Skipping a grade in Ohio is allowed based on state policy. The common reason why children can skip a grade in Ohio is that they are born gifted. Since they learn more advanced knowledge and skills compared to other children of the same age, they may find their current school year level boring and unchallenging. Thus, it hinders them from developing their full potential.
As a parent, you would not want this to happen to your child. That’s why if you are one of the parents wanting to know how to skip a grade in Ohio, you are on the right page. Skipping a grade in Ohio can be a solution with advantages for your child but may also bring disadvantages. Let’s discover this helpful information in the article below.
Can Your Child Skip a Grade in the State of Ohio?
The state of Ohio permits any kids who are qualified to skip a grade. They want these kids to stay engaged in school activities, continuously learn based on the appropriate grade level, and stay mentally healthy. However, this should follow the legal process. Aside from that, certain factors need to be examined before the recommendation for skipping a grade. Many experts, such as the principal, teacher, pediatrician, and psychologist, will evaluate the child’s condition. After careful assessment and evaluation, a final decision will be released if skipping a grade is in the child’s best interest.
Ohio State Laws Regarding Grade Skipping
Regarding skipping a grade, Ohio has Ohio’s Model Student Acceleration Policy that serves as a guide. According to this policy, “gifted” is defined as students who have extraordinary performance in school compared to other students of the same age. Once the student is identified as gifted, an acceleration of a grade level may be recommended.
Early entrance to kindergarten
As a parent, you may request an early entrance to kindergarten if your child is five before January 1 or is not yet five before January 1. If you suspect your child is for acceleration, the evaluation should be made sixty days before the beginning of the academic year. The principal also has the discretionary power to accept early entrance to kindergarten, provided that the child shows excellent performance.
Early entrance to first grade
The child should finish kindergarten before he proceeds to first grade. However, you may request acceleration or early entrance to first grade for a gifted child if your child is six before January 1 or is not yet six before January 1. There should be a referral from a preschool educator, psychologist, or pediatrician who knows the child.
Ohio law requires the school to conduct a standardized test and acceleration assessment to determine if there is a need for the child to skip a grade. Most schools use the Iowa Acceleration Scale to verify the collected information.
Whole-grade acceleration is also called “skipping a grade.” For example, a gifted student in the first year accelerated to the third year. Each school has its policies regarding whole-grade acceleration. The state of Ohio recognized the use of the acceleration process approved by ODE, the Iowa Acceleration Scale, for evaluating the potential students for whole-grade acceleration.
After the evaluation, the district must create a Written Acceleration Plan (WAP) for the identified students. It is the activities, plans, and strategies during students’ transition from one grade to the next.
What to Consider Before Skipping a Grade?
Skipping a grade should not only be made by parents alone. It is to ensure that the child’s ability will be appropriately developed. There should be a thorough assessment from the teachers, pediatricians, and psychologists. Here are the things you should consider:
- Can your child work with other children who are older than him?
- How will your child accept his grade level and current situation? Will he accept it? Will it leave him confused?
- Does your child able to take care of himself alone? Can he perform personal hygiene independently?
- Does your child quickly adapt to the new environment and meet new friends?
- How does your child handle frustrations and disappointments?
- Does he care about the feelings of other children?
- Does he make friends easily?
- Can he easily accept criticisms?
Your child must be developmentally mature enough to face his new environment with older kids than him. He should be socially and emotionally stable so that there won’t be any problems in the future. Your child will not only learn but will also have fun with the other students.
- Does your child able to perform more advanced tasks than the other students? Will he be able to write, read, dance, sing, and perform more?
- Does he enjoy learning new knowledge and skills?
- Does he actively participate in sports, arts, and other extracurricular activities at school?
- Does he believe he can accomplish the new tasks given to him?
- Does he pay attention to instructions?
- Does your child gets involved in community activities like sports, dance, and museum programs?
- Does your child have a long attention span to instruction and lesson discussion?
- Does he know how to draw the common shapes and use the scissor in cutting these shapes?
The best time to skip a grade
What is the right time to skip a grade? Is it now or later when your child grows older? According to accelerationinstitute.org, the earlier, the better. The child should be accelerated in his early education rather than accelerating later on in his advance academic year. The acceleration should also be implemented at the beginning of the school year. This way, your child will be prepared for what may happen to him.
What are the Requirements to Skip a Grade in Ohio?
Skipping a grade is not that easy. As a parent, you must assess the pros and cons properly. If you believe that your child should be accelerated, here are the requirements for skipping grades:
Submit your credentials early.
Different schools suggest enrolling the child as early as you can. For example, Bexley Schools accept applications starting February to March 30 to process the initial screening. For Westlake City Schools, the application must be submitted by April 1 of the year. For Worthington Schools, your application should be submitted no later than March 25. Adequate time should be allotted for the evaluation because sometimes there is a not for further evaluation that extends the acceleration process.
Initial screening is given.
When your application is received, your child will undergo an initial screening, such as the cognitive ability screening. Your child should get a score of at least one standard deviation above the mean from the acceleration tool recommended by the Ohio Department of Education. Your child should get the 90th percentile compared to other students of the same age. If your child gets the mandatory score, there will be an additional cognitive and academic test such as the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) and Woodcock-Johnson III (WJIII-NU).
Observation is conducted.
After your child passes the initial screening and shows that he performs more than his age group, an observation will be scheduled. For example, suppose you are applying for early kindergarten. In that case, the school representative (principal, teacher, or counselor) will visit the preschool when your child is learning to observe his behavior and performance. Before this observation, consent from the parents will be secured. In this way, the emotional and social ability of the child will be thoroughly assessed.
The acceleration evaluation committee will convene.
The decision will not only be made by parents alone, but it will be convened by different experts like the school principal, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, pediatricians, and psychologists. After the evaluation, a Written Acceleration Plan will be made before the child is accelerated. It also contains the strategy for a successful transition.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Skip a Grade in Ohio?
How to skip a grade in Ohio? As long as your child is gifted, you may always request an acceleration of grade. However, before applying, ensure your child will benefit from it. That’s why a thorough evaluation is made before the acceleration. You need to submit your application as early as February of the year. It is to give the evaluators adequate time to check the papers, conduct the initial screening and testing, observe your child’s behavior, and convene with the other evaluators. This is to ensure that your child is holistically ready for the acceleration. Some children are academically ready but not emotionally or socially mature to skip a grade. Lastly, see that your child is developmentally mature and academically ready to skip a grade, and it should be for his brighter future.
If you are interested to know how to skip a grade in other states, check out our guide here: