Grade Acceleration into Grades 2 and Above

  • Grade acceleration, one of several options available to District 15, may be used to address the needs of highly advanced students capable of handling academic work typically reserved for older peers. These students, often extreme outliers in their current grade, exhibit advanced skills that even surpass many of those in the next grade level. Grade acceleration is also known as early entrance, grade skipping, or accelerated placement. The District allows parents to apply for their child's advancement at any time. Applications received after April 1st will not be considered for the current school year, but can be considered for the upcoming school year that starts after the summer break in the fall.

    For students who are moving into District 15 who are young for their grade but have successfully completed first grade or above, seeking grade acceleration is not necessary. In such cases, the principal will assess the appropriate grade placement by examining the child's school records, contacting the student’s previous school, and evaluating their academic skill levels. Children from foreign schools will also have their records reviewed by the Second Language Department prior to a final grade placement.

The District 15 Grade Acceleration Process

  • APPLYING FOR GRADE ACCELERATION

    Your child must currently reside within District 15 to apply for grade acceleration. The District does not accept applications from families not currently residing in the District’s boundaries. To start the process, the child’s parent or guardian completes a grade acceleration application. Completing the application does not mean that grade acceleration will necessarily occur. If you need assistance with the application, please call 847-963-3106.

    If you are seeking grade acceleration of two or more grade levels, such as moving from grade 3 to 5 or requesting to skip Pre Algebra (a math course covering both seventh and eighth grade material), please note that in your application.

    Online Grade Acceleration Application

    ASSESSMENT

    Whole Grade Acceleration Requests.  After completing the online application, the school will contact you and schedule times for your child to complete a series of 4 tests that measure your child’s general reading, math, and cognitive aptitudes.  Your school may take several weeks before contacting you to schedule testing.  If a language other than English is spoken in the child’s home, the school will contact the District’s Second Language Department to determine if any language supports or accommodations during testing are appropriate.

    Single Subject Acceleration Requests. After completing the online application, the school will contact you and schedule times for your child to complete a series of tests that measure your child’s achievement and cognitive aptitudes. The achievement test will reflect the core skills in the area(s) you are requesting acceleration for. Your school may take several weeks before contacting you to schedule testing. If a language other than English is spoken in the child’s home, the school will contact the District’s Second Language Department to determine if any language supports or accommodations during testing are appropriate.

    All student tests are completed at your child’s District 15 school. Each child completes a series of standardized tests. First, children take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test in reading and/or math. MAP is used to determine your child’s academic skills and achievement.  Next, the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is used to determine your child’s verbal, nonverbal reasoning, and quantitative aptitudes. District 15 does not accept substitutions for these tests unless the District determines that a test replacement is warranted. In cases where a test is substituted, the District determines the substitutions and will provide the names of the substitute tests to the parents.

    If you have recently moved into District 15 from another school district, your child’s most recent nonDistrict 15 teacher will receive an email containing an online questionnaire on which they may supply information about your child’s classroom performance. You must supply the teacher’s email as part of the online application. The questionnaire asks the teacher to summarize observations of the child’s classroom work, social skills, independence levels, and other classroom skills. Parent information is provided via the online application.

    GRADE ACCELERATION CRITERIA

    District 15 uses a decision-making matrix to determine if a child is ready for acceleration.  The matrix is used to assign points to their performances on the tests your child completed.  Each test area can earn from 0 to 9 points. The points from the tests are averaged and the average is compared to a set criteria to determine if the child shows sufficient readiness for grade acceleration. The teacher questionnaire is used to identify areas of concern or strength for the child that may not be captured by the standardized tests. The advantage of this system is that one or two areas of less developed skills does not necessarily preclude the child from grade acceleration. Also, the teacher’s input is provided through a structured system and is also considered when making decisions. This system is used for both whole grade acceleration and single subject acceleration. In any case, where two or more grade level acceleration is requested, the same system and criteria will be used, but the child’s test scores will be calculated based upon the highest grade they are requested to skip (e.g., if a child is requested to skip pre algebra, their scores will be calculated as if they were an eighth grade student taking the required tests).

    Score-to-Points Decision Making Rubric

    MAP Percentile

    MAP Points

    CogAT Percentile

    CogAT Points

    75-80

    1

    <89

    0

    81-85

    3

    90-94

    1

    86-90

    4

    95

    2

    91-94

    5

    96

    3

    95-97

    6

    97

    5

    98

    8

    98

    8

    99

    9

    99

    9

     

    DECISION MAKING AND PARENT/GUARDIAN  NOTIFICATION

    After completing both the MAP and CogAT, the school’s principal uses the above criteria to determine your child’s grade acceleration eligibility. The Principal will contact the parent/guardian to share and discuss the student’s assessment results and grade acceleration eligibility.  A child is eligible for grade acceleration when the child’s points average 6 or higher. Parents/guardians will receive a written notice with the final grade acceleration decision. If determined necessary by the Principal, the school will develop a written communication plan for eligible students.  In most cases, this is unnecessary.

    PARENT/GUARDIAN APPEALS

    Parents may appeal a grade acceleration decision by providing their disagreement in writing or by completing the District 15 Appeal Form. All appeals must include information and data that outlines the parent’s disagreement, the rationale for the disagreement, and supportive data.  Appeals must be made within 14 days after notification of the grade acceleration decision. Appeals received after July 15 may not be reviewed and responded to prior to the start of the upcoming school year. Retests are granted only when unique circumstances are determined by the District to have occurred.

    Click on this link to practice the MAP Test

Grade Acceleration Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Who do I contact about having my child assessed for grade acceleration?

  • Q. How can I prepare my child for the assessments?

  • Q. Why are the criteria for grade acceleration so high?

  • Q. When will the assessment process take place?

  • Q. How will I be informed about my child’s results?

  • Q. Who makes the decision about whether my child is eligible for grade acceleration?

  • Q. What if I do not agree with the test results or the team’s decision for my child?

  • Q. My student is very high achieving but just missed qualifying based on the criteria. How will he/she be challenged and supported?