Policy IGBEZ

A. Generally

The School Board recognizes that the promotion and retention of students are important school decisions based on the academic progress of the student.

The following criteria are established for the elementary, middle and high school levels.

B. Definitions

1. Promotion: Student successfully completes current year academic requirements and advances to the next grade level.

2. Retention: Student fails to complete the current year academic requirements and remains in the current grade level.

C. Elementary School

1. Process for Retention and Promotion
  1. Early in the second semester, parents of students who are not making satisfactory progress in major content areas (reading/math) will be informed by the classroom teacher that if significant progress is not made by May, the recommendation may be to retain the student.
  2. Teachers will work very closely with the principal when retention is being considered. A joint conference between the principal, teacher and parent will be held prior to recommending the final decisions regarding retention of the child.
  3. All final retention and placement decisions shall be made by a committee consisting of the principal and staff from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
  4. The principal shall inform the parents of the decision of the division committee. Parents may appeal the decision to the director of instruction.
  5. Students who have demonstrated marginal knowledge and skills as indicated by the Achievement Record/Promotion Guidelines, may attend summer school. If they meet specific attendance guidelines, pass end-of-summer-school tests, and demonstrate adequate academic progress, these factors will be considered in the final promotion/retention decision.
  6. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Committee will make decisions regarding promotion, retention, and age-appropriate placement for students with an IEP while considering all LCS promotion and retention practices. After a student with a disability meets the LCS criteria for summer school programs, the student’s IEP committee will determine any supplemental aids and services needed for participation in summer school programs. Participation in the summer programs referenced in this policy is distinctly different from, and more common than, participation in Extended School Year services.
  7. Students in grades three through five who do not pass any of the Standards of Learning assessments administered in their grade level shall be required to attend a summer school program or to participate in another form of remediation.
2. Criteria for Determining Retention or Promotion

The following criteria will be considered in the promotion and retention decision:

  1. Academic achievement and growth
  2. Attendance
  3. Previous retention and age
  4. Parent input

D. Middle School

1. Process for Determining Retention or Summer School and/or Summer Remediation
  1. Students in middle school are expected to pass all courses and especially each of the four core courses: English, history, math, and science.
  2. If a student has a failing grade at the end of any quarter during the year, the school should communicate with the parent and establish strategies for the student to make progress and minimize the possibility of a failing grade for the course. The strategies may include support during and/or after the school day. The school may also require the student to attend tutoring and support in order to participate in afterschool sports or activities.
  3. If a student is not passing one or more core courses at the end of the school year, the student should be considered for summer school and/or summer remediation. In any case in which a student fails a course but passes the corresponding SOL test, the student should not be considered to have failed the course with respect to summer school and/or summer remediation requirements.
2. Guidelines for Summer School and/or Summer Remediation Requirements and Retention

The following guidelines should be used for considering whether attendance in summer school and/or summer remediation is required or recommended and if the student should be promoted. If summer school and/or summer remediation is required and the student does not attend at least 80% of the program, the student will not be promoted to the next grade level, unless an exception is made by the principal.

  1. If a student fails one core course, the principal will decide whether summer school and/or summer remediation is required or recommended.
  2. If a student fails two core courses, summer school and/or summer remediation is required.
  3. If a student fails three core courses, the principal will decide whether summer school and/or summer remediation is required or if the student shall be retained (if the student is retained, summer school and/or summer remediation is also recommended).
  4. If a student fails four core courses, the student shall be retained or considered for an alternative school placement (summer school and/or summer remediation is also recommended).
3. Exceptions

Any exceptions to the guidelines for a particular student circumstance shall have the approval of both the principal and the Superintendent’s designee.

E. High School

1. Credit Required for Promotion

Credits required for promotion are as follows:

9th to 10th - 4
10th to 11th - 9
11th to 12th - 15

Refer to the High School Program of Studies for graduation requirements from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

2. Determining Grades for a Student who Drops a Course Before the End of the Semester

All requests for a student to be withdrawn from a course shall be made in writing, signed by a parent/guardian, and turned in to the counselor by the end of the 10th school day of the course. Any course from which a student is withdrawn within that time period will not be recorded on the student’s report card or transcript. In rare cases, extenuating circumstances may justify a withdrawal from a course after the 10th day. In such a case, the student’s transcript may reflect the course and a grade of withdrawal passing (WP) or withdrawal failing (WF) for the course. These designations (WP and WF) are not considered in Grade Point Average calculations. A parent/guardian must file a written request for such consideration with the building principal, and that request must clearly indicate the extenuating circumstances to justify a withdrawal. If the request is to change the level of a course rather than withdraw from a course, that request must be made no later than five days after the first quarter report card has been distributed.

3. Scheduling Students for More Than One Required Course in the Same Subject Area

Sequential courses within a subject area (i.e., math, English, social studies, etc.) are normally to be taken one at a time and in the order presented in the "Program of Studies." An advanced student may, upon approval from the school principal, however, take two courses within the same subject area concurrently each year after successfully completing his program of studies in grade nine. The advanced student will be limited to one subject area each year from which the two courses may be selected unless the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee grants a waiver to this stipulation. A student who has failed a required subject will be permitted, pending the principal's approval, to repeat the course at the same time he is taking a second course in the same subject area.

4. Grades, Class Rank, and Credits Related to Repeating Courses Already Passed

Students shall be allowed to repeat a course already passed only upon approval by the school principal.
For all repeated courses, the grade earned shall be averaged with all grades (whether passing or failing) in determining the student's grade point average and class rank. All grades will also appear on the student's transcript. No additional core content or elective credit toward graduation will be awarded for repeated courses unless specifically noted in the current Lynchburg City Schools High School Program of Studies.

5. Exceptions

The decision of whether a student who has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is retained will be made by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) committee in conjunction with general retention practices.

Adopted by School Board: March 20, 1979
Revised by School Board: November 2, 1982
Revised by School Board: September 18, 1984
Revised by School Board: January 15, 1985
Revised by School Board: September 3, 1985
Revised by School Board: August 9, 1988
Revised by School Board: August 1, 1989
Revised by School Board: June 18, 1991
Revised by School Board: October 2, 1995
Revised by School Board: June 4, 1996
Revised by School Board: September 5, 2000
Revised by School Board: November 21, 2000
Revised by School Board: April 24, 2001
Revised by School Board: March 16, 2004
Revised by School Board: January 16, 2007
Revised by School Board: December 4, 2007
Revised by School Board: May 7, 2019