Promotion Policy

New Bedford Public Schools Elementary Promotion Policy

The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks set forth the strict guidelines, curriculum objectives and standards

for each grade level, therefore, the New Bedford Public Schools has set high expectations at each grade level for all students. Every teacher, administrator, parent and other adult involved in the lives of our students shares in the responsibility to ensure that all students meet these expectations.

This policy:

  • further defines the expectations we hold for all students and the support strategies we need to employ to ensure their success.
  • ensures promotions are earned and based on academic achievement.
  • diminishes grade retentions to the greatest extent possible.
  • ensures students will enter classrooms with the skill and knowledge necessary to do grade-level work.
  • ensures students are prepared to pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessments (MCAS).
  • recognizes that promotion decisions for Special Education students shall be based on each student’s progress toward attainment of measurable annual goals and objectives as specified in his/her Inpidual Educational Plan (IEP).
  • recognizes that teachers will recommend each student for promotion based upon the criteria outlined in this policy and the teacher’s professional assessment that the student’s classroom performance indicates the ability to succeed at the next grade level. The intent is for all students to have the academic skills and habits to be successful.


Elementary School Promotion Requirements

Students must fulfill several requirements to be promoted to the next grade. Students must:

  • in Kindergarten through Grade 5, consistently meet grade level standards to exhibit growth in the following content areas:
    • Reading
    • Language Arts
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Social Studies
  • attain passing scores on the New Bedford Public School’s performance indicators, which are used to evaluate overall school performance. Assessments include, but are not limited to:
    • DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) in Grades K-5
    • ELA Benchmarks in Grade K-5
    • Mathematics Benchmarks in Grades K-5

maintain a 95% attendance requirement (172 out of 181 school days) for the school year to meet the federal mandate put forth by No child Left Behind (NCLB) and the district’s attendance goal.

o The principal will retain full authority to determine, for each student, the number of days that count toward the 172 minimum requirement;

o Excused absences include student illness, medical appointment, death of an immediate family member, observance of a religious holiday and court appearance,

Grade Level Promotion Requirements


DRA Promotion Requirements

Determining Proficiency

An at-risk student must be able to score within the following DRA (May/June) benchmark levels for promotion to the following grade:

Change in Grade Placement During a School Year


Time of Year

DRA Benchmark Level







Grade 1






Grade 2






Grade 3






Grade 4



Grade 5




Throughout the school year, a recommendation may be made by a building team to the principal to change the grade level placement of a student. In making such a recommendation, consideration will be given to the student’s age, maturity, attendance, effort, and the student’s academic potential. The principal will notify the superintendent or his/her designee of the team’s decision.

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