Promotion Policy

In the 2013–2014 school year, we changed the way schools make promotion decisions for students in grades 3 - 8. These changes make sure that students’ scores on New York State English and math tests are not the main factor in promotion decisions. Instead, schools make promotion decisions on multiple measures of student progress, including:

  • Report cards
  • Samples of student writing
  • Projects
  • Assessments
  • Assignments
  • Other student work
  • State tests

Talk to your child’s school about how this process applies your child if your child;

  • Has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
  • Or is an English Language Learner

Promotion Process and Timeline

January – Early February

  • Schools identify students who are not on track to meeting promotion benchmarks at the end of the school year.
  • Families of students whose promotion is in doubt receive written notice in the mail.

May – Early June

  • Schools do promotion portfolios for students who may not be ready for the next grade level
    • This is based on student work and assessments from throughout the school year.
    • Principals make promotion decisions based on the English language arts and math skills shown in the student’s portfolio.
    • Students in grade 8 must also pass the following courses in order to be promoted:
      • English
      • Math
      • Social studies
      • Science

Early June

  • Principals make promotion decisions based on the English language arts and math skills shown in the student’s portfolio.
  • Students in grade 8 must also pass the following courses in order to be promoted:
    • English
    • Math
    • Social studies
    • Science

Mid-June

  • Families of students who are not promoted get letters in the mail. These include their child’s
    • summer school start date
    • summer school location.

July

  • Students who were not promoted in June go to summer school.
  • Students who were promoted, may also go to summer school.
  • Please see the Summer Enrichment Page for other kinds of summer school opportunities.

Mid-August

  • At the end of summer school, principals make final promotion decisions based on students’:
    • portfolios
    • summer school work
  • Families of students not promoted in June get a final promotion decision letter in the mail.

Last Week of August

  • Families may appeal promotion decisions
  • They do this by giving a written appeal to their child’s principal.

Early September

  • First day of the new school year

How do schools make promotion decisions?

  • Promotion decisions are made by each school principal based on multiple measures of student readiness for the next grade level in English and math.
  • Teachers review student work from the school year to identify students who may not be ready for the work of the next grade in English language arts and/or math, even with support. Students whose work shows they are ready for the next grade are promoted by the principal in June.
  • If a student's work shows they may not be ready for the next grade level, the teacher completes and scores the portfolio. The principal makes the promotion decision based on the portfolio results.

If your child is not promoted in June based on their portfolio results, your child is mandated for summer school. At the end of summer school, the school reviews the progress of the student, and the principal makes the final promotion decision.

How do schools determine which students get promotion portfolios?

Schools do promotion portfolios for students whose work shows that they may not be ready for the next grade. This can be based on report card grades, student writing samples, projects, assessments, assignments, and other work chosen by the school. State test results may be one of a few factors schools used to determine which students will have a portfolio, but they may not be the only factor.

Schools do not do portfolios for students who show they are prepared for the next grade based on their work throughout the school year. The principal promotes these students in June.

What is a promotion portfolio?

The DOE’s promotion portfolios include tests and a selection of student classwork. The assessments in the portfolio align to the State learning standards and determine whether students are ready for the work of the next grade in English language arts and math.

  • The English language arts portfolio includes writing samples and assessments of reading and comprehension.
  • The math portfolio includes one-on-one and independent math assessments and classwork focused on the major work of the grade.

What can I do if I am not satisfied with the final promotion decision for my child?

If you are not satisfied with the final promotion decision, you may write a letter to the principal of your child's school appealing the decision at the end of August. The appeal will be reviewed by the superintendent, who makes the final decision.

What if my child cannot attend summer school?

Summer school is an opportunity for students to develop the skills and knowledge needed for the next grade level. At the end of the summer, schools complete a review of students’ portfolios with their summer school work and assessments. If your child cannot attend summer school, you may still submit a written appeal to the principal by the end of August but you may find it difficult to demonstrate that your child is prepared for the next grade level.

Find Out More

For additional information, call 311 or visit the Summer School page, below.

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