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Back to Index | Relevant Policy - 9.36 Promotion and Retention of Students
9.36.P.1 Promotion and Retention of Students
Procedure for Retention of  
Elementary School Students

At the end of the first grading period, each teacher in a common school should send to the principal a list of the students who are experiencing difficulty in their classes.  At the earliest parent conference, this must be shared with the parents and recorded in the student's cumulative folder.  The teacher and the parent will discuss ways to assist the student in attaining expected achievement levels.

At the end of the second and subsequent grading periods, students - including new students - who achieve below expected grade level standards will be reviewed by the principal and staff members to consider retention.  Parent conferences will be held to inform parents of the concern and to involve them in this process.

No decision for retention shall be made without parent involvement in a plan of continuous intervention.  Late entries should receive special consideration.

The final recommendation to retain should be made by the teacher.  Consultation with the principal and other staff members, and involvement of parents in all steps of the retention process are vital.  The retention packet and forms must be followed to guide and document this process.

Third Grade Promotion

The goal of Arizona’s Move on When Reading initiative is to have all grade three students in Arizona reading proficiently at grade level.  In accordance with Arizona State Statutes 15-704 and 15-211, the District:
  • provides effective reading instruction, with initial screening; on-going diagnostic and classroom based reading assessments, and a system to monitor student progress.
  • submits to the state a comprehensive plan for reading instruction and intervention across grade kindergarten through grade three. 

If data on the third grade statewide reading assessment is available and demonstrates that a student scored “falls far below” the student shall not be promoted from the third grade. 

The Governing Board may promote a student who earns a score of “falls far below” on the third grade statewide reading assessment only for the following reasons:
  • the student is an English Language Learner with less than two years of English instruction  
  • the student has an IEP in reading or language and the pupil’s parents/guardian agree(s) that promotion is appropriate based on the pupil’s IEP 
  • the student is in the process of a special education referral or evaluation for placement in special education 
  • the student has been diagnosed as having a significant reading impairment, including dyslexia. “Dyslexia” is defined as a brain-based learning difference that impairs a person’s ability to read and spell, that is independent of intelligence and that typically causes a person to read at levels lower than expected.
  • as otherwise permitted by state law.

Appeal of Teacher Decision to Promote,
Retain, Pass or Fail a Pupil

Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, a parent or student of majority may appeal to the Board for reconsideration on any placement decision.  The student has the burden of proof to overturn the decision of a teacher to promote, retain, pass or fail the pupil.  It must be demonstrated to the Board that the student has or has not mastered the State Board adopted standards required for the placement recommended by the teacher.  If the Governing Board overturns the decision of the teacher, a written finding of mastery or non-mastery of the State Board adopted standards must be adopted by the Governing Board.