State Policies in Iowa  

Iowa does not have a state policy on acceleration. Local education agencies (LEAs) determine whether and to what extent acceleration is permitted.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergartenState policy does not permit.
Students in Iowa may enter kindergarten if they turn five years old before September 15 of the year they wish to enter kindergarten. See Iowa Code 282.3 Admission and exclusion of pupils.
Early entrance to 1st gradeState policy permits.
Children must be six years of age on or before the fifteenth of September of the current school year. However, younger children may be admitted to first grade at any time before December 31 if they: a. attended school the year before or b. have demonstrated, based on approved evaluations, that they are capable of and would benefit from first-grade work.
See Iowa Code 282.
Whole-grade accelerationNo state policy; up to LEA to determine.
Early high school graduationNo state policy; up to LEA to determine.
Early entrance to collegeNo state policy; see the NAASE program at the University of Iowa.

Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or universityState policy permits.
Available for all students in grades 11 & 12; available for identified gifted in grades 9 & 10.
State policy permits that high school credit can be awarded for college courses.
LEAs pay tuition for dual enrollment.

Iowa Code 282.26 High School Students Attending Advanced Courses
Senior Year Plus page.
Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy leaves LEA to decide.

There is no state policy as to whether students receive high school credit toward graduation; up to LEA to determine.
Advanced Placement®State code compels all districts to make AP courses available to students (Senior Year Plus statute, Iowa Code 261E.4).
The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy provides access to AP courses for all accredited Iowa high schools at no cost to students or schools. Provides every accredited Iowa high school access to AP courses at no cost to students or schools.
For more information about Advanced Placement classes, please see the College Board's website.
Specific information about AP in Iowa and other accelerative options for high school students is available in Senior Year Plus: Guide for Educators and Educational Administrators.
Talent SearchThe Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search is an above-level testing program for students in grades 4-9 who score highly on grade-level tests.

The Office of Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted (OPPTAG) is also involved in Iowa's Talent Search and offers programs for gifted students.

Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy leaves LEAS to determine promotion by proficiency.
LEAs determine method of demonstrating proficiency, advancement options after proficiency; and whether students receives credit toward graduation for proficiency.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

Typically left to LEAs to determine. If you know of state-level code, please e-mail us.

Additional Information

State of the States in Gifted Education 2008-2009 (NAGC & CSDPG, 2009)
State gifted legislation and code
State department of education: Iowa Department of Education
State gifted association: Iowa Talented and Gifted Association

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2008-2009 (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. IRPA 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.