2421 Policy – Promotion/Retention

Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that the rate of physical, social, emotional and academic growth will vary among individual students. Since each student grows at their own rate, these individual growth characteristics will be recognized in classroom programming.


After a student has successfully completed a year of study at a specific grade level, they will be promoted to the next grade. Retention at the same grade may be beneficial to the student when they are not demonstrating minimum competency in basic skill subjects in relation to ability and grade level. Retention should not be considered, except in these instances where there is a strong likelihood that the student will benefit with minimum social and emotional disruption.


The superintendent will establish procedures which provide that parents/guardians will be informed at least one (1) quarter in advance of any retention decision on the part of the school. The procedures may include an exception to this timeline for third grade students subject to the grade placement requirements in Policy 2107, Comprehensive Early Literacy Plan.



Approved By: Greg Baker
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 01/09/14
Adopted/Revised: 01/09/14
Updated: 09/28/22
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved
Cross References: Content

Policy 2107 Comprehensive Early Literacy Plan

Management Resources: Content

Policy News October 2015

Policy News December 2011