When we think about our years in school, we often remember our favorite teachers or the best moments from a particular grade. If you’re thinking about your child skipping a grade, it’s normal to worry that they’ll miss out on something. Every year of school helped shape you in some way.
But even though it’s not that common, skipping a year may be what’s best for your child.
Skipping a grade, or grade acceleration, is an option for students who aren’t being challenged academically. Like many other countries, the American school system groups students into grades based on age rather than development or skill level. So students performing above or below grade level is a common problem.
If grade skipping can feel like a huge decision, we get it! We’re here to help you ease your fears and decide the best course for your child.
Read on to find out what it means to skip a grade, who should skip a grade and what to think about before making your decision. Plus, learn how to start the grade-skipping process.
Skipping a grade: what does it mean and who should do it?
Skipping a grade is a solution for academically-gifted students who feel unchallenged by their current grade level’s curriculum. Many times they’ve already mastered the skills and concepts other students are just beginning to grasp.
Students most often skip only one grade. For example, you may choose for your child to skip first grade and go straight from kindergarten to second. It’s also common for a child to skip second grade, moving from first into third.
This single-year skipping keeps the student from feeling too distanced from their peers. Plus, they’re more challenged by the curriculum without feeling overwhelmed.
If a student is still not academically challenged after skipping a grade, a different alternative needs to be explored.
Students ready to skip a grade will often finish their classroom work quickly, leaving them feeling bored at school. This boredom can sometimes translate into disruptive behavior as they’re waiting for others to catch up. Or even worse, boredom in the classroom can cause a lack of excitement for learning.
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What to consider before skipping a grade
If you feel your child is bored in their current classroom, skipping a grade may be a good choice. But even if your child is advancing ahead of other kids in their class, you may want to think about the following factors before you make the jump.
Motor skill development
In the early years of your child’s education (namely kindergarten, first grade, and second grade), motor skills play a huge role in their day. Students are learning handwriting, drawing, cutting, running, throwing, and catching. And many of these skills are more age-dependent than basic reading and math skills.
It’s best for a grade-skipping student to have the same motor skills as the kids in their new grade. Your child will need to be able to cut out shapes and draw pictures at grade level, as well as go to the bathroom independently and dress themselves. They’ll also need to keep up in physical education classes and after-school sports with their slightly older peers.
Adequate motor skills ensure they don’t fall behind in their new classroom. But equally important — being able to participate in art and outdoor activities with the older kids will help them not feel left out socially.
The emotional and social impact
There are significant social and emotional challenges when trying to make friends with a whole new class. Students who skip a grade may feel ostracized or intimidated trying to befriend their new (and older) classmates. And they may simply miss their old friends.
Developmental differences are starker in younger students, meaning a missed year of social and emotional maturation is more obvious. Your younger child may be less equipped to handle tense social situations or read social cues.
For some kids, this emotional challenge outweighs the academic benefits of skipping a grade. In this case, it may be better to find other ways your child can be challenged in their current grade. Or try seeking out advanced academic opportunities outside of the classroom.
Is skipping a grade bad for kids? Here's what one study found.
While some parents and educators are concerned about the psychological risks of having kids skip a grade, they may not need to worry.
One 35-year-long study monitored more than 1,000 students who had their education accelerated and investigated if it had an impact on their mental and emotional state. They found no relationship between accelerating a child's education and their long-term psychological well-being.
Effect on free time
If your child was easily coasting through school before, the extra homework and studying in their new grade can be shocking.
While it’s totally possible to adjust, it may mean rearranging your family’s schedule so your child has more time to complete their homework and test prep.
For instance, your child might have to cut back on extra-curricular activities or time spent hanging out with friends. For younger ages, this is less of a concern. But in older grade levels, this can be hard and make them feel isolated.
And remember — it’s still important to find balance. Your child needs time to relax, especially with the added stress of skipping a grade. So be careful to not overschedule their day. Try to focus on prioritizing their mental and physical health during this transition. And before long they’ll be not only adjusted, but thriving.
How to start the process for skipping a grade level
While many parents share similar reasons for having their child skip a grade, how the process happens will be unique to your child’s situation. This is because each school district has its own procedures and steps that need to be completed.
Here is how skipping a grade generally works in schools across the US:
1. You send in a written request
Most schools require a written request or form with your child’s name, grade, and information on why they want to skip a particular grade.
2. You meet with professionals
You’ll find yourself speaking with guidance counselors, teachers, or school psychologists — someone who has worked with your child and is aware of their needs. They’ll help compile reports on your child’s academic, social, and emotional states of readiness for skipping a grade.
3. There is a review of your child's academic achievement or test scores
Your child's grades and test scores will likely be reviewed during this process. You can also highlight academic activities they practice in and out of the classroom.
4. Educators meet with your child
Skipping a grade is a big change. Most school districts will want to speak directly with your child to make sure they understand what’s happening and that they’re on board with the plan.
5. Officials evaluate your child’s emotional and social readiness
As discussed above, academics aren’t the only factor to consider when skipping a grade. School officials will want to know that you and a professional have evaluated your child for the emotional and social readiness needed at the higher grade level.
6. You discuss reasons why their current grade is holding them back
School professionals need to know the reasons why your child’s current grade is holding them back. This may include boredom, lack of excitement to learn, or disruptive behavior due to a lack of academic challenge.
7. The school gives their recommendation on skipping a grade
Once all the evaluations and meetings are complete, the school’s professionals will share their recommendations. If they don’t recommend skipping a grade, no worries. Read on for other options that may be a better fit for your child.
When is the best time to skip a grade?
The absolute best time for your child to skip a grade depends on their unique development.
In general, the earlier a child skips a grade, the better. Skipping kindergarten or a grade in elementary school is typically less difficult socially than skipping a grade in middle school or high school.
In terms of the time of year, it’s much easier for the child to skip a grade before a school year begins rather than in the middle of the year. This way they don’t feel lost jumping into the middle of a new class’s curriculum and can naturally start out in a new class without feeling like ‘the new kid’.
Alternatives to skipping a grade level
If the school administrators deny your request, or you decide that skipping a grade is not the best choice, don’t worry! Your child can still get the academic challenges they need elsewhere.
Try out some these alternatives to skipping a grade level:
Especially in later grades, like middle and high school, advanced classes are a great option. These classes have more challenging curriculum taught at a faster pace. You can even look for dual-enrollment programs that allow high schoolers to take college classes for credit.
Gifted programs are educational programs that group together a small number of academically advanced students. This group, taught by a special teacher, learns with a much more rigorous academic curriculum. And individualized attention can make a huge difference in school satisfaction.
Ability grouping is the practice of splitting an entire class, or even a full grade, into groups based on their academic abilities. This is often done based on reading levels so instructors can provide more specific instruction and feedback.
If your child really excels in one or two subjects, subject-matter acceleration can be a great option. With this practice, a student will move to a higher-grade classroom for just specific subjects, such as science or math.
Homeschooling provides an opportunity to uniquely cater each subject to your child’s ability level and interests. It allows you to push hard when your child excels and slow down when they need more help. It also opens up more time to individual pursuits, such as coding or arts.
Want to challenge your child, try this!
Use Prodigy Math's fun online game to help your child master more math skills in their grade and beyond. Here's how it works:
- Get a Prodigy parent account
- Adjust the grade level (optional, for that extra challenge)
- Have them play Prodigy Math
- Follow their progress in your parent dashboard
- Set goals and rewards to inspire more growth
Prepare your child for any challenge with extra help from Prodigy
Whether you decide it’s best for your child to skip a grade or not, you can find the extra support you need with Prodigy’s game-based learning platforms.
Our most popular game, Prodigy Math, uses a powerful algorithm to help kids build key math skills they’re learning at school. They’ll practice curriculum-aligned skills from grades 1 to 8 and have fun in an engaging fantasy world filled with adventure.
And for those that want to practice literacy, our newest addition, Prodigy English, lets your child build reading and literacy skills – all while they have fun building their own world.
And with a parent account, you’ll know exactly where their math and English skills are at and what they need to work on.
What is the easiest grade to skip? ›
Grade acceleration is easiest to implement through skipping pre-kindergarten into kindergarten or skipping kindergarten into first grade directly. By starting the child ahead, many of the problems associated with grade skipping, such as leaving friends behind or knowledge gaps, are avoided.How many grades can you skip? ›
American schools may oppose grade skipping, or limit it to one or at the most two grades, regardless of the student's academic and social situation. There is no research that supports these limits, and the decision to limit grade skipping is mostly based on the intuition of school personnel.How do you write a request to skip a grade? ›
A Written Request
Put your request for skipping a grade in writing to the school principal and keep a copy. A written request is more likely to be carefully addressed than an oral one. Identify the student and the grade level you wish the student to skip. State your reasons for making the request.
Students most often skip only one grade. For example, you may choose for your child to skip first grade and go straight from kindergarten to second. It's also common for a child to skip second grade, moving from first into third. This single-year skipping keeps the student from feeling too distanced from their peers.How rare is it to skip a grade? ›
Research shows that about 1 percent of students grade-skip. Students can skip grades at any level, and they can even skip multiple grades. Grade-skipping has led to many concerns.What is the lowest grade to fail? ›
You'll usually need to receive a letter grade between A and D to pass a class, often the numerical equivalent of 65 percent or higher. Receiving an F—which stands for “fail”—indicates that you did not pass the class.What is the least grade to pass? ›
At most schools, a D is the lowest passing grade. That means students who earn a D or higher receive credit for the course. However, some schools set special policies around D grades.What is the lowest passing grade in school? ›
Grades A–F in the United States
In primary and secondary schools, a D is usually the lowest passing grade. However, there are some schools that consider a C the lowest passing grade, so the general standard is that anything below a 60% or 70% is failing, depending on the grading scale.
There is only one known person to ever finish high school before the age of nine. Michael Kearney holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest person to complete secondary education at the age of six.Should I let my kid skip a grade? ›
Research shows that many gifted students actually do better with older peers. A meta-analysis on grade-skipping by Karen Rogers, a professor of gifted education, reported grade-skipping had positive effects on social skills and maturity.
What grade can you get held back in? ›
In the United States, grade retention can be used in kindergarten through to twelfth grade; however, students in grades seven through twelve are usually only retained in the specific failed subject due to each subject having its own specific classroom rather than staying in one classroom with all subjects taught for ...What are good reasons to skip a grade? ›
- Improved academic performance.
- Greater options for high school course selection.
- Higher rate of college acceptance.
- Greater chance of earning scholarships.
Have an alibi. Tell one of your closest friends that is in the class you're skipping that you're not going to be in class because of some believable reason. Then if the teacher asks, your friend can chime in and let the teacher know why you're absent and the teacher won't become suspicious or keep thinking about it.Can you skip a grade in the beginning of the year? ›
Skipping a grade can take place at any point from early childhood to college. The Acceleration Institute lists several ways a child might skip a whole grade, including: Whole-grade acceleration: Skipping any grade during the course of elementary, middle or high school.Can you skip 11th grade? ›
Although skipping a grade is not a common practice, school administrators may be willing to allow this option for gifted students. You'll need to make sure that you are academically prepared for such a jump. You will also need to consider social ramifications to going up a grade, which do impact your education.What are the cons of skipping a grade? ›
- Trouble Adjusting To a New Academic Rigor. As students advance in grades, their workload is bound to increase. ...
- Social Isolation. ...
- Difficulty Staying at the Top of the Class. ...
- Emotional Unpreparedness. ...
- Prone To Bullying.
Missing multiple classes often means a lower grade. In classes that include attendance or participation in final grades, skipping means missing points. More broadly, students who do not attend class tend to perform worse on exams and assignments.Do grades show how smart you are? ›
Your grades do not define your intellectual abilities. While good grades do look impressive on paper and can yield numerous benefits, they do not accurately represent one's intellectual abilities.Why do high school students skip class? ›
They Feel Unsafe at School
If they feel physically or emotionally unsafe at school, they might avoid going altogether. A teenager might feel physically unsafe in cases of physical assault, bullying, or other forms of harassment, and they might feel emotionally unsafe due to bullying or extreme conflicts with peers.
Is it possible to skip 8th grade and go to 9th grade? Yes, but skipping grades at this time is a terrible idea. It is better to be the top of your class throughout high school in order to keep the most doors open for college.
Is 60% a fail? ›
Is a D Considered Passing? A letter grade of a D is technically considered passing because it not a failure. A D is any percentage between 60-69%, whereas a failure occurs below 60%.Is there such thing as an A ++ grade? ›
For example, an A/A- is numerically (95+91.25)/2=93.125, which is an A slightly lower than 95/A. A frequent complaint is that you "lose 5 points" for a 95=A. But I treat 100 as more like an A++. So the few students who achieved a perfect score in all 7 quizzes deserve 100.Is C grade pass or fail? ›
C - this is a grade that rests right in the middle. C is anywhere between 70% and 79% D - this is still a passing grade, and it's between 59% and 69% F - this is a failing grade.What grades are failed? ›
At most colleges, a final grade below 60% qualifies as a failing grade. Depending on your college's GPA scale, that can mean anything below a 1.0 or 0.7 GPA counts as a failed class.Is 70% a failing grade? ›
The normal grading range is from 55 to 100. The number grades correspond to letter grades as reflected in the chart below. The minimum passing grade is 70 (C). Any grades between 55 and 69 (D and F) are considered failing grades for which unit credit is not earned.Is 75 a fail grade? ›
Grade point scale (4.00–1.00)
|Grade Point Equivalence||Equivalence||Description|
A grade of C or better is required to earn a Passed; a C- or below will earn a Not Passed grade. A grade of C- may satisfy many requirements (e.g., General Education, elective) but a Not Passed grade will not earn any credit or satisfy requirements.What is grade H? ›
H Honors. Signifies outstanding work. No grade points are assigned. S Satisfactory. Signifies acceptable work.What does D stand for in grades? ›
|B||yes||good (regular grade)|
|C||yes||satisfactory (regular grade)|
|D||yes||poor (regular grade)|
|E||yes||failure (regular grade)|
Nola Ochs (née Hill) (November 22, 1911 – December 9, 2016) was an American woman, from Jetmore, Kansas who in 2007, at age 95, graduated from college and was certified by Guinness World Records as the oldest person in the world to become a college graduate, until Shigemi Hirata in 2016. Jetmore, Kansas, U.S.
Who is the oldest graduate? ›
In fact, in 2016, Japan's Shigemi Hirata set a Guinness world record by attaining a bachelor's of art from the Kyoto University of Art and Design at age 96. The prior holder was Nola Ochs, who was 95 when she received her diploma from Fort Hays State University in Kansas in 2007.What are the hardest school years? ›
While each year of high school will have its own stressors, many will say junior year is the most challenging. Junior year can be the hardest for several reasons, but with the right prep and expectations, high school students can make the hardest year just a little easier.Should gifted students skip grades in school? ›
For many gifted children, grade acceleration is beneficial. Students are placed in classes where they are truly challenged and with peers more on their intellectual level. But, for some children, skipping a grade can be harmful to their social and emotional development.What percentage of kids are gifted? ›
While we like to think everyone is special, some people have extraordinary abilities — intellectual, artistic, social, or athletic. Many experts believe only 3 to 5 percent of the population is gifted, though some estimates reach 20 percent.Should I allow my child to fail? ›
Letting your child fail and showing them love in that failure's wake is one of the most affirming things a parent can do. It teaches a child that they're enough, outside of how they score or what they accomplish. And that's a much healthier place to approach “I'll do better next time” from.What grade do kids get held back the most? ›
Who Gets Held Back, and Why? Most retentions occur in elementary school. Historically, roughly 5 percent of students in the first through the third grade repeated their grade, according to Child Trends.Should I hold my ADHD child back in school? ›
Repeating a grade, or grade retention, is rarely a good choice for a child who struggles academically, behaviorally, or socially. Repeating a grade often does little to advance a student's skill level in any area.Is it OK to repeat a grade? ›
Ideally, no. Repeating a grade―also known as "grade retention" ―has not been shown to help children learn. Children won't outgrow learning and attention issues by repeating a grade. In fact, repeating a grade may contribute to long-term issues with low self-esteem, as well as emotional or social difficulties.Do colleges care if you repeated a grade? ›
For the most part, colleges don't mind if you repeat a grade or have to take a year off in high school, but the answer could depend on the colleges you're interested in. For more competitive colleges, the admissions team is going to be stricter about who they let attend their school and may have different standards.How do you avoid failing a grade? ›
- Adjust your study habits. It could be possible that you are studying, but it's just not effective. ...
- Ask for help. There's no shame in asking for help. ...
- Stop procrastinating. ...
- Turn in missing work. ...
- Talk to your teacher. ...
- Request extra credit. ...
- Consider choosing a “pass/fail” grading. ...
- Don't give up.
What is grade acceleration for gifted students? ›
Acceleration is the practice of offering gifted students opportunities for advancement in learning. Three common methods of acceleration for gifted students are: grade skipping, subject acceleration, and curriculum compacting.How do you skip a class without being absent? ›
- Look antsy and say you have "bathroom problems."
- If you're female, say you are having a bad period or "female problems."
- Look upset and ask if you can talk to the school counselor.
- Deliberately leave a bag or other item in another room.
Tell your parents that the teacher won't be in that day.
Tell your parents that there's no homework assignment or new lesson for that class. Let your folks know that it would be better for you to stay at home and study previous lessons from earlier classes. Don't do this if your parents know your teacher personally.
One way to avoid having the school tell your parents that you skipped is to turn in a note for an excused absence a few days before you skip. Write the note in good handwriting and sign it with your parent's name. Turning in an excuse note before you skip helps you avoid detection.How many kids skip a grade each year? ›
Research shows that about 1 percent of students grade-skip. Students can skip grades at any level, and they can even skip multiple grades. Grade-skipping has led to many concerns.Does it matter what grade you get in first year? ›
The first year of university does count
But even if you go to a uni where your grades in first year don't technically count towards your final degree, this doesn't mean you can spend the year messing about and putting zero effort in.
Can you skip a grade if you got held back? This does and can happen. Though it is rare. A student might be held back for a number of different reasons.Is it good to skip a grade? ›
For many gifted children, grade acceleration is beneficial. Students are placed in classes where they are truly challenged and with peers more on their intellectual level. But, for some children, skipping a grade can be harmful to their social and emotional development.What grade should a 5 year old be in? ›
Children begin elementary school with kindergarten (grade K) around age 5.Is it OK to skip class to sleep? ›
Don't sleep through a class, unless your health and medical well being depends on the extra hour or two or rest you'll get. It's just not worth the time you'll spend catching up on missed lectures, or worse, trying to study what was covered without notes or a recorded video.
Is it okay to skip class for mental health? ›
4 Times You May Want To Skip Class
If you need a mental health day, you should take it. Sick days are not just about physical well being, but mental and emotional as well.
Skipping class in college is fine on occasion, but if it turns into a regular habit, your GPA will likely suffer, which is a waste of your time and money. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of skipping class on any given day, and generally speaking, you should attend.