Teaching & Learning » Early Entrance to K and 1st/Acceleration Procedures

Early Entrance to K and 1st/Acceleration Procedures

North Palos School District 117 Acceleration Procedures

North Palos School District 117 recognizes the need for academic interventions for all students.  Subject area acceleration and whole grade acceleration is a curriculum intervention intended for academically talented students.
Subject area acceleration:  A student may move to an advanced grade level in one or more core academic subjects.  For example, a third-grade student may attend a fourth-grade math class. This is recommended for students in grades 2 and up.
Whole grade acceleration:  A student may proceed to an advanced grade level in all subject areas.

Early Admittance to Kindergarten

North Palos District 117 recognizes that some children may be ready for kindergarten early.
A written request must be made to the Curriculum Director.  To be considered for early admittance to kindergarten, the student must meet the following criteria:
  • Show emotional maturity, good social adjustment, exceptional pre-academic skills, and superior intelligence.
  • A score in the 50th percentile (fall norms) on AIMSweb early numeracy probes of oral counting, number identification, quantity discrimination, and the missing number.
  • Able to identify all letters and sounds.
  • Able to read a level C passage at the independent or instructional level using Fountas and Pinnell’s benchmark leveled literacy system.
The above assessments will be administered prior to the start of the school year and the Curriculum Director will contact the parents with the grade level recommendation within 7 days of the screening.

Early Admittance to First Grade

A written request must be made to the Curriculum Director.  Early admittance to first grade follows two tracks--those that attended an accredited kindergarten earlier than the age of 5 and those requesting to enter first grade without attending kindergarten.  Criteria for both scenarios are outlined below.
Early Admittance for Students that Attended an Accredited Kindergarten
  • Able to identify all kindergarten high-frequency words
  • Able to read an E level text with comprehension
  • Correctly answers 80% of math problems correctly on an end of year assessment for kindergarten
  • Able to write a few sentences about a topic including details
Early Admittance to First Grade without Attending Kindergarten
The child must start kindergarten in District 117 and be assessed by the kindergarten teacher during the first quarter of the school year.  A meeting will be held with the building administration, teacher, and parent within the first quarter of the school year to revisit the application.  The review process will include data from the following assessments:
  • Fall MAP/iReady data
  • KIDS Assessment results
  • Fountas and Pinnell 
  • Writing Assessment
  • Math Assessment
  • Teacher Observations
  • The Iowa Acceleration Guide May Also Be Used for Consideration

Students Enrolled in Grades 1-7

A teacher, administrator or parent may initiate the request for consideration by completing the Request for Acceleration Application.
To be considered for acceleration the student must demonstrate:
  • Test scores in the 95th percentile for reading and mathematics on Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)/iReady
  • Social and emotional readiness as observed through observations
  • A commitment to the opportunity of acceleration
Process (May take up to 75 days)
  • Once the Request for Acceleration Application is received, the Curriculum Director will contact the parents or guardians to explain the process and procedures.
  • The Iowa Acceleration Guide will be used to collect more information.
  • When the results have been collected, a meeting with will be scheduled with the parents or guardians to discuss the results and recommendation.
  • If acceleration is recommended, a transition plan will be developed.
  • If acceleration is not recommended the parents or guardians may appeal to the Board of Education.
Whole grade acceleration works best at the start of an academic year and not when it is a transitional year before a move to another building.
Please note that the process for evaluating whole grade acceleration for students in grades 1-7 could take up to 75 days.