1st-8th Grade Acceleration
Guidelines For Grade Level Acceleration/Advancement (No prior instruction)
About the Exam
Students seeking grade-level acceleration/advancement must have prior assessment history that meets the minimum requirements for MAP Growth and STAAR assessments (if applicable) before exams for acceleration will be ordered. If it is recommended that a student take an EA, they must achieve an 80% or higher on a criterion approved exam for acceleration in each of the following subjects:
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
The test formats vary in the number of items, however all tests contain multiple choice, and may contain open response/essay items and/or have required reading prior to taking the assessment (see review links below).
Kindergarten exams for acceleration/advancement are administered in multiple sessions (am or pm) over multiple days pending the results of each subject test.
- Online grade level assessments are ordered from the University of Texas (UTHS) one at a time, and the subsequent assessment will only be ordered after results are received and the student earned a mastery score of 80% or higher.
- NOTE - test login info may take up to 10 days to be received by the district
- Assessments are given in the order listed above and the time limit is 3 continuous hours per assessment
- If the student is successful with a score of 80% or better, the next test in the sequence will be ordered
- If the student is not successful, the grade acceleration process ends and the student is not eligible to accelerate
- To accelerate to the next grade level, the student is required to successfully pass all four assessments
The purpose of an exam for acceleration (EA) is not to inform parents about a student’s academic performance or progress. An EA will not provide information regarding objectives or skills missed. Knowing a score or how many questions a student missed does not help in guiding instruction. Forney ISD teachers assess students throughout the year with a variety of formative and summative assessments that provide parents with information regarding how a student is performing academically.
Eligibility to Test
- Only students currently enrolled at a Forney ISD campus are eligible to apply for an Exam for Acceleration assessment.
- Students may take a Credit by Exam for acceleration purposes during any of the four testing periods. However, the following restrictions apply:
- Students must meet the minimum assessment history (MAP & STAAR if applicable) requirements before the first test in the sequence will be ordered
- Students may only attempt acceleration once per testing window for the same grade/subject
- Students may only attempt acceleration two times. Eligibility for a second attempt will depend on the score on attempt one
- A student’s placement in a new grade level will only occur at the start of the school year, no matter what testing window the test was taken.
- The application for 1-8 grade level acceleration must be obtained from the elementary/intermediate school counselor and completed/submitted on or before the deadline at 4:15pm. Responses will be sent to the campus counselor and the district testing department.
- Forney ISD students are only eligible to apply for exams for acceleration for a grade level or course for which all prerequisites have been met and in the order of the district’s usual course sequence.
Requirements to Advance
A district shall accelerate a student in grades 1-8 one grade level if the student meets all of the following requirements:
- The student scores 80 percent or above on a criterion referenced exam for acceleration for the grade level to be skipped in each of the following areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies;
- The science test will be ordered first, and if the student earns an 80% or better then the social studies exam, then math, and finally language arts will be ordered.
- A district representative recommends that the student be accelerated; and
- The student’s parent or guardian gives written approval of the acceleration (approval is assumed when the application is completed and the first test is ordered).
- Once an exam for acceleration has been passed, it may not be taken again
- All credit-by-exam tests from University of Texas and Texas Tech University are based on grade level Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
- See TEKS on Texas Education Agency
- See Lead4ward TEKS Snapshot
- Resources > Content Builder Resources > Select the TEKS Snapshot for the appropriate grade level/subject
- Any state adopted grade level textbook can be used to study
- Review guides - counselor will inform you which vendor will be used for your exam for acceleration
- Select correct grade levels and subject
- These review sheets will give information about the format of the test, how to study for the exam and what assignments and additional materials are due at the time of the exam. They do not tell you what to study since the test is based on the grade level and subject TEKS
- University of Texas review guides
- TTU Review sheets
Score Reporting and Acceleration
- Results will be sent to the counselor of the school where the student is registered. The campus will contact you directly regarding your student’s test results and next steps and recommendations will be discussed. The testing office will not give out any information regarding the results of the exam for acceleration testing.
- Appeal of the testing results will not be available.
- If your child is recommended for acceleration, it will be on a probationary basis. You will be contacted If the school or teacher feels it is in the best interest of the child to be placed back in the prior grade. If you do not want your student to accelerate or are not sure you want him/her to accelerate, your child should not take EAs
- Depending on the testing vendor, scoring takes 2 to 4 weeks.
Exam for Acceleration (EA) - While there is no charge to parents when students take an EA, there is a cost to the district for both the test and occasionally the proctor who monitors the exam as it is given. Therefore, please carefully consider availability during the testing window before completing the application and gather input from educators and/or counselors to determine whether or not acceleration is in the best interest of the student. If a student does not take the exam(s) for which s/he is registered, the district will not assume the cost for the student to register again for the same exam. In this case, the parent/guardian will be required to pay for the exam(s) before the exam(s) will be ordered.
Additional considerations regarding grade level acceleration
- Social maturity – When advancing a course, your child’s social and emotional maturity may not match the maturity level of the other students in the course.
- Student desire- A student should have the desire and drive to accelerate and maintain the workload of the higher level class.
- Teacher/counselor recommendation- Teachers and counselors see your student on a daily basis and may be able to provide additional information regarding whether or not acceleration would be appropriate.
- Students may take an Exam for Acceleration during any of the four testing windows. However, placement in a new grade level will only occur at the start of a school year, regardless of when an EA is taken. All four content areas tests must have been completed and passed before the first day of school in order to accelerate.