Academic Acceleration

All children learn and experience success given time and opportunity, but the degree to which academic content standards are met and the time it takes to reach these standards will vary from student to student. All students, including advanced learners, should be challenged and supported to reach their full potential. For many advanced learners, this can best be achieved by affording them access to curricula, learning environments, and instructional interventions more commonly provided to older peers.

Menlo Park Academy recognizes that gifted students can benefit from acceleration options, either whole grade or by subject.  Because our core program is already advanced, these needs are not seen as often as may otherwise be necessary in a school that provides a program with a more traditional pace and curriculum.  Students begin at a base that is one grade level above the standard material in both math and language arts.

Our school provides opportunities for whole grade acceleration for students who will learn best by being placed in another grade.  For subject acceleration, students are assessed each year in both math and reading and may be recommended for acceleration in one or both of these subjects.  

The Menlo Park Academy acceleration policy describes the process that is used for evaluating students for possible accelerated placement. This includes identifying students who could benefit from:

  • Early admission to kindergarten
  • Being accelerated in one or more individual subject areas
  • Being promoted to a higher grade level than their same-age peers

Menlo Park Academy also offers a credit flexibility plan that allows our middle school students to earn high school credits in several subjects, including mathematics.  See our credit flexibility policy and plan on the next tab for more details on our current offerings.

Ohio's Credit Flex Plan*

Ohio’s “Credit Flex” plan shifts focus from evaluating student learning based on “seat time” to assessing students’ demonstrated academic and skill level or performance. The plan does not eliminate Carnegie units or “seat time” requirements altogether. Rather, it retains seat time as one option and expands the number of options for earning credit by adding demonstration of subject area competency and structures that support it irrespective of any time requirements.

Credit Flex …

  • Offers learning opportunities not found in the one-size-fits-all factory process model.
  • Focuses on performance, not counting seats and hours.
  • Acknowledges and addresses students’ differing learning styles, paces and interests.
  • Offers students opportunities to demonstrate creativity, explore academic and career interests, and practice critical thinking.
  • Recognizes that measures of engagement and ownership are as important for achievement as measures of attendance and access.

These options fit perfectly within Menlo Park Academy's educational model.  We have a board-approved credit flexibility policy, and the School Director creates a Credit Flex Course Guide each school year.

*  Taken from "New Emphasis on Learning - Ohio's Credit Flexibility Plan Shifts the Focus from "Seat Time" to Performance".  To read the full article, and other materials generated by the Ohio Credit Flexibility Design Team, click here to visit Ohio Department of Education's website.

Related Resources

CreditFlex 8.4 ExSummary.pdf
Credit Flex Course Guide-2011-12.docx

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