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puzzle1mom 05-01-2017 05:44 PM

Acceleration/Grade Skipping
My niece was tested before starting kindergarten and was placed in a public elementary school with a gifted program. For the past two years, my sister-in-law has told me that her teacher has called her to school for a meeting at the end of the year suggesting that she skip the following grade. (She is 7 and is just finishing 1st grade.). I have had training to teach students who are gifted & talented (I held an endorsement at one time) and I was under the impression that this was a LAST resort for many reasons. I am really surprised that her school has made this suggestion twice, especially given that my niece is still quite young. I don't understand - if she's in a gifted program, shouldn't they be doing other things to meet her needs besides the suggestion to skip a grade? My sister-in-law plans to tell them she doesn't want to do it because my niece is still so young and innocent; she doesn't want to push her to grow up fast. (I think she's right.)

Is this common practice? I have never heard of anyone in my county (she's in the next one over) skipping a grade. I skipped a grade back in the 70's, but I was in a Catholic school and there was no gifted program to speak of. Looking back now, I know my mother regrets allowing it.

Mrs.Lilbit 05-05-2017 07:42 AM

In my district, grade skipping is rarely done in elementary school. In high school, it is common for high achieving students to take online classes or attend summer school to graduate early, or to take AP or dual enrollment courses to get a head start on college.

I would be curious to know if the gifted teacher or the regular ed teacher is suggesting this. The gifted teacher should know that this is not a best practice under most circumstances.

That having been said, I think there are situations when grade skipping might be appropriate. If a student is working at least 2 grade levels above his/her current placement in ALL subjects, has an IQ of 145 or higher, has a fall birthday making him/her one of the oldest students in the class, is exceptionally precocious or emotionally mature for his/her age, and is physically one of the biggest kids in the class, then grade skipping would be appropriate. But the likelihood of having ALL of those factors in play is very rare.

I think your SIL is wise to not push her daughter to grow up too fast.

angelavan 05-10-2017 03:59 PM

No to skipping a grade!
I let my daughter skip Kindergarten and go on to first grade years ago. When she was in the four year old program, the teacher sent her to the Kindergarten class all day because was an emerging reader. She learned to read by the end of that year. She then skipped Kindergarten and went on to first grade. She also has a late birthdate: October 17th. It was great the first few years as she was still at the top of her class. Then, when she went to 7th grade, she had a melt down because all the kids were so much taller than was (she was and still is a very petite young woman). They were more mature than she was. It was too much for her emotionally. I will forever regret letting her skip a grade! I think you are right on target along with your sister in your hesitation. Hope this helps.

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