Promotion, Retention and Acceleration 5-27

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Policy 5-27


Promotion, Retention and Acceleration

Each student should learn the relevant grade level subject matter before promotion to the next grade. Each student shall take and be expected to achieve a passing score on the SOL tests for the students’ respective grade. Schools shall use SOL test results as part of a set of multiple data points for determining promotion in grades three (3) through eight (8) as set forth in more detail below. The use of SOL test score results as the sole criterion for awarding credit is prohibited.

  1. Kindergarten

    Students shall be retained in kindergarten only after a conference with the parent/legal guardian and approval of the principal or designee. The principal or designee’s decision will be final.

    In special cases the school may refer students from kindergarten to first grade during the school year.

  2. Elementary School

    Promotion will be made through grade five based on an evaluation of the student's acquisition of basic skills and other evidence of growth as determined by the student's teacher and principal/desginee as evidenced by the one or more of the following factors:

    • SOL test scores at the end of grades three (3) through five (5), if applicable;
    • special needs;
    • academic performance;
    • prior retentions;
    • attendance;
    • physical size;
    • reading level;
    • work habits;
    • intellectual ability;
    • parental support;
    • age; and
    • school/family history.

    The decision to promote a student is final with the principal/designee.

  3. Middle School

    Students in grades six, seven, and eight are promoted to the next grade on the basis of earning passing final grades in the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies and a passing final grade in one of the following program areas:

    health/physical education and the equivalent of a full-year course in the electives together with consideration of the following factors:

    • academic performance;
    • ability level;
    • attendance in conjunction with poor classroom performance;
    • chronological age in relation to the normal grade/age group;
    • prior retentions;
    • delayed/advanced physical development;
    • maturity in emotional and social development;
    • work and study habits;
    • student and parent attitude;
    • parental support; and
    • SOL test scores at the end of grades six (6) through eight (8); however, the use of SOL test scores as the sole criterion in awarding credit is prohibited.
  4. High School

    Promotion at the high school level is based upon academic achievement and the meeting of attendance requirements in individual courses. Promotion is based on the number of credits earned. The use of SOL test scores as the sole criterion in awarding credit is prohibited. An assignment of class standing will be made on the following basis:

    • Grade 12: at least 16 credits and/or eligible for June graduation
    • Grade 11: at least 10 credits, but fewer than 16 credits
    • Grade 10: at least 5 credits, but fewer than 10 credits
    • Grade 9: fewer than five credits

    Acceleration at the high school level will be on a course-by-course basis.

  5. Interventions

    Those students identified as possible candidates for retention shall receive interventions as set forth in the Standards of Quality and the Standards of Accreditation.

  6. Final decision on promotion or retention

    The principal or designee will have final authority to decide whether a student will be retained or promoted to the next grade. Students who have met the academic requirements to be promoted will not be retained for social, emotional, or disciplinary reasons.

Virginia Board of Education Regulations for Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia. 8VAC20-131-30, as amended. Role of the Principal.

Code of Virginia § 22.1-253.13:3, as amended. Standard 3. Accreditation, other standards and evaluation.

Adopted by School Board: June 15, 1993 (Effective August 14, 1993)
Amended by School Board: October 19, 1993
Amended by School Board: September 15, 1998
Amended by School Board: March 22, 2005
Amended by School Board: April 4, 2006
Amended by School Board: September 14, 2021