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 ( 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 (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in Kentucky  

Kentucky's state policy specifically permits acceleration.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy specifically permits early entrance to kindergarten. The state has posted guidelines regarding early entrance decisions.

Currently, KRS 158.030 states that any child who will be 5 years old on or before October 1 may enroll in kindergarten, "and may advance through the primary program without regard to age." Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, students must be 5 on or before August 1 to enroll in kindergarten. 

Early entrance to 1st gradeKentucky mandates school attendance beginning at age 6. KRS 158.030 states that any child who will be 6 years old on or before October 1 (August 1 effective in 2017) shall enroll in the primary school program (specified in KRS 158.031). Each district is expected to have a policy through which parents/guardians can petition for early entrance to the primary school program, which includes kindergarten and first grade.
Whole-grade accelerationState policy permits. Schools districts may choose to accelerate students if they determine that it is in the best interest of the student.

KRS 158.031(1) states that students must complete the primary school program (from beginning of enrollment in school through the end of third grade) before they may enter fourth grade. However, KRS 158.031(6) states that "A school district may advance a student through the primary program when it is determined that it is in the best educational interest of the student. A student who is at least five (5) years of age, but less than six (6) years of age, and is advanced in the primary program may be classified as other than a kindergarten student…if the student is determined to have acquired the academic and social skills taught in kindergarten as determined by local board policy in accordance with the process established by Kentucky Board of Education administrative regulation."

Early high school graduation

Districts may submit a waiver for students who wish to graduate early. These students have to meet certain end-of-course assessment criteria. The Kentucky Department of Education website includes information on early graduation and the minimum high school graduation requirements.

Early entrance to collegeWestern Kentucky University offers an early entrance to college program at the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science. Students spend their junior and senior years of high school living and studying on the Western Kentucky University campus, earning up to 60 college credit hours.

Content-based Acceleration

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

State policy specifically permits dual enrollment in high school and college. Each LEA determines the earliest grade/age allowed to dual enroll, and the state specifically allows students to receive high school credit for college courses. The Kentucky Department of Education website offers information on dual credit and dual enrollment.

Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

State policy specifically permits dual enrollment in middle and high school, and allows students to receive high school credit for courses taken while in middle school.
Advanced Placement®Advanced Placement participation in Kentucky has increased over the past four years. More information about AP in Kentucky is available on the Kentucky Department of Education Advanced Placement page.
Talent Search

There is no in-state talent search program in Kentucky, but gifted students in KY 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 proficiency-based promotion. Proficiency is demonstrated through end-of-course assessments, and advancement options after proficiency include grade or course advancement. State policy specifically permits students to receive graduation credit for demonstrating 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

Kentucky Department of Education Gifted Website
Kentucky Department of Education
Kentucky Association for Gifted Education

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.