Skipping a grade is an option that all talented and high-ability students have. And there may be many reasons for such a change in the academic career of a student. Skipping a grade has proven to be a well-thought-out decision for both students and teachers if made correctly, according to the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration. Of course, far from every student can apply for skipping a grade, and there is a list of requirements to comply with. So how to skip a grade? Let’s dig deeper into the question so that you could understand whether it is the right way for you.
How to apply for skipping the grade?
The official procedure of skipping a grade implies a student writing a request and submitting it to the school principal. In the document, you are to provide reasoning for the request and identify the grade level you want to skip. Since written requests are more carefully reviewed and addressed than oral ones, it is always recommended to submit such a document to the commission and leave yourself a copy. There is no rule on when the request can be made; however, it is recommended to submit it before the start of the school year. Thus, you will not lose time when your request is being reviewed. Be ready that this process takes some time.
Who can help you?
Ensure that your request is reviewed strictly according to the legitimate requirements. The final decision should be made by a dedicated team consisting of a teacher, counselor, and a psychologist specializing in the work with gifted children. In order to either approve or reject the request, schools usually use the Iowa Acceleration Scale, which is aimed at assessing the level of student’s readiness to skip the grade. The tool is used to collect information about the academic performance of the student, his school history, emotional intellect level, attitude towards studies, and academic ability with the purpose of determining if grade-skipping is best for the one.
What can be an argument for skipping the grade?
There are many different reasons for a student to skip the grade. Intellectual skills, overperformance, and the need for a change are just some of them. Apart from the above, a student should be ready to change his study environment and start socializing with people of an older age. What else is important here?
1. Academic achievement
When preparing a request document with the reasoning for you to skip the grade, we recommend you to cover your academic achievements in it. Thus, you will demonstrate that your grade level exceeds the set of academic standards. If your standardized test scores are higher than others in the class, it is a good argument to include. Another good thing would be fining a teacher who supports you and believes that skipping the grade is the right solution for you. It will be an extra reason for the commission to say “yes” to your request.
2. Emotional readiness
It is hardly possible that an emotionally unready student is approved to skip the grade, no matter how smart and talented he is. The main goal of the commission is to make a decision that will bring nothing but a benefit to a student. It should lead to psychological trauma. That’s why we recommend you to provide evidence that you are emotionally ready to advance the grade level and change your socialization circle. You can find a teacher or a counselor who could sustain that for you. An assessment from a licensed psychologist will also increase your chances of having your request approved.
3. Student acceptance
You should have no fears and truly believe that skipping the grade will change your life for the better. Be ready that you will have a talk with a psychologist, who will check how ready and willing to advance the grade. In case you have any fears or see it as an obstacle, you will most likely be rejected. That’s why it is important for you to understand if you really want to skip the grade and consider all the consequences of the solution.
4. Need for change
It may be so that really talented, smart, and high-ability children get bored at some point, which has a direct impact on their academic performance and grades. It is teachers and parents who are to feel this moment and recommend a student to skip the grade. At this point, it is not ordinary boredom but rather a feeling associated with too easy material taught at a particular grade. In other words, there is a need for a change - and skipping the grade can be the best solution for a student to get back his interest in studies and improve his score level.
Apply or not to apply?
If you are doubting whether to skip the grade, we recommend consulting with a teacher and parents. Anyway, by submitting a request, your case will be thoroughly reviewed by the commission that will make the best decision for you. So there are absolutely no risks for you.