Program Review

The District provides an Accelerated Placement Program (APP). The APP advances the District’s goal of providing educational programs with opportunities for each student to develop to his or her maximum potential. The APP provides an educational setting with curriculum options usually reserved for students who are older or in higher grades than the student participating in the APP. APP options include, but may not be limited to: (a) accelerating a student in a single subject; (b) other grade-level acceleration; and (c) early entrance to kindergarten or first grade. Participation in the APP is open to all students who demonstrate high ability and who may benefit from accelerated placement. 

It is not limited to students who have been identified as gifted and talented.

Goals for Total School Cluster Grouping

  • Provide full day services to our highest achieving students.


    Help all students improve academic achievement and self efficacy. 

  • Help teachers more effectively and efficiently meet the diverse needs of their students by limiting the number of ability levels in the class. 

  • Weave gifted education and talent development “know how” into the fabric of every class. \

  • Improve the representation of underserved groups in the highest groups over time. (This can be done intentionally in year one as we control the demographic makeup of over half of the class with the gifted cluster)

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. STAR assessment 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

Grade 5-8 Subject Area Acceleration Model

Identification Process grades 5-8:

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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:


  • 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 the Parent/Guardian completes the Early Entrance Application form and submits the completed form with a copy of the childs birth certificate to the Office of Instruction at (This can be hand delivered to the Central Office as well)

  • Parents / Guardians will be contacted by June 15th and the individual screening will take place no later than August 15th.

  • The testing will occur during an individual session with the school psychologist.

  • After the screening the parents / guardians will be invited to a feedback conference with the school psychologist and a representative from the Central Office. Results of the screening will be shared at this conference along with the decision of the 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.

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