Early Entry and Acceleration

TAG graphic

Early Entry to Kindergarten Guidelines

David Douglas School District will adhere to the state policy of admitting five-year-olds to kindergarten that meet enrollment age criteria.


In very rare instances, a student who turns five during the month of September may be considered for early entrance into Kindergarten. The early entry screening process involves the administration of a test of mental ability. (It is not the same as a kindergarten readiness test.) Tested areas include: verbal, non-verbal, and quantitative batteries. Students must score at or above the 85th percentile to be considered for early entrance. If the child is accepted into kindergarten there will be a conference in October to review the child’s progress.

The Talented and Gifted Coordinator must receive the testing fee ($175) and application for early kindergarten entrance on or before the first Monday in August.  To request an application contact Wendy Reed, in Student Services at 503-252-2900.

First Grade:

A student will be admitted to first grade as a five year old if:

  1. The parent submits documentation that the child attended a State accredited kindergarten program whose curriculum matches David Douglas’s scope and sequence.
  1. The parent submits a written reference letter from the child’s kindergarten teacher commenting on the student’s academic, social, emotional, and physical attributes and accompanying assessment data.

If the student has not attended an accredited institution, then the child will begin in a kindergarten classroom and may be tested for advancement during the first few weeks of school. If the child scores at the 97th percentile on a test of mental ability, and the teacher observes advanced maturity, then the child will be considered for first grade. If the child is accepted into first grade there will be a conference in October to review the child’s progress.

Parents requesting early entry into first grade must first contact the building principal at their neighborhood school.

Forms for early entry applications

David Douglas School District Grade Advancement Process

Grades K-8


  • The student, parent or any school personnel may recommend a student for grade level advancement. Grade advance materials are available from the district TAG coordinator or your child’s teacher, or school principal.

Informal Conference

  • Classroom teacher, counselor, Gifted Coordinator, and/or principal meet with parent to explain policy and procedures.
  • Reasons for recommendations including student’s academic level and attitude about grade skipping are presented.
  • Teacher discusses curriculum modifications currently in use for the student in the present classroom.
  • If agreement is reached to pursue consideration of grade advancement, the next procedural steps are discussed.

Data Collection

  • Gifted Coordinator and Student Evaluation Center Staff administer above grade-level aptitude test and Full-Scale IQ test in order to determine cognitive ability.
  • Test scores, work samples, TAG Student Plan, behavioral records, anecdotal records, etc., are collected and attached.
  • Gifted Coordinator completes Iowa Acceleration Scale booklet with input from teacher, student and parent.
  • Information collected is presented to the Principal, teacher and counselor for evaluation; a decision is reached; and a recommendation is made.

Parent Conference

  • The counselor, teacher, and principal present recommendations to parents and student;
  • Parents and students add their signatures to the Grade Level Advancement Decision.
  • Parents have the right to appeal the decision in writing to the Assistant Superintendant


  • This procedure may take place any time throughout the school year.


In all grades, there is a trial period of one term or semester with the student’s adjustment being assisted by the school counselor. The student should be aware that if it does not go well he or she might go back to the original grade. Caution is needed not to build up excessive expectations from grade advancement. The student should not be made to feel he or she has failed if the decision is made against acceleration.

All documentation will be placed in the student’s cumulative file and the student’s TAG plan will reflect advancement decisions. Any decision for grade advancement is based upon the individual needs of a particular student. The final decision is the responsibility of the principal(s) involved and the procedures listed above may be modified to fit any unique circumstances.

A printable version of the advancement policy can be found here.