Placement and Promotion (Secondary Grading and Reporting)

Information about access to courses and guidelines for promotion for students in grades 7-12.

All students routinely select and are placed in courses provided they have earned a passing grade in any prerequisite course. Advanced and/or accelerated courses are available for students in grades 7-12 through an open enrollment process. Specific passing grades earned in prerequisite courses may not be used to exclude students from classes.

Teachers and counselors will provide guidance in the selection of appropriate courses; however, a student and his or her parents or guardians have the right to select any course for which the student has satisfied the prerequisite. Please note: seventh grade Algebra 1 Honors does have specific requirements.

When a student transfers to a Fairfax County school, the principal, the principal’s designee, or a school counselor evaluates the transcript and establishes credits and grades according to FCPS standards.


See current versions of Regulation 2410, Promotion and Retention of Students in Grades K-12 and Regulation 2408, Earning High School Credits.

Additional Middle School Promotion Information

To qualify for promotion, seventh and eighth grade middle school students must demonstrate knowledge and competency based upon identified standards of achievement in the four core areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. To guarantee promotion, students must demonstrate proficiency in the foundational knowledge and skills in each of the four core subject areas and earn a passing final grade based on grade level expectations.

Students who earn an “F” as a final grade in one or two core subjects are retained, at the discretion of the principal, and encouraged to participate in an intervention program. Based upon the extent to which a student demonstrates knowledge and competency of identified standards of achievement in an intervention program, he/she is promoted or retained. Students who are promoted may receive continued intervention throughout the following school year. If students do not participate in an intervention program, they are retained at the discretion of the principal.

Students who earn an “F” in three or four core courses are retained at the discretion of the principal.

Specific information for the Promotion of Middle School ELs, ELP Levels 1-5 enrolled in ESOL Courses

ELs (English Learners), ELP Level 1-5, enrolled in general education courses (e.g., Science 7, English 8, Algebra 1, etc.) should receive valid and reliable instructional and assessment accommodations that increase access to content and support their ability to articulate what they know, understand, and can do.

Principals will maintain the responsibility for grade-level placement after consultation with appropriate staff members and parents/guardians. Decisions will be made after considering all relevant information about the student, including the IEP of a student receiving special education services. Placement decisions, which are contested by the parents/guardians, may be appealed in accordance with the complaint procedures outlined in the current version of Regulation 2601, Student Rights and Responsibilities Booklet.

If it appears that a student will require another year at the present grade placement, parents/guardians should be informed of the student’s specific academic needs no later than the end of the third grading period or as soon as retention appears to be a possibility. At this time, the school will explain the specific academic needs of the student in an effort to collaborate with the family to improve student achievement. Behavioral issues may be included in the discussion.