Accelerated Learning Opportunities


Whether it's enrichment classes for all students in grades K-2, high school-level classes for middle school students or Advanced Placement and dual-credit courses for high school students, District 401 offers an extensive array of accelerated learning opportunities. 

Information about these opportunities can be found by scrolling down this page or by clicking the following links:

Opportunities for Grades K-2
Opportunities for Grades 3-5
Opportunities for Grades 6-8
Opportunities for Grades 9-12

In addition, details about AP and dual-credit opportunities for Elmwood Park High School students are available here:

Advanced Placement at EPHS
Dual Credit at EPHS

Do you have questions about D401's accelerated learning opportunities? If so, please contact the District's Director for Curriculum & Instruction, Dr. Kimberly Ontiveros.


A Multiple-Measures Approach


The Accelerated Placement Act, an Illinois law that 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 (if in middle school) or dual credit (if in high school), as well as accelerated placement of students with respect to subject matter or grade.

In District 401, enrichment opportunities are available to students based on their performance on the following assessments:

► Grade 2 students | Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)
► Grade 2-8 students | AimswebPlus (AW+)
► Grade 3-8 students | Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)
► Grade 3-12 students | Curricular-Based Measurements
► Grade 8-10 students | PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10

These opportunities include but are not limited to the ones listed in the sections below.


Opportunities for Grades K-2


Enrichment is part of every student's schedule in kindergarten through 2nd grade. This comes in the form of a weekly "specials" class. (Other specials are art, music, physical education and technology, which are also given once a week.)

In their enrichment classes, students receive enriched lessons from the ReadyGEN curriculum for English language arts (ELA), the Go Math! curriculum for mathematics and the STEMscopes curriculum for science.

The K-2 special is strictly a learning experience and is not taken for a grade.


Opportunities for Grades 3-5


Based on meeting District criteria, students in grades 3-5 are 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 English language arts but not math, so that student would attend a 4th-grade ELA class but would remain with their 3rd-grade teacher for math.

Each elementary school has its own enrichment teacher, who provides instruction to eligible 3rd, 4th and 5th graders via the ReadyGEN curriculum for English language arts (ELA), the Go Math! curriculum for mathematics and the STEMscopes curriculum for science.


Opportunities for Grades 6-8


Accelerated English language arts and mathematics courses are available for 6th- and 7th-grade students who qualify based on predetermined criteria relating to current academic achievement. Criteria include common assessments, standardized assessments, trimester grades, student behaviors and teacher recommendations.

In 8th grade, Elm students who meet District criteria may take accelerated courses for high school credit. These courses are English 1 Honors, Core-Plus Mathematics I and Biology I Honors. For more information, visit Classes for High School Credit and Core-Plus Mathematics.

In addition, middle school students are part of the District's College & Career Pathways, a new initiative focused on better aligning middle and high school curricula with the post-secondary pursuits of our students.

With the help of aligned programs of study and pathway exploration, students will graduate with well-developed post-secondary plans, stronger experiential learning opportunities and a diverse set of skills suited for academic and career success.


Opportunities for Grades 9-12


The high school has expanded the opportunities for students to take additional Advanced Placement and dual-credit courses. Both options allow EPHS students to earn college credit. More than 20 AP courses are now offered at EPHS, and students may take dual-credit classes from Triton College and Benedictine University.

Recommended students may also take the accelerated Core-Plus Mathematics program.

For more information about these options, visit Advanced Placement at EPHS, Dual Credit at EPHS and Core-Plus Mathematics.

In addition, high school students are part of the District's College & Career Pathways, a new initiative focused on better aligning middle and high school curricula with the post-secondary pursuits of our students.

With the help of aligned programs of study and pathway exploration, students will graduate with well-developed post-secondary plans, stronger experiential learning opportunities and a diverse set of skills suited for academic and career success.


To Learn More


Accelerated learning opportunities are overseen by the District's Department for Curriculum & Instruction, which is led by Dr. Kimberly Ontiveros.

If you have questions or would like more information about accelerated opportunities for your child, please contact at Dr. Ontiveros at this email address.