Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students

Section I: Instructional Program

Policy Title: Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students
Policy Code: IKE

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Tucson Unified School District is dedicated to the continuous development of each student.


A student shall progress through the grade levels by demonstrating growth in learning and by meeting and/or exceeding the grade-level standards established by the State and District. In addition to these standards, attendance, test scores, grades, teacher recommendations, and other pertinent data will be used to determine promotion.

The promotion of a student from grade three (3) shall be conditioned on the satisfaction of the applicable competency requirements prescribed by A.R.S. 15-701.


A student not making adequate progress in meeting the State and District standards criteria will be identified as early in the school year and in their school career as practicable. When a student is identified as being at risk of retention, parents will be notified, and the student will be provided additional opportunities in core academic areas to motivate and connect the student to school. Such opportunities may include, but are not limited to, tutorial programs, after-school programs, and/or summer school programs that may be required as conditions of promotion. Ongoing assessment of student progress will be a part of each intervention program.

A student shall be retained when he/she does not demonstrate growth in learning and/or does not meet the Arizona State standards at grade-level. Attendance, test scores, grades, and the best interest of the student shall be considered. Retention may occur at any grade level.


Acceleration is a double promotion or a higher grade/content placement based on the student's learning ability, as well as:

  • age,
  • maturity,
  • academic skills,
  • self-confidence,
  • grade level,
  • behavior and
  • other pertinent factors relating to the overall well-being of the student.

Please refer to Policy JEB-Entrance Age Requirements.

Students with Disabilities

In addition to the above, such decisions, when applied to students eligible and receiving special education services, and/or 504 plans, shall be on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the individualized education plan and in accordance with A.A.C. R7-2-301 and R7-2-401.

English Language Learners (ELL)

The District will employ assessment and interventions strategies with English Language Learners in a way that language considerations will not be a factor in any retention decision. The intervention will be designed to provide students with additional and intensive help in learning English and acquiring core academic content knowledge.

Parental Consultation Required

The teacher's decision to promote or retain a student in grade school shall occur after notice and an opportunity for the parent to consult with the teacher. This notice shall be documented in, or accompanying, the last progress report before the final report card and shall include information for the parent on who to contact for a consultation.

This notice of opportunity for consultation is intended to encourage the collaboration of teachers and parents in the education of students, and is not intended to infringe in any way on the duty of the teacher to make the decision to promote or retain a student in grade school. The Superintendent is authorized to issue administrative regulations in furtherance of this requirement.

Appeal of Teacher Decision to Promote, Retain, Pass or Fail a Pupil

In accordance with A.R.S. 15-701 and 15-701.01, it is the duty of every teacher to make the decision for promoting or retaining a student in grade school, and to pass or fail a student in high school. In accordance with A.R.S. 15-342(11), a parent or student of majority (18 years of age) may appeal to the Board for reconsideration on any promotion, retention, pass or fail decision. The student and/or parent must present to the Governing Board proof that the student has or has not mastered the State Board adopted standards required for the specific grade level. Whether the Governing Board upholds or overturns the decision of the teacher, a written finding of their decision will be adopted by the Governing Board and provided to the parent or student of majority.

Adopted: April 11, 2006
Revised: May 28, 2013
Revised: July 28, 2020

15-203 - Governing Board Powers and Duties
15-341 – General Powers and Duties
15-342 – Discretionary Powers
15-521, 15-701 – Common School; promotion; requirements
15-701.01 – High Schools; graduation; requirements
15-715 – Special academic assistance grades K-3

CROSS REF: JEB – Entrance Age Requirements