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Acceleration and Retention Information for Registered Families


Acceleration is the practice of placing students at a higher than normal level of instruction to meet their learning needs. It occurs when a teacher provides the student with an advanced curriculum, when a student skips a grade, or when a student takes a specific course at a higher level.

Students can be accelerated by grade, when they are advanced in all areas, or by subject. For example, in the latter case, a student in Grade 6 may be doing math at an advanced level and language arts at his age level.

HCOS supports acceleration as a strategy in the support of gifted students.


HCOS prefers grade promotion (students staying with their age levelled peers, with learning supports) over retaining students for the following reasons:

  • The achievement and adjustment of students who are retained tends to be no better than those of comparable children who are promoted.
  • Repeating a grade does not ensure that children will overcome the areas of deficiency. 
  • Students who repeat the same material without new instructional strategies tend not to attain the same levels of competence as students who are promoted.
  • Retention affects students socially, emotionally and educationally.

Impact on Enrolling 

HCOS recommends that if a family is considering either acceleration or retention, or has done so while registered, upon entering the enrolled program that they connect with the administrator for their region. If you are unsure who your local administrator is please reach out to  Upon enrollment in an online program, previously registered students may be offered an assessment to help determine the appropriate level in which the student should study at.