This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa (belinblank.org). The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (accelerationinstitute.org), and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in Alabama  

Alabama state policy specifically permits acceleration. See Alabama Administrative Code 290-8-9-.12(6) for more information.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy does not permit.

The code states that a child must be "five years of age on or before September 1 or the date on which school begins in the enrolling district" in order to enroll in his or her local public school kindergarten. However, younger children who previously attended kindergarten in other states "may be admitted to local public kindergarten on the prior approval of the local board of education on a space available basis." Once these children have passed kindergarten, they may go on to first grade, regardless of their age. (Alabama Code, Section 16-28-4(b)).

Early entrance to 1st grade

State policy does not permit unless the student was previously accelerated and transferred into the district.

The code states that any "child who is under six years of age on September 1 or the date on which school begins in the enrolling district shall not be entitled to admission to the first grade in the public elementary schools during that school year" unless the child had transferred from first grade in another state or completed kindergarten in another state "regardless of age." In addition, "[a] child who becomes six years of age on or before February 1 may, on approval of the board of education in authority, be admitted at the beginning of the second semester of that school year to schools in school systems having semiannual promotions of pupils." (Alabama Code, Section 16-28-4(a))

Whole-grade acceleration

State policy permits.

"LEAs must utilize a variety of service delivery options that may include but are not limited to resource room pull-out, consultation, mentorships, advanced classes, and independent study. Gifted students’ need for complexity and accelerated pacing must be accommodated for in the general education program. Accommodations may include strategies such as flexible skills grouping, cluster grouping with differentiation, curriculum compacting, subject and grade acceleration, dual enrollment, and advanced classes. Each LEA must establish and implement a procedure for considering any requests for subject or grade acceleration. The procedures must be approved by the State Department of Education and will be included in the LEA Plan for Gifted." (AAC 290-8-9-.12(6))

Early high school graduationThere is no state policy on early high school graduation. However, the requirements for graduation and information on Alabama's graduation exam are available here: Alabama High School Graduation Requirements
Early entrance to collegeThe University of Alabama accepts some students who have not completed their senior year through a special program.
Students who have exceptionally high grades and high ACT or SAT scores and who have strong endorsements from their high schools and parents may be considered for admission without completing the senior year of high school (from the University of Alabama website).

Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or university

State policy specifically permits for students in grades 10, 11, and 12, and those with exceptions granted by the participating institution upon recommendation of the student's principal and superintendent.

The University of Alabama offers online college classes for high school students, as well as early admission and dual/concurrent enrollmentEarly college initiatives are also in place through the Alabama Community College System. The family pays tuition for dual enrollment in Alabama.

Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy specifically permits dual enrollment in middle and high school. Students are permitted to earn high school credit for dual enrollment while in middle school.
Advanced Placement®In the Alabama Administrative Code (see AAC 290-8-9-.12(6c)), recommended modes of service delivery for 9-12 graders include advanced classes such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate. 
Talent Search

There is no in-state talent search program in Alabama, but gifted students in AL can participate in regional and national talent search programs such as those offered by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center or the Duke University Talent Identification Program.

Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy specifically permits: LEAs determine methods of demonstrating proficiency, but the state outlines several advancement options for LEA consideration after proficiency, including independent study, grade/course advancement, and mentorships. State policy specifically permits students to receive graduation credit for demonstrating proficiency.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

State policy specifically requires content-based acceleration to be a component of GT services.

Additional Information

State department of education: Alabama Department of Education
State Gifted Code: Alabama Department of Education Gifted Code
State gifted association: Alabama Association for Gifted Children

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2012-2013 (a report by the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and the National Association for Gifted Children), Websites, professional literature, and personal communication. The Acceleration Institute has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not warrant its accuracy or fitness of use for any purpose. Users should verify information prior to taking any action. Furthermore, the appearance of selected programs and/or resources does not imply an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only.