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Accelerated Placement Act

Public Act 100-0421

The mission of Morrison Community Unit School District #6 is to “provide challenging and engaging educational experiences to equip students with the critical skills that promote the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth needed to become highly successful and productive citizens”. The board of education believes that all students across the achievement spectrum should be challenged and supported to develop their potential. Subsequently, the accelerated program has been developed to meet the needs of students who need a higher level of instruction. This document will describe the types of acceleration as well as the process the district will use to evaluate students for possible accelerated placement.

Definition:

Accelerated placement is the placement of a student at the instructional level that best matches that student’s needs by allowing access to a curriculum that is usually reserved for children who are older or in higher grades than the student. Accelerated placement options must include, but need not be limited to, early entrance to kindergarten and first grade, individual subject acceleration, and whole-grade acceleration. Accelerated placement is not limited to those students who have been identified as gifted and talented, but rather is open to all students who demonstrate high ability and who may benefit from accelerated placement. Eligibility for accelerated placement shall also be open to all students regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, English language proficiency, or socioeconomic status.1

Early Entrance to school: The main process of early entrance to school is to start kindergarten at a younger age; however, in some cases, it may be possible to skip kindergarten altogether and begin in first grade.

  • Early Entrance to Kindergarten is the admission of a student to kindergarten for those children whose fifth birthday falls between September 2 and October 31, as documented by a certified copy of the birth certificate. The child demonstrates attention, gross and fine motor skills, cooperative play, and expressive and receptive language skills in the exceptional range.
  • Early Entrance to First Grade is the admission of a student to first grade whose sixth birthday falls between September 2 and December 31, as documented by a certified copy of the birth certificate. Students who are younger than six upon starting first grade but were admitted early to kindergarten do not need to be reevaluated prior to admission to first grade.

Whole-grade acceleration (grade skipping).

Whole grade acceleration is the practice of assigning a student to a higher grade level than is typical given the student’s age on a full-time basis for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities. Examples include:

  • A student who has completed first grade is placed in a third-grade classroom (rather than a second-grade classroom) on a full-time basis at the beginning of the next school year.
  • A fifth-grade student completes the fall semester and is placed in the sixth grade at the start of the second semester of the same school year. 2

Individual subject acceleration

Individual subject acceleration is the practice of assigning a student to specific content at a higher instructional level than is typical given the student’s grade for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities in one or more subject areas. Examples include:

  • Eighth-grade students beginning taught Algebra I by a high school math teacher
  • Fifth-grade students going to the junior high school for reading acceleration
  • High School students enrolled in a Dual Credit class with SVCC or MIT
  • High School students taking an Advanced Placement Class

Acceleration requires high academic ability. Standardized test scores and teacher recommendations can lead to placement in an accelerated program. However, motivation and social-emotional maturity will be important factors to consider in the retention of such placement. Acceleration may not be appropriate for students with the following characteristics:

  • Is adequately challenged by the curriculum at his/her grade level
  • Lacks motivation
  • Would be significantly less emotionally mature than typical students at the grade level to which he or she would be accelerated
  • Has an older sibling in the same grade level to which the student may be accelerated

Referral Process

Any student in the district may be referred to the accelerated program by a teacher, administrator, counselor, school psychologist, or a parent or legal guardian. The principal (or designee) of each school shall ensure that all staff is aware of the procedures for referring students for evaluation purposes.

Forms for early entrance into Kindergarten or First Grade

(Please print and give to the principal)

Early Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade Parent Request Form

Parent Questionnaire for Early Entrance

Pre-School Teacher Questionnaire

Forms for academic acceleration (Please print and give to the principal)

Academic Screening Permission

Academic Acceleration Referral Form

Placement Measures

Once a student has been identified, the following appropriate placement measures will be used to determine if placement in an accelerated program is warranted:

Standardized Testing and Reporting System: STAR Assessments are short tests in math and reading that provide teachers with learning data.

Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning: DIAL - 4 is designed for preschool and kindergarten testing motor, language, and conceptual skills, as well as self-help and social development.

Illinois Assessment of readiness for Grades 3 - 8: is a state-mandated test for students covering literacy and mathematics.

PSAT/SAT: a test administered to 9,10, or 11th-grade students used to measure college readiness.

ACCESS: an individual and group-administered assessment designed to measure academic English proficiency relative to state learning standards.

Parent/Guardian consent: parents will be asked to complete a questionnaire and consent form.

Teacher Recommendation: may be based on achievement on unit assessments, semester exams, performance pieces, or other relevant evaluations. In some cases, a checklist will be used.

Standards-Based report card: used in grades k - 5 measures the mastery of learning targets.

Interview: In some cases, a student may need to be interviewed by a qualified staff member to judge the willingness and maturity of the student to be placed in an accelerated option.

The above criteria will be evaluated by a Student Support Team consisting of the building principal, classroom teacher, specialized teacher, and school counselor or psychologist.

Once the student is placed in an accelerated program, reviews will be conducted occasionally to ensure the child is successful in the placement. If the child is unable to meet the standards, exhibits a great deal of anxiety or frustration, or cannot keep up with the pace or demands of the class, the parent will be notified and a more appropriate placement will be determined.

References;

  1. https://www.iagcgifted.org/resources/Documents/advocacy/Illinois%20Model%20Acceleration%20Policy.pdf
  2. https://www.nagc.org/sites/default/files/key%20reports/Developing%20Academic%20%20%20Acceleration_10-23-18.pdf