Accelerated Placement Program Procedures
Regulations - State of Illinois
The Accelerated Placement Program (APP) places qualified students in an educational setting that includes curriculum usually reserved for students who are older or in higher grades than the student. 105ILCS 5/14A. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure the Accelerated Placement Program processes and procedures followed by Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 address the following components:
- Annual Notification
- Referral Process
- Evaluation Process
- Eligibility Determination
Accelerated Placement Process
Accelerated placement is the placement of a student in an educational setting with curriculum that is usually reserved for students who are older or in higher grades than the student. Acceleration placement includes, but may not be limited to: accelerating a student in a single subject and grade acceleration.
Single subject acceleration is the practice of assigning a student to a higher subject level than is typical, given the student’s age, for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities in one or more subject areas. It may be accomplished by either: a.) physically moving the student to a higher level class for instruction; or b.) using higher level curricular or study materials in the student’s current classroom. The appropriate type of acceleration shall be determined by the school district.
Grade acceleration is the practice of assigning a student to a higher grade level than is typical, given the student’s age, for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities in all subject areas. Commonly referred to as skipping a grade, grade acceleration may be done at the beginning of or during the school term.
The Assistant Superintendent of Student Services shall notify parents, guardians, students, and school personnel about the APP. The notification shall appear in the student handbook and on all District and School websites and include information on the process for referring students for possible evaluation for accelerated placement. The notification shall appear in multiple languages using varied communication methods.
Any student suspected of possessing the aptitude and/or skills and/or to succeed in a curriculum designed for students who are in higher grade levels can be referred for consideration of accelerated placement by the Parent, Guardian, or Teacher of the student.
Referrals must be in writing and include the following:
- Rationale for acceleration
- Previous grade reports
- Recommendation from previous school administration if requesting grade-level acceleration
- Recommendation letter from the student’s most recent teacher (subject teacher if desiring single subject acceleration)
- Recommendation letter from previous years’ subject teacher if the student is new to District 215 or entering the first semester of their Freshman year and single subject acceleration is desired.
Referrals must be made no later than August 30th during the first semester of the school year or January 15th during the second semester of the school year. Referrals made for students seeking grade-level acceleration must be made by May 1st of the students’ current academic year. All Referrals shall be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services prior to the aforementioned deadline. Within 5 school days of receiving a referral, the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services shall determine whether an evaluation for accelerated placement is warranted. Prior to making an evaluation determination, the Assistant Superintendent shall review all relevant data for the student including but not limited to screening data, standardized test data, longitudinal course performance, teacher interviews, anecdotal data, observations of the student, behavioral and social-emotional competencies.
An Evaluation Team consisting of appropriate content-area teachers, a School Psychologist, and the Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services shall convene to collect and review data from multiple indicators. Data collected shall include but not be limited to: an assessment of the student’s current academic potential as measured on the District approved final exam from the course or courses deemed necessary, social-emotional and/or behavioral screeners, and analysis of current course performance. The Evaluation Team shall conduct a review of the students’ educational records and combine data from all sources into a comprehensive report which includes the following:
- Review of the rationale for the accelerated placement referral
- List of all data sources used
- Recommendation on the acceleration of the student
Parental consent for evaluation must be obtained in writing prior to data collection. The evaluation shall be completed within 7 school days following the date of receipt of written consent from the Parent/Guardian.
The Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services along with members of the Evaluation Team shall convene a meeting with the parent/guardian to review the evaluation findings and determine student eligibility for accelerated placement. The final eligibility determination/report shall be provided to the parent/guardian.
- If the student is eligible for the Accelerated Placement Program, a written plan detailing the type of acceleration and strategies that promote student success will be created by members of the Accelerated Placement Evaluation Team. All student participants in the Accelerated Placement Program shall be encouraged to meet weekly with their School Counselor to review current performance and support strategies.
- If the student is not found eligible for acceleration, the parent/guardian shall receive written notification of the determination and their right to appeal the eligibility determination.
All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services within 5 calendar days of the eligibility determination. The Assistant Superintendent shall review the determination and provide the parent/guardian with written notice of the final determination of eligibility within 5 calendar days from the date of the appeal request.
The decision of the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services is final.