper grade, then skipping grades can put them back on the right track.
In the process, you may also be acquainted with students who are more on your level. This is particularly beneficial if you (or your child) feel unable to connect to your classmates and find more commonality among older and more educated children.
3. Future Benefits
Skipping grades may look good on your future transcripts. It shows that you have achieved such academic success that your teachers and advisors think they did you a disservice by keeping you back.
There are some downsides, too, of course.
1. Unfamiliar Territory
By skipping grades, you leave the company of your classmates and accept the company of older, more conventionally educated students. You also have less time to hang out with your friends or free time elsewhere. Additionally, just because you can skip a grade does not mean you are adequately prepared. Going from first to third grade is a huge jump: your classmates are older and bigger than you, and your schoolwork is more demanding and difficult.
2. Increased Workload
If you are skipping a grade due to sheer academic prowess and talent, then you will have to take up more school and homework at once—not just from the same class but also from several different courses. This will be difficult no matter the school because you will have to confront ideas and challenges you are unfamiliar with. However, there is one good thing to this, and it is being able to see and ascertain your limit.
3. Getting There
You can negotiate with your teachers, guidance counselor, and vice principal about the possibility of skipping a grade and taking a more extensive workload of classes within your schedule. Be warned that your counselor may not allow you to skip your grades, to begin with! In some schools, early graduation is a move that will go as high up as the school’s administration or the local Department of Education.
Generally, this is the first and sometimes only hurdle in getting a student to skip a grade. They may refuse your efforts entirely, but they are also responsible for placing you into any programs that may necessitate your whole grade acceleration. Your initiative may be rewarded with an acceleration test to skip a grade. However, your efforts may be halted entirely by the same parties, your efforts leading to nothing.
Learn everything you need to know about the benefits and drawbacks of skipping grades here.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Skip a Grade in Missouri
As you reach the end of this article, you will have hopefully gain a better understanding of not only how to skip a grade in Missouri, but also some of the processes and tribulations that comes from going through the general American education system. Do not be discouraged by all the extra steps and cons: if you come in as prepared as you have to be, you will have no problem!
Skipping a grade to another state? Check out our list below: