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 Arizona  

State policy specifically permits acceleration.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy leaves LEA to determine.

Arizona Education Code 15-821 states that “a child is eligible for admission to kindergarten if the child…reaches the age of five before September 1 of the current school year. The governing board may admit children who have not reached the required age as prescribed by this subsection if it is determined to be in the best interest of the children. Such children must reach the required age by January 1 of the current school year.”

Early entrance to 1st gradeState policy leaves LEA to determine.
According to Arizona Education Code 15-821, “a child is eligible for first grade if the child…reaches the age of six before September 1 of the current school year. The governing board may admit children who have not reached the required age as prescribed by this subsection if it is determined to be in the best interest of the children. For children entering the first grade, such determination shall be based upon one or more consultations with the parent, parents, guardians, the children, the teacher and the school principal. Such children must reach the required age by January 1 of the current school year. For more information about early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, please click here.
Whole-grade acceleration

Arizona state law requires school districts to create a "Scope and Sequence" plan for identifying and serving gifted students. Many of these plans include options for whole grade acceleration. Many districts post their "Scope and Sequence" on their websites.

One example of a whole-grade acceleration program available in Arizona is Paradise Valley Unified School District's Self-Contained Gifted Program, which allows students to work two or more years beyond grade level with intellectual peers.

Early high school graduationState policy permits. Arizona has state-mandated minimum graduation requirements outlined in Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-302.02. Arizona requires students to earn a minimum of 22 credits to graduate from high school, with specific requirements for "completion of subject area course requirements or competency requirements. At the discretion of the local governing board, credits may be awarded for completion of elective subjects…based on completion of subject area course requirements or competency requirements.” This means that students may be able to test out of classes covering material they have already mastered.
Early entrance to collegeState policy (Arizona Revised Statutes 15-1821) states that community college district boards and the state board of regents shall adopt policies that require community colleges/universities under their respective jurisdictions to admit students under age 18 without high school diplomas (or equivalents) as long as they meet the established requirements of courses for which they enroll. Both boards are required to provide all AZ high schools with information that describes the policies, rules, and other information related to enrollment of students under age 18.

Content-based Acceleration

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

State policy specifically permits. Local education agencies (LEA) determine earliest grade/age for dual enrollment. State policy specifically permits awarding high school credit for college courses, and the state education agency, LEA, and family are responsible for paying tuition.

As outlined in Arizona Revised Statutes 15-1821.01, community college district governing boards may authorize district community colleges to offer college courses that may be counted toward both high school and college graduation requirements at the high school during the school day. Students must be juniors or seniors to receive college credit for these courses, but younger students may be allowed to enroll if they demonstrate that they are prepared to benefit from the course.

Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy leaves LEA to determine.
Advanced Placement®Arizona schools offer both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Visit the Arizona Department of Education Advanced Placement page for more information.
Talent Search

There is no in-state Talent Search for Arizona, but gifted students in AZ can participate in regional and national talent searches, including those offered by the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth.

Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

State policy specifically permits proficiency-based promotion and the award of graduation credit for proficiency. LEAs determine methods of demonstrating proficiency and advancement options after proficiency.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

State policy leaves LEA to determine whether content-based acceleration is a component of GT services.

Additional Information

Arizona Department of Education Gifted Website
Arizona Department of Education
Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented

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.