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Advanced Learning Program

Program Description

District 31 believes in having differentiated & rigorous education for all students. The purpose of the District 31 Advanced Learning Program (ALP) is to provide students who demonstrate readiness an enriched and accelerated learning program in the areas of English language arts and math to ensure appropriate academic rigor for growth to occur. Services are provided based on students’ areas of exceptional strength and need for instruction beyond what can be provided in the core classroom.

We recognize that talents are dynamic and are represented across all demographics.  As a result, identification for services needs to occur over time, with multiple opportunities to exhibit strengths and readiness for advanced instruction. District 31 has shifted to a student profile approach to identify students who demonstrate readiness for advanced learning. This data-gathering process will be used yearly for the identification of students who would benefit from enrichment and/or accelerated learning in math and/or English language arts. 

The following measures are a part of this student profile approach to determining readiness for the District 31 Advanced Learning Program:

  • Achievement: Consistency in achievement data measuring skills and knowledge related to grade level standards. An achievement test like the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) or another commonly used achievement assessment in the district will be used to measure readiness based on achievement. 
  • Ability: Assessments measuring an individual’s ability to problem-solve and apply critical thinking that is unrelated to specific instruction in a school setting. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is the assessment tool used to measure readiness based on ability/potential.
  • Characteristics of a High-Ability Learner: The Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS) is a rating scale to support identification of characteristics of high-ability learners related to the way they think, make connections between concepts, and express themselves. This data is collected over time to determine the frequency with which an individual demonstrates these characteristics in comparison to peers of similar grade (grade level) and background (general education, EL, special education).
  • Performance: A portfolio of a student's class work and assessments collected over time may be an additional data point in identifying a student’s readiness for the District 31 Advanced Learning Program if the student’s work demonstrates the learner’s needs are unable to be met by the Tier 1 curriculum.

What is meant by enrichment?

Enrichment engages students in learning content from the current grade-level standards but goes deeper into the grade-level curriculum to promote critical thinking. Emphasis is on moving through curriculum horizontally. For an example in ELA, click here. For an example in math, click here.

What is meant by acceleration?

Acceleration engages students in learning content from next grade-level standards and typically moves at a faster pace. Emphasis is on moving through curriculum vertically.

Program Courses

English Language Arts

Course Name and Grade Level

Course Description

Enriched ELA 4

Enrichment in core class based upon CCSS 4th grade standards

 Accelerated ELA 5

ELA course based upon CCSS 5th and 6th grade standards

 Accelerated ELA 6

 ELA course based upon the CCSS 7th grade standards

 Accelerated ELA 7

 ELA course based upon the CCSS 8th grade standards

 Accelerated ELA 8

 ELA course based upon the CCSS 9th grade standards

Mathematics

Grade Level

Course Name

Course Description

 4

Enriched Math 4

Enrichment in pull-out group based upon CCSS 4th grade standards

 5

Enriched Math 5

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS 5th grade standards

Accelerated Math 5

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS 5th and 6th grade standards

 6

Single Accelerated Math 6

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS 6th and 7th grade standards

Double Accelerated Math 6

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS 7th and 8th grade standards

 7

Single Accelerated Math 7

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS 7th and 8th grade standards

Double Accelerated: Algebra 7

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS high school algebra standards

 8

Single Accelerated: Algebra 8

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS high school algebra standards

Double Accelerated: Geometry 8

 Mathematics course based upon CCSS high school geometry standards; prerequisite is successful completion of Algebra 1

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Data Collection & 5th Grade ALP Placement Timeline



Inquiry Process

  • In fourth grade, readiness for enrichment is determined by unit pre-assessments to allow for flexible grouping and an increased exposure to critical thinking for each unit.
  • Starting in 5th grade, a student profile approach is used to determine student readiness for placement in ALP full year courses. 
  • If a student doesn’t demonstrate readiness for a full year ALP course based, parents and teachers have the option to open an inquiry.
  • An inquiry is an individualized problem solving process intended to look at the whole child in order to determine best-fit placement.
  • This process may include additional assessment and information gathering.
  • Inquiry Form: email Meg Knapik, Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction at mknapik@district31.net for more information 

ALP Inquiry Calendar

The calendar in the table below outlines the periods of time when inquiries into ALP placement occur. This is applicable to both teacher and parent inquiries. The purpose for having a calendar is as follows:

  • Set windows allow for a timely and efficient process
  • Establishing a cutoff time during the school year preserves curricular pacing
  • Exceptions may be made for students who are new to the district

June- First week

Placement letters sent home to parents in grades 5 and 6

June - Second Week  Inquiry forms due by Friday at noon

June- Third week

Inquiry testing session

June- Fourth week

Inquiry test scoring; results determined and communicated by the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction 

July - Second week Inquiry forms due by Friday at noon

July- Third week

Inquiry testing session

July- Fourth week

Inquiry test scoring; results determined and communicated by the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction 

August through mid-September

No inquiries 

Fall benchmarking-Thanksgiving break

Inquiries accepted on rolling basis

December - May

No inquiries

Additional Information

Parent Web Resources