Information about Accelerated Placement in District 97

District 97 believes that all students should be challenged and supported to develop to their maximum potential. For children who demonstrate high ability or may benefit from accelerated placement, we provide opportunities to participate in an instructional setting that is usually reserved for students who are older or in higher grades than the child. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Early entrance to kindergarten or first grade
  • Single subject acceleration
  • Whole grade acceleration

In accordance with the Illinois Accelerated Placement Act, District 97 has developed new procedures to ensure equitable access to acceleration opportunities for all students. These procedures will be fully implemented in Spring 2020 for students who are eligible for acceleration during the 2020-21 school year.

Information about the District 97 Accelerated Placement Program, including definitions and timelines, can be found at We have also included a general overview of our processes below. We will send additional communication to families as we near the opening of our referral and application windows next year.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by visiting our Let’s Talk page ( and clicking the button labeled “Acceleration.”

Dr. Eboney Lofton
Chief Academic and Accountability Officer

Process for 2020-21 Placements

  • Single-Subject and Whole-Grade Acceleration
    • Referrals for single-subject and whole-grade acceleration will be accepted from March 1 to August 15 of each school year. The general process is outlined below.
    • To start the referral process, families and/or students must submit a written request to their school principal or assistant principal. Once the school's administrative team has reviewed and approved the referral request, families should complete the Acceleration Referral Form and return it to the principal.
    • If the form is completed during the summer, it should be sent to the district's chief academic and accountability officer, Eboney Lofton, at [email protected].
  • Early Entrance to Kindergarten or First Grade
    • An early admission kick-off meeting will be held in January of each school year. Registration must occur between February 1 and April 15 of the school year.
      • We have scheduled a kick-off meeting for Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the D97 Administration Building. We will share more about this event in the coming weeks.
    • Family proves residency in District 97.
    • Family submits a written request for early admission.
    • Family completes the district's early admission application.
    • District 97 will confirm request for consideration and notify families of the procedures for evaluation.
    • Evaluation will take place between the last day of school and July 1.
    • Families seeking evaluation after April 15 must enroll in an age-appropriate school program; and students will be considered in the first six weeks from the onset of the school year.