Accelerated Placements: Illinois School Law Update

On July 1, 2018, 105 ILCS 5/14 as amended went into effect. It essentially requires that school districts have non-discriminatory gifted, talented and accelerated programs, and obligates school districts to develop a policy that allows for accelerated placement of eligible students.

This amendment may provide access to gifted, talented and accelerated classes to students previously denied because they had a learning disability in one area and have high abilities in others and may benefit from accelerated placements.

(105 ILCS 5/14A-17)
Sec. 14A-17. Accelerated placement. For purposes of this Article, “accelerated placement” means the placement of a child in an educational setting with curriculum that is usually reserved for children who are older or in higher grades than the child. “Accelerated placement” under this Article or other school district-adopted policies shall include, but need not be limited to, the following types of acceleration: early entrance to kindergarten or first grade, accelerating a child in a single subject, and grade acceleration.
(Source: P.A. 100-421, eff. 7-1-18.)

(105 ILCS 5/14A-32)
Sec. 14A-32. Accelerated placement; school district responsibilities.
(a) Each school district shall have a policy that allows for accelerated placement that includes or incorporates by reference the following components:
(1) a provision that provides that participation in accelerated placement is not limited to those children who have been identified as gifted and talented, but rather is open to all children who demonstrate high ability and who may benefit from accelerated placement;
(2) a fair and equitable decision-making process that involves multiple persons and includes a student’s parents or guardians;
(3) procedures for notifying parents or guardians of a child of a decision affecting that child’s participation in an accelerated placement program; and
(4) an assessment process that includes multiple valid, reliable indicators.
(b) Further, a school district’s accelerated placement policy may include or incorporate by reference, but need not be limited to, the following components:
(1) procedures for annually informing the community at-large, including parents or guardians, about the accelerated placement program and the methods used for the identification of children eligible for accelerated placement;
(2) a process for referral that allows for multiple referrers, including a child’s parents or guardians; other referrers may include licensed education professionals, the child, with the written consent of a parent or guardian, a peer, through a licensed education professional who has knowledge of the referred child’s abilities, or, in case of possible early entrance, a preschool educator, pediatrician, or psychologist who knows the child; and
(3) a provision that provides that children participating in an accelerated placement program and their parents or guardians will be provided a written plan detailing the type of acceleration the child will receive and strategies to support the child.
(c) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to determine data to be collected regarding accelerated placement and a method of making the information available to the public.
(Source: P.A. 100-421, eff. 7-1-18.)

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About Micki Moran

Micki Moran is the founding partner of The Child and Family Law Center, Ltd. She dedicates her practice to providing legal assistance to children and families who are in need of representation in the areas of special education, disability law, juvenile and young adult criminal law, abuse and neglect, guardianship, and mental health issues. Micki's practice is founded on the principle that children and their families require and deserve excellent legal representation with a multidisciplinary approach that works with multiple systems of care and creates communities that support and improve the quality of all peoples' lives.
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