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Accelerated Program 

and 

Gifted Education

Program Changes for 2018-19

Here is a copy of the letter that was sent to all parents summarizing the significant changes to our programs for 2018-19

Program Review 

CLICK HERE For the parent letter explaining the review process that we just completed. We have provided a link to the new Accelerated Placement Act (Public Act 100-0421) to the left.  

Grade K-2 Acceleration Model

In grades K-2 acceleration should be provided in the regular education classroom. Acceleration should be looked at as a form of differentiation. Often times the acceleration can be managed within the context of typical guided reading and guided math processes. MAP scores and running record levels should be used to both determine the need for acceleration and to determine the skills to target. Teachers should consider one of these options when developing a plan that requires acceleration beyond what typically occurs in the classroom.

  1. Can the student be moved to another grade level for instruction in the subject in question?
  2. Can additional resources and course content be shifted from another grade level to support the student?
  3. Can instructional software be used to supplement and extend the instruction in the classroom?

It should be noted that software programs alone to do not constitute an instructional program and all students need instruction at their instructional level from the classroom teacher. 

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Grade 3-4 Subject Area Acceleration Model

Identified students will be pulled from the general education classroom for 50 minutes every other day for accelerated math or language arts. In the event that a student is identified to be accelerated in both subjects they would be pulled for 50 minutes every day.

The expectation in terms of scheduling is that this 50 minute session will coincide with Response to Intervention (RtI) and small group differentiated instruction in the general education classrooms. 

The placement decisions are for one year and students are regrouped based on new data at the end of the academic year.

 Identification Process grades 3-4:

We will select a group of no more than fifteen students for each grade level at Shabbona and LeVasseur Schools and no more than 18 student at Alan Shepard School using the following criteria:

  1. Weighted Average MAP score of 75% or higher. The weighting percentages from oldest to most recent test are (16%, 24%, 28%, 32%). This cut score is the average of the 75th percentile RIT score for each of the 4 test windows.
  2. All 3’s or higher for achievement in the subject area for the previous three terms.
  3. Subject area teacher recommendation.
    1. Teachers should consider this question when considering recommending a student for acceleration,

    Has the student shown both the ability and task commitment to work at an accelerated pace (potentially a full grade level beyond peers)?

    4.Each elementary school shall have separate groups for 3rd and 4th grade. 

    5. In the event that we cannot take every student who meets this criteria, we will select the students with the highest MAP percentile weighted averages. 

Priority in placement is given to students that were in the program the previous academic year. Returning students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Weighted Average MAP score of 75% or higher.
  2. All 3’s or higher for achievement in the subject area for the previous three terms.
  3. Subject area teacher recommendation. 

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Grade 5-8 Subject Area Acceleration Model

Identified students are grouped together for all instruction in math and/or language arts. There will be two sections (approximately 50 students) at each grade level in math and language arts. A student can be in one and/or both of these subjects.

The placement decisions are for one year and students are regrouped based on new data at the end of the academic year.

Identification Criteria Areas:

The research recommends using multiple data points when determining placement. With this in mind we use the following data sources:

  1. The weighted average of the Measurement of Academic Progress (MAP) scores from the previous four tests.
  2. Subject area achievement grades.
  3. Subject area teacher recommendation.

Identification Process grades 5-8:

Priority is given to students who meet the following criteria:

  1. Weighted Average MAP score of 80% or higher. The weighting percentages from oldest to most recent test are (16%, 24%, 28%, 32%). This cut score is the average of the 80th percentile RIT score for each of the 4 test windows.
  2. All 3’s or higher for achievement in the subject area for the previous three terms.
  3. Subject area teacher recommendation. Teachers should consider this question when considering recommending a student for acceleration: Has the student shown both the ability and task commitment to work at an accelerated pace (potentially a full grade level beyond peers)?

In the event that we cannot take every student who meets this criteria, we will select the students with the highest MAP percentile averages. Class size will be determined based on grade level enrollment for each cohort to allow for consistency across the grade level. 

Priority in placement is given to students that were in the program the previous academic year. Returning students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Weighted Average MAP score of 75% or higher.
  2. All 3’s or higher for achievement in the subject area for the previous three terms.
  3. Subject area teacher recommendation. 

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Early Entrance to Kindergarten & First Grade

District 53 follows Illinois School Code, which specifies that to enter kindergarten, children must be five years of age by September 1 of their kindergarten year and six years of age by September 1 of their first-grade year. However, the Accelerated Placement Act of 2017(Public Act 100-0421) requires that we have a process that allows for early entrance into Kindergarten and First Grade for students that demonstrate readiness.

District 53 has specific criteria and procedures for considering parent requests for early entrance. The decision for a child to enter school early can have a profound effect on his or her academic and social performance for the remainder of the child’s school career. It is a decision that needs to be taken very seriously.

Because District 53 takes the decision for a child to enter school early very seriously, the criteria for early entry are very rigorous. The goal is to ensure that children are not frustrated by the challenges of the instructional programs and the effect that early placement might have.

Criteria for Eligibility:

Kindergarten

  • The child’s fifth birthday falls between September 2 and October 31, as documented by a certified copy of the birth certificate.
  • The child demonstrates age appropriate social and emotional development as determined by the Brigance Inventory of Early Development III.
  • The child attains a score of 130 or above on an intelligence test administered by District 53.

First Grade

  • The child’s sixth birthday falls between September 2 and December 31, as documented by a certified copy of the birth certificate.
  • The child has successfully completed education through kindergarten at a educational facility recognized by the State of Illinois.
  • The child demonstrates age appropriate social and emotional development as determined by the Brigance Inventory of Early Development III.
  • The child attains a score of 130 or above on an intelligence test administered by District 53.

Requesting Early Entrance to Kindergarten & First Grade

  • Between March 1 and June 1, parents meet with the principal and school psychologist of the school the child will attend to discuss the child’s early entrance potential.
  • Following this discussion, if parents wish to continue this process they will be given the necessary Early Entrance Application form to complete.
  • Parents return the completed forms along with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate to the principal by June 15th.
  • The testing will occur during an individual session with the school psychologist in early August. Results of the assessment will determine whether or not the screening process should continue at a date later in the month.
  • After the screening and testing, parents will be invited to a feedback conference. Members of the early entrance team (Psychologist, classroom teacher from receiving grade) and the principal will provide information regarding the child’s performance during the screening, review the test results, and give parents a written summary of the screening.
  • The decision about early entrance eligibility will be made by the early entrance team. This decision is final.
  • Children who are accepted for early entrance will be enrolled on a probationary basis. The school staff will assess each child’s initial adjustment to school during the first twenty school days. If a child’s adjustment is not satisfactory, the principal will request that the child enroll when the child meets the state’s enrollment age requirement for the appropriate grade level. If it is determined that the child’s adjustment is satisfactory, the child may continue enrollment in the early entrance program.

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Gifted Student Identification and Support Process

All students in grade one will be administered the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). This is a multiple choice test commonly used in the U.S. to identify gifted children. Schools often use the OLSAT as a tool for admission into schools and programs for gifted and talented children or to measure scholastic achievement across all ages.

Scoring: Typically, a gifted child falls two standard deviations above the mean. Given that the mean is 100, and the standard deviation is 16, this equates to a School Ability Index (SAI) score of 132. This is typically 1-2% of a school population.

Students scoring near the top third of the class on the OLSAT will then be administered the Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students (SAGES-2). This is an aptitude and achievement test, geared towards identifying gifted students in kindergarten through eighth grade. 

Scoring: The standard deviation is 15. Score of 130+ is two standard deviations above the mean. This is an extremely high score that places the student into the gifted range.

Students scoring at or above 132 on either of the two OLSAT assessment subtests will be identified as gifted. Students scoring at or above 130 on any of the three SAGES assessment subtests will be identified as gifted.

Supports and Services: The identified students parents and teacher will be notified of the results. There will be no specific program used to support identified students but teachers will be provided curricular supports to extend and enrich the academic experience for these students. These supports will be developed over time with support of our district gifted educator. The possibility for after school and summer programming options can also be considered. This information will be shared with each grade level as the students advance through the district. 

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Double Promotion / Grade Skipping Process

Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53 uses the Iowa Acceleration Scale (3rd edition) as the tool for guiding this decision. This is a tool (not a single test) that our team will use in conjunction with the family when whole grade acceleration is being considered. This tool was developed over a twenty year period from the research and clinical experiences of professional staff at the Connie Belin & Jaqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education aand Talent Development. Please follow this link for more resources. http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Resources/IAS.aspx

Should you wish to discuss this option for your child please contact the school principal.