Accelerated Learning Opportunities


In August 2017, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law the Accelerated Placement Act. (To learn more about the act itself, please click here.) 

This law, which took effect on July 1, 2018, exists primarily to ensure that school districts have in place a quantifiable, multiple-measures process that removes any bias that could lead to discrimination in determining which students are eligible for an accelerated learning opportunity.

The purpose behind the legislation is for school districts to focus more heavily on quantifiable multiple measures as opposed to observations and assumptions made by teachers and administrators. Participation in District 401's accelerated opportunities shall not be conditioned upon race, religion, sex, disability or any factor other than a student's eligibility under the District's multiple-measures criteria.


What Accelerated Opportunities Are Available?


Accelerated opportunities include anything enriched, gifted, honors, Advanced Placement, high school credit or dual credit, as well as accelerated placement of students with respect to subject matter or grade.

In the elementary buildings, there are enrichment opportunities available to students based on their performance on the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), AimswebPlus and the PARCC assessment.

At the high school, there are honors and AP opportunities that are primarily based on teacher recommendation and student performance on the PSAT during their time at the middle school.

With the passage of the Accelerated Placement Act, the District is in the process of expanding opportunities for students across all of our buildings. These opportunities include but are not limited to following.
 

For grades K-2, a new Special will be part of every student's schedule and will expose all students to enriched lessons from our two new curriculum programs: ReadyGEN for English language arts (ELA) and Go Math! for mathematics. This is strictly a learning experience and will not be taken for a grade.

This opportunity took effect in August 2018.

Based on meeting District criteria, students in grades 3-5 will be afforded the opportunity for next grade level exposure to qualifying content areas. For example, a 3rd-grade student may be eligible for the next grade level in ELA but not math, so that student would be with their 3rd-grade teacher for math but would attend a 4th-grade ELA class.

This opportunity took effect in August 2018.

Based on meeting the District criteria, 6th-grade students will be eligible for 7th-grade honors opportunities, and students in 7th and 8th grade will be eligible for honors-level courses and high school credit.

These opportunities are expected to take effect by 2019-20.

The high school will be expanding opportunities for students to take additional Advanced Placement and dual credit courses.

The opportunities are expected to take effect by 2019-20.