Lakeville Area Public Schools recognizes the need for academically gifted students to receive accelerated instruction. Acceleration is generally defined as moving students through the traditional curriculum at rates faster than the typical student experiences. The goal of acceleration is to match the level and complexity of the curriculum with the readiness and motivation of the learner.
The Lakeville Acceleration Chart provides an overview of acceleration options available. Many forms of acceleration are incorporated into the general education program or one of the components of the gifted education program.
Accelerated instruction is available in literacy through guided reading groups (primary grades) and the Discover program (grades 3-5). Additional opportunities for accelerated instruction are available through other forms of acceleration at the elementary level.
At the elementary level, formal subject acceleration is available in math. Subject acceleration is defined as the delivery of curriculum by either physically moving a student into a higher grade level classroom within the same district, or having him/her work with higher grade level curriculum either independently or in his/her own age-based classroom.
Subject acceleration in math is an educational accommodation designed for superior math students. Subject acceleration requires an ongoing and committed partnership between the school district and the family. The subject acceleration procedures for math are designed to guide the process in determining if a student is a good candidate for this accommodation.
To begin the process, the parent or guardian should fill out a Math Acceleration Request Form. A parent or staff member can initiate math acceleration; however, the parent or guardian must submit the request for the process to begin. Submitting the request form will start the process of collecting preliminary information about this student. This does not mean acceleration will necessarily occur. Parents may choose to return this form to the Gifted Specialist or to meet with the Acceleration Committee or Principal to present their request.
The process is designed to first see if there are accommodations in the classroom that can meet the student’s needs. At least two strategies should be tried. These strategies may include math enrichment opportunities, pre-testing curriculum, small group investigation and/or independent study. If these strategies do not appear to be adequately challenging the student, the process will continue.
If the process continues, a building Acceleration Committee is formed. The role of the Acceleration Committee is to review the request for acceleration. Using the criteria outlined in the subject acceleration procedures for math, the committee will determine what additional information and/or assessments are needed to make a decision. The Gifted Education Specialist will be coordinating this process.
Once the assessments are completed, the Acceleration Committee and the parents/guardians will meet to discuss a recommendation. The criteria outlined in the subject acceleration procedures for math will guide the committee’s decision. If subject acceleration is recommended, a plan for the student will be developed and signed by the parent(s) and Acceleration Committee. The plan should be re-evaluated yearly. Subject acceleration requires a partnership between the school district and families. Parents should be aware that future years might require independent study, out-of-school programming or dual enrollment options. Transportation needs and scheduling issues must be considered. Transportation is the responsibility of parents.
If subject acceleration is not recommended, plans for the current grade will be developed as needed. The classroom teacher and/or Gifted Education Specialist will continue to monitor student progress.